Florida State defensive end Brian Burns becomes newest Carolina Panthers member.
The Carolina Panthers entered Nashville and the 2019 NFL Draft with a number of needs on their current roster. Despite general manager Marty Hurney making a few moves through free agency, openings remained along both lines, at linebacker, safety and for running back depth.
Armed with the sixteenth overall pick, Hurney addressed one of those areas and it really came as no surprise. Following the retirement of defensive end Julius Peppers, coupled with the decline in a prevalent pass rush – landing a defensive line player who can consistently pressure opposing quarterbacks was an immediate need.
Hurney addressed it first by selecting Florida State defensive end Brian Burns. A hybrid type player, Burns can contribute from the outside at either the defensive line or linebacker positions. Coach Ron Rivera has hinted at a shift to more 3-4 fronts next season, making Burns the prototypical selection.
More from Cat Crave
- Ranking the top-five QB prospects the Panthers could draft in 2023
- 4 remaining Carolina Panthers cap crunches after Damien Wilson release
- Could Duce Staley help Carolina Panthers land Jamaal Williams in 2023?
- How much could the Carolina Panthers afford to offer Lamar Jackson?
- 4 Panthers rumors to emerge from 2023 NFL Scouting Combine
In three years with the Seminoles, Burns registered 71 tackles, 38.5 for a loss and 23 sacks. Joining the Panthers, Burns enters an NFC South division loaded with pass happy quarterbacks and he should receive a fair share of opportunities to apply pressure.
The need for an edge player has been apparent since early on in the offseason. ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper originally picked Burns for the Panthers even before Peppers announced his retirement. Ultimately, it became a reality and hopefully he pans out to follow in the footsteps of many Hurney first-round selections.
Moving forward, it is expected that Hurney will make a trade at some point. Needing to address other areas as he continues to build the roster, making a move could result in the Panthers adding a few more top tier players.
Tune in for Rounds 2 and 3 of the NFL Draft tomorrow when offensive tackle and safety are likely targets.