Carolina Panthers: Kiper Jr. thinks Brown would be a steal at No.7

(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Derrick Brown
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Derrick Brown /

ESPN Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. thinks the Carolina Panthers would be getting a steal if they selected defensive tackle Derrick Brown at No.7.

One of the NFL’s most respected draft analysts expects the Carolina Panthers to get a high-value pick in the form of Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

Mel Kiper Jr. made a case for Brown being the third-best player coming out of college this year. He has slotted the potential Pro Bowler to the Panthers at No.7. This is due to the expected quarterback scramble in the top five that will involve Joe Burrow, Tua Tagovialoa, Justin Herbert and possibly Jordan Love.

Speaking to the media during a conference call on Wednesday, Kiper Jr. had this to say on the NFL Draft’s top ten.

"“I can’t see a spot earlier for him. The Chargers (No.6) and Miami (No.5) are going to look quarterback. The Giants (No.4) have to take either Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons or an offensive tackle. For the Lions (No. 3), it’s way too high. I’d say it’s Carolina. He would be a good pick for Carolina at 7.“You could make an argument he’s the third-best player in this draft. I don’t have him third on the board right now. You could say, ‘Well, (I) don’t think Joe Burrow is an elite quarterback. You have to put Chase Young up there, I would believe. Then one of the quarterbacks, Burrow, I don’t know about Tua (Tagovailoa) with the injury … but if not Burrow, you have Jeff Okudah and Isaiah Simmons. So you can make an argument third-best, maybe fourth-best player, and Carolina is picking seventh. That’s a pretty good option to have.”"

This represents an area of significant need for the Panthers following the departures of Gerald McCoy, Dontari Poe, and Vernon Butler from their defensive front this offseason.

Brown is a relentless force and is one of the best defensive tackles to come out of the college system in recent memory. He possesses a high motor and is incredibly explosive off the block, which makes him incredibly difficult to stop.

The player has powerful hands and shifts opposing offensive lineman with ease. With a little more refinement in the pros, Brown could have a sensational NFL career.

He is equally adept at making an impact during running or passing situations. Brown is also a strong character who is ruthless in his pursuit of making plays.

There is little doubt he would be a tremendous addition to the Panthers’ defense. Brown is going to be a real problem from the moment he steps on the field and he comes into the league with the potential to become an All-Pro if he meets expectations.

Brown has surprising foot quickness for a player his size. His versatility is also something that sets him apart from other defensive lineman entering the NFL Draft in 2020.

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If Chase Young is the top defensive player, then Brown is not far behind.