Carolina Panthers Draft: Grading the Derrick Brown pick

(Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images) Derrick Brown
(Photo by Timothy Nwachukwu/Getty Images) Derrick Brown /

The Carolina Panthers got one of the best players in the NFL Draft in defensive tackle Derrick Brown, but what grade should the franchise get for taking him?

There is not much that Derrick Brown cannot do on the football field. He is a dominant figure on the defensive line and has the ability to wreak havoc on every down.

The Carolina Panthers wasted little time before taking the player with the No. 7 overall selection in the 2020 NFL Draft. He represents a significant upgrade on what they currently have on their roster and is someone you can build a defense around.

Putting Thomas in between Kawann Short and Brian Burns has limitless potential and will be a massive asset to the Panthers’ secondary. Having a big pass-rushing presence in the middle that is also a stout run stuffer is going to do the franchise wonders going forward.

While Isaiah Simmons would have been an equally good pick, it appeared that Carolina’s decision-makers had already made their mind up to select Brown if he was available. This was an area of significant need and although the Panthers’ fanbase were clamoring for the Clemson linebacker, it does not make the arrival of Auburn’s defensive leader any less impressive.

This will hopefully set a trend of defensive picks during their first few selections. They are in dire need of more support on the back end in a pass-happy NFC South that is littered with offensive dangers.

The defensive front now looks really good and Brown should fit in well. That’s why this selection will help the organization in both the short and long term.

Brown is a difference-maker with the highest of ceilings. He has the potential to be a Pro Bowler in no time at all and could even make All-Pro if he realizes his potential.

Simmons would have been nice. But at the end of the day, no Panthers’ fan would have moaned about the team selecting Brown had the linebacker not slipped out of the top five.

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Those criticizing the pick might be eating their words this time next year. Brown will become an instant fan favorite and could even emerge as the inspirational leader after Luke Kuechly retired this offseason.

This is a good start to the Draft from the Panthers. Hopefully, it is a sign of things to come.

Draft Grade: A+