Carolina Panthers: 4 new individual battles to watch against the Saints

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Robby Anderson
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) Robby Anderson /
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Derrick Brown, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) Derrick Brown /

Carolina Panthers Matchup No. 3: Derrick Brown vs Cesar Ruiz

Derrick Brown comes to the Carolina Panthers with the highest of ceilings. The No. 7 overall pick was a dominant defensive tackle during his time at Auburn. And he has the right blend of size, power, and athleticism to make an instant impression during his rookie campaign.

The Panthers placed a tremendous amount of faith in Brown. And he is sure to benefit significantly from playing alongside Kawann Short in 2020.

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The veteran Pro Bowler is coming off a torn rotator cuff that ended with an early trip to the injured reserve list last time out. But if he can get back to his best, then Carolina’s run defense is sure to be much-improved.

Brown will be coming up against another first-round selection in the form of Cesar Ruiz. The New Orleans Saints made a bold move to take the interior offensive lineman at No. 24 overall. And although he specializes at the center spot, he is projected to fill one of the guard positions during the early stages of his development.

This will see him clash against Brown twice a season. And this represents a good opportunity for the Panthers’ potential stud to make his presence felt.

The Saints have a solid base of tackles on the edge. But their problems blocking on the interior were especially evident during their home playoff loss to the Minnesota Vikings last season.

There are some questions regarding Brown’s ability to get to the quarterback. But he was double-teamed constantly in college and should get more room to maneuver at the next level.