Sack projections for the Panthers’ top 8 pass-rushers in 2020

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns /

Carolina Panthers Player No. 1: Brian Burns – DE

Prediction: 12.5 sacks

Brian Burns is a player that is a potential breakout candidate for the Carolina Panthers in 2020. The second-year pro has the NFL world at his feet if he reaches his ceiling. And there is every possibility he can thrive as the team’s No. 1 pass-rushing option.

The former first-round pick showed tremendous promise as a rookie on his way to 7.5 sacks. This was despite a wrist injury hampering his ability to make a contribution later on in the campaign.

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Burns is now back at full health. And the defensive end has bulked up considerably during the offseason in a bid to take his game to new heights.

A double-digit sack total from the campaign is a realistic ambition for the Florida State production in 2020. But there is a chance he can get into the mid-teens if he exceeds his billing.

The rusher comes with an exceptional amount of explosiveness off the block. This was a standout feature of his contribution during his first year at the next level. And if Burns can add some power-moves to his repertoire, then he is going to be incredibly hard to stop.

Carolina placed a significant amount of faith in Burns to make significant strides next time around. They opted not to bring back the likes of Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin on the edge. And they will be hoping their new primary weapon can thrive with more responsibility on his shoulders.

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Everything is in place for Burns to succeed. And it could result in the player achieving a Pro Bowl selection in only his second campaign as a professional.