4 emerging leaders for the Carolina Panthers at training camp

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

Carolina Panthers Player No. 4: Brian Burns – DE

Although he is entering his second year as a professional. Brian Burns is someone who has really stepped up as an emerging leader for the Carolina Panthers during training camp.

The defensive end is a primary breakout candidate in 2020 in a more prominent role. But his ability to lead is another element to his game that has really come to the fore in recent weeks.

Second-round pick Yetur Gross-Matos has been highly complimentary about the way Burns has helped him make a smooth transition to the next level. This is not necessarily something that the former first-round pick needs to do given his relative inexperience in the NFL. But taking this sort of mantle early on in his career is going to do wonders for his aspirations down the line.

Burns showed tremendous promise during his rookie campaign despite dealing with a wrist injury. His explosiveness on the edge ensured he was able to secure 7.5 sacks from 42. 9 percent of the Panthers’ defensive snaps.

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A big leap forward is expected from Burns with more time on the field. He has bulked up considerably during the offseason to ensure his body can cope with being a three-down lineman at the next level. But his surprising emergence into a leadership position will be equally as important going forward in Carolina.