Carolina Panthers 2020 training camp award winners

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Robby Anderson and Joe Brady
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Robby Anderson and Joe Brady /
5 of 7
Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Brian Burns /

Defensive Player of Camp: Brian Burns – DE

It is evident that Brian Burns is set for a potential campaign that propels him to greatness. The defensive end has worked hard on bulking up during the offseason in readiness for a more increased role. And the start he made at training camp was nothing short of sensational.

Burns’ explosiveness and improved strength have been a standout feature of team drills. There is plenty of responsibility on his shoulders in 2020 and this is something the former first-round pick seems to be taking very seriously.

The Carolina Panthers lost plenty of established players on their defensive front during free agency. However, most were well past their prime, and getting an injection of youth should ensure they have a solid foundation from which to build a competitive defense going forward.

The Florida State product is going to be at the heart of this. Burns attained 7.5 sacks during his rookie season in 2019 despite dealing with a wrist injury for the second half of the campaign. With the pass-rusher now at full health, the sky is the limit.

Another notable feature of Burns’ contribution to camp was his leadership. He was selfless enough to guide players like second-round selection Yetur Gross-Matos through their initial transition, which is going to be crucial for a franchise that lost a number of locker room leaders.