4 young Carolina Panthers players who excelled vs. Lions

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Yetur Gross-Matos /
2 of 4
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

Derrick Brown may not have filled up the stat sheet, but his impact on the interior was a significant boost for the Carolina Panthers. The No. 7 overall pick was a commanding presence on the line of scrimmage who was difficult to move off the block all afternoon, which freed up plenty of space for others to work in.

Brown does have his limitations in getting to the quarterback in pass-rushing situations. But this is not something we didn’t already know before Carolina used their first selection on the lineman earlier this year.

It’s vital that the Panthers play to his strengths, which means getting a good three-technique presence alongside him moving forward. One only has to look at how well Efe Obada performed in this regard during obvious pass-rushing situations to see that.

The former Auburn standout did manage to get two quarterback hits in the face of a porous Detroit protection and things might have been even better if he’d finished off a couple more penetration opportunities.

There is a lot to like about the physical attributes Brown has brought to the Panthers this season. Not having Pro Bowler Kawann Short alongside him hasn’t exactly helped his ability to make a lasting impression. But providing Carolina brings in additional reinforcements this offseason, then it still looks like the right pick.