5 things Carolina Panthers fans can be thankful for

(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) D.J. Moore
(Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images) D.J. Moore /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

Another thing that the Carolina Panthers should thank their lucky stars for is Brian Burns. The defensive end is a phenom in the making and has risen to a level not seen at the position since the days of Julius Peppers in his prime.

Burns possesses elite explosiveness that is now matched with more pass-rushing moves that make him a nightmare to block. His hard work during the offseason has resulted in the 2019 first-round pick becoming a three-down defensive end who can assist in any situation and the sky is the limit if he continues to progress in the coming years.

It’s not hard to figure out that the Panthers struck gold with Burns, who has six sacks, 16 quarterback hits, 29 pressures, and an 83.9 grade from Pro Football Focus. This represents outstanding production from the Florida State product in only his second year and if the Panthers can get better reinforcements around him next spring, it could bring even more in terms of impact.

Carolina knows that Burns is the focal point and driving force on defense following the retirement of Luke Kuechly. His leadership for someone so young has really come across both during training camp and the 2020 season and it’s hard to gauge just how high his ceiling could be with further fine-tuning of the edge rusher’s incredible skill set.