Everybody needs a big brother like Stanley McClover

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Stanley McClover
(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) Stanley McClover /
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Carolina Panthers
(Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

How much better can Burns get?

The sky is the limit for Brian Burns, it’s as simple as that.

He has turned himself into a well-rounded defensive end that can influence games on a three-down basis after initially coming into the NFL as a primary pass-rushing option. The Carolina Panthers haven’t generated much in the way of pressure outside of Burns this season and once he gets more help around him, then it should take the player’s game to new heights.

That is a scary proposition for opposing offensive linemen.

Burns has the sort of explosiveness off the line of scrimmage you don’t see every day. This allows him to get to the spot quickly and once he takes the next step and finishes off plays a little better, then not even the league’s most elite protectors will be able to stop him.

The Panthers have a diamond in Burns, of that there is little doubt.

They parted ways with some prominent locker room leaders this offseason, especially on defense. But the second-year-pro can be their new defensive lynchpin for years to come providing he stays clear of injury problems.

This is an exciting young defense that has improved steadily with every passing game in 2020. If the likes of Burns, Yetur Gross-Matos, Derrick Brown, and Jeremy Chinn can all continuing developing at the same time, then this is a solid foundation from which to build a potential contender.