4 Panthers players who could get hot down the stretch

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Donte Jackson
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Donte Jackson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

Brian Burns has been in red-hot form during the 2020 season. But there is a chance for the defensive end to make even more of an impression down the stretch.

The former first-round pick was expected to make some strides with more responsibility in 2020. Burns has all the physical attributes needed to become a real star in the NFL but the hard work he’s put in during the offseason is paying off in spades.

Burns can not be counted on to make a difference on a three-down basis. His run support has made eye-catching improvements this season and once his elite explosiveness comes with finishing off plays more consistently, he’ll be one of the best in the business.

This has resulted in six sacks, 46 tackles, fives tackles for loss, 17 quarterback hits, three forced fumbles, 29 pressures, and just four missed tackles. Burns leads all NFC defensive ends after two rounds of Pro Bowl voting and also has a lofty 82.5 grade from Pro Football Focus to further enhance his credentials.

It’s hard to gauge just how much better Burns can get in the future. This is a player with the world at his feet and the Panthers hit the jackpot when they selected him with the No. 16 selection last year.