Re-grading the Panthers 2020 NFL Draft class after the season

(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn
(Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images) Jeremy Chinn /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Re-grading the Carolina Panthers 2020 NFL Draft class following the season.

The Carolina Panthers got some outstanding production from their 2020 NFL Draft class overall. Their debut campaigns at the next level were littered with memorable highlights and this has only strengthened the exciting young players at head coach Matt Rhule’s disposal as he looks to get the team back to prominence sooner rather than later.

If the Carolina Panthers bombed out on their 2019 college recruits outside of Brian Burns, then last spring was a significant improvement. They became the first team in league history to allocate every selection on the defensive side of the ball, which played a leading role in the impressive progress of Phil Snow’s unit throughout the campaign.

Building on this is going to be equally as important for this rookie class. They were tasked with plenty of pressure during their initial transition to a professional environment and this sink or swim mentality has been the making of most.

With that, we examined the 2020 draft class and re-graded the picks after a promising campaign from the group.

Pick No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

For all recently departed general manager Marty Hurney’s faults, the man knew what a first-round pick looked like.

And he knocked it out of the park again with Derrick Brown.

The defensive tackle enjoyed a superb rookie campaign that not only proved Carolina was right to take him over Isaiah Simmons at No. 7 overall, but Brown also showed he is more than capable of anchoring the defense for the next decade if he keeps progressing.

Brown was a constant force on the interior, providing the Panthers with superb pressure that many questioned he wasn’t capable of at the next level coming out of Auburn. Considering the first-year-pro didn’t have Pro Bowl veteran Kawann Short to lean on during this period of transition makes his production even more impressive.

Draft Grade: A

There is little doubt that Brown has a big future at the next level. Carolina struck gold when they stuck to their guns and the lineman is only going to get better with a less disrupted offseason under his belt next time around.