5 Panthers off the table in any potential Deshaun Watson trade

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson
(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images) Deshaun Watson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

Derrick Brown wasn’t everyone’s choice for the No. 7 overall selection when the Carolina Panthers were on the clock in the 2020 NFL Draft. But those who doubted the pick are now eating a big slice of humble pie in no uncertain terms.

The former Auburn standout was a tremendous asset to call upon as a rookie. Brown grew in stature as the season went on and despite being one of the NFL’s most double-teamed defensive tackles, he still managed to influence proceedings in an extremely positive way.

Brown eventually finished the season with 34 tackles, two sacks, four passes defended, eight tackles for loss, 12 quarterback hits, and 17 pressures from 70 percent of Carolina’s snaps on defense. This resulted in a 60.7 grade from Pro Football Focus, which was down in no small part to his run-stopping during the acclimatization period in the early stages of the campaign.

The pre-draft doubts about Brown’s ability to generate pressure at the next level were alleviated, to put it mildly. Considering veteran Pro Bowler Kawann Short was missing from the interior for most of 2020, it makes his contribution even more impressive.

This is just the start for Brown. He has the potential to be the Panthers’ defensive anchor for the next decade and the front office needs to keep hold of him if they want to achieve their objectives.