4 individual matchups to watch during Panthers OTAs in 2021

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(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Sam Darnold
(Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brady Christensen /

Brian Burns vs. Brady Christensen

If the Carolina Panthers want to find out just how good Brady Christensen is, they’ll have the perfect chance to do it at OTAs. The BYU prospect is clearly highly thought of by those in power within the organization, but there is no margin for error if the player wants to assume command of the left tackle spot for their Week 1 encounter against the New York Jets.

The Panthers used Christensen in multiple positions during rookie minicamp to get a broader indication of where he’d be best suited in the pros. However, it would be a big surprise if they didn’t give him a shot at being a productive blindside protector considering how well he manned this position in college.

Putting him against Brian Burns might be a baptism of fire for the rookie. But it will help Carolina in their decision-making process.

The edge rusher is poised for great things in 2021 with more in the way of talent around him. Burns possesses explosiveness that is hard to find and Christensen will need every tool in his arsenal to hold his own against such a disruptive figure in opposing backfields.

There is more pressure on Christensen than most heading into his rookie campaign. He will be 25 years old just a couple of weeks into the season, which only increases expectations even though he has no experience in a professional environment.