3 reasons Panthers DE Brian Burns is destined for greatness in 2021

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Defensive end Brian Burns could be set to thrive further for the Carolina Panthers in 2021  with more in the way of talent around him.

It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Brian Burns is a special player. The edge rusher brought his game on leaps and bounds in 2020 and even though the Carolina Panthers finished the campaign with a 5-11 record once again, there was plenty to like about his chances of being one of the NFL’s best defensive ends with a little more refinement.

Burns is arguably the most dominant defender the Panthers have currently, His explosiveness is off the charts, and his hard work last year to transform himself into a three-down lineman that can impact the game multiple ways was there for all to see.

This improved production was unfortunate not to get some Pro Bowl recognition. But CBS Sports writer Cody Benjamin saw enough from Burns to place him at No. 18 on his top-25 players under-25 – one spot below Carolina’s exceptional wide receiver, D.J. Moore.

Benjamin went as far as to say that Burns was a primary candidate to surge up this list next year providing the necessary adjustments are made in the coming weeks before their Week 1 clash against the New York Jets.

"If you’re looking for one guy who might surge up the list by 2022, it’s probably Burns. Two years into his career, he’s moved around from OLB to end, racking up 37 QB hits and 16.5 sacks, including nine in 2020, along the way. He’s quietly one of the top pieces on a very young defense that also features former first-rounder Derrick Brown."

The Panthers are relying heavily on Burns making a massive difference in 2021. Here are three reasons why he could be set for a significant increase in numbers next season.