Ranking the 7 best Panthers players under 25-years-old in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

. . . BRIAN BURNS. 2. player. 87

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

  • Age – 23

The strides made by Brian Burns in Year 2 with the Carolina Panthers were extraordinary. A rotational edge rusher as a rookie under Ron Rivera, the former first-round pick proved beyond all doubt he is the complete defensive end who can impact a game in more ways than just getting after the quarterback.

Burns is one of the more explosive pass-rushers in the NFL. There is absolutely no disputing that at this juncture.

Considering Burns got almost no help from the opposite side of the field, it would be a huge surprise if the former Florida State stud didn’t manage to reach a completely different level in 2021.

Not only is Burns going to benefit from more quality around him on the front seven, but he should also be able to cope with some extra attention coming his way from opposing protection schemes.

When Burns is in the mood, only the truly elite edge protectors have any hope of preventing him from getting to the spot. This was another home-run hit by the Panthers in the first round of recent drafts and everything good on defense will start with him next season and beyond.

Burns is a likable guy who is always engaging with the team’s fanbase. However, there is a real edge about him once he crosses the white lines and if he can turn explosiveness beyond measure into game-changing plays more frequently, a Pro Bowl campaign is well within his sights.