4 candidates for Carolina Panthers training camp MVP in 2021

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

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

Entering his third season, Brian Burns is on the verge of national recognition as one of the premier defensive players in the NFL. The 23-year-old defensive end was a Pro Bowl snub last year, the victim of being on an inconsistent, small-market team.

This season, Burns is already being criminally underrated as he was ranked the 19th best edge rusher by Pro Football Focus and left off ESPN’s list of top 10 edge rushers. The former Florida State star has to leave no doubt as to the type of player he is and this journey must begin at training camp.

Speaking on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football last week, Burns was vocal about himself and teammate Hasson Reddick challenging each other throughout the season.

"“I already know he’s gonna push me. So, having him on the other side of me — he’s gets a sack, he’s gonna push me and make me want to get a sack. I can already tell our competitive nature is going to come out. It’s going to be a sack competition. I’m going to try and beat him every game and he already knows that.”"

This competitive mentality should take Burns far this year and checking Training Camp MVP off the list could be a critical first step. The Carolina Panthers are banking on their stud pass-rusher being a defensive lynchpin in 2021 and beyond, which could make all the difference in the pursuit of progression.