Carolina Panthers training camp awards: 2021 edition

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Darnold /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

For the second straight summer, Brian Burns is our Best Defensive Player from Carolina Panthers training camp. The defensive end has the world at his feet after making some eye-catching strides in Year 2 of his professional career and something similar this time around would propel the former first-round pick to superstardom.

Burns is constantly evolving his game. Not only on the playing side of things, but the Florida State product is also emerging as a defensive leader and someone others are looking to for advice and guidance in times of trouble.

The sky is the limit for Burns. It’s just that simple.

His explosiveness and potential to dominate were evident throughout camp. Anybody who came up against him rarely got the better of this exchange.

This is a huge campaign awaiting Burns. He is now regarded as one of the league’s brightest young pass-rushers and with more talent across the front seven, a surge in numbers isn’t out of the question.

The Panthers hit the jackpot when Burns fell into their laps in 2019. Carolina will be heavily reliant on the player generating significant pressure in opposing backfields and remaining disciplined against the run, something that could lead to his first Pro Bowl selection at the end of the campaign.