5 burning questions facing the Carolina Panthers DL in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns and DaQuan Jones
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns and DaQuan Jones /
5 of 5
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Brian Burns /

Can Brian Burns become truly elite in 2021?

Brian Burns could be destined for greatness this season. The former first-round pick’s evolution into a prolific three-down defensive end was there for all to see last time around and any increase in skill development will see the player reach stratospheric levels when competitive action arrives.

The Carolina Panthers are counting on Burns to lead this young group to prominence. Even though the former Florida State sensation only turned 23 years old himself in April.

Burns plays with an infectious enthusiasm that’s hard not to love. He is also among the most explosive players coming off the edge anywhere in the league.

Finishing off plays a little better after getting to the spot is the next main objective for the 2019 first-round pick. If he can do this consistently, the sky is the limit.

There is nothing Burns cannot do on the field. But if the player wants to enter the truly elite category in the weeks and months ahead, his numbers from a statistical standpoint need to progress accordingly.

Make no mistake, Burns is capable of this. He was unfortunate not to earn his first Pro Bowl selection in 2020, but that’s only motivating him further to leave a notable mark in Year 3 of his professional career.

Must Read. 5 Carolina 5 Panthers players tumbling down depth chart during the preseason. light

Burns is the focal point on defense, which obviously comes with more attention from opposing protection schemes. That is only going to free up space for others to do damage, so it’s a win-win for the Panthers in no uncertain terms.