10 most important Panthers players to the team’s chances in 2021

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /

CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY. 3. player. 87. . .

Christian McCaffrey – Carolina Panthers RB

Not having Christian McCaffrey for 13 games hurt the Carolina Panthers last season. Keeping the running back on the field for the entire campaign is of critical importance and if the former first-round pick can maintain peak conditioning throughout, exceptional numbers should follow.

Everyone knows what McCaffrey can do. He is the focal point and the best dual-threat back in the league – someone that every single roster member feeds off no matter what position they’re playing.

McCaffrey is an All-Pro for a reason. Hopefully, for the player and the Panthers, he can make a difference from start to finish and cement his status as the league’s most dynamic playmaker.

87. . . . BRIAN BURNS. 2. player

Brian Burns – Carolina Panthers DE

Superstardom awaits Brian Burns in 2021. The defensive end showed off his exceptional athletic attributes to their fullest extent in Year 2 of his professional career, which could be a sign of things to come for one of the brightest young edge rushers in the league.

Burns has it all. He is explosive, gets to the spot quickly, and now has an improved sense of discipline in run support that makes the Florida State product a supreme three-down threat.

Matt Rhule is also hoping Burns continues to emerge as a leader on defense. This extra responsibility is something the player is relishing and it would be a big disappointment if double-digit sacks weren’t attained this season.