4 major positives for the Carolina Panthers entering Week 4 vs. Cardinals
By Dean Jones
Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT
Even the biggest Derrick Brown pessimist cannot ignore how well the defensive tackle has played in 2022. There were times against the Cleveland Browns where he was thrown off balance, but overall it’s been nothing short of superb and something the Carolina Panthers were hoping for in Year 3 of his professional career.
Brown is held to a higher standard being a No. 7 overall selection. It’s taken time for everything to come together and the constant change alongside him on the defensive front hasn’t helped, but the former Auburn stud is showing why he was so highly-regarded coming out of college and long may it continue.
There are many notable improvements to Brown’s production so far. His ability to shed blocks is consistent, as is the lineman’s ability to hold his spot and reduce gaps against the run.
Another standout feature of Brown’s early contribution is creating pressure. This might not show up with numbers on the stat sheet, but he is often shifting the line almost single-handedly and allowing others to make plays.
This is the player the Panthers anticipated Brown to eventually become. He can still improve – there’s no mistake about that – but the lineman appears to be a lock for his fifth-year option if high-performance levels continue throughout 2022.