4 Carolina Panthers players who altered perceptions in 2022

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Chuba Hubbard /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

Considering the expectations surrounding Derrick Brown when the Carolina Panthers took him at No. 7 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, some sections of the fanbase felt these weren’t being met. Therefore, the defensive tackle’s third season would be critical.

Brown dropped some weight before the campaign to improve explosiveness and conditioning. Something that was worth its weight in gold with a sensational season that alleviated any doubts about his ability to become an elite anchor on the defensive line.

The former Auburn stud was nothing short of sensational. He tied the franchise record for tackles made by an interior defensive lineman and emerged into one of the league’s best young players at the position to further enhance his credentials.

There was a lot to like about Brown’s ability to shift the line of scrimmage. Developments were also made from a consistency standpoint and in terms of having additional conviction in key moments.

This was the most considerable possible boost for the Panthers. One that makes picking up Brown’s fifth-year option when the time comes in 2023 an absolute no-brainer.

Brown, who was also the Panthers’ nominee for Walter Payton Man of the Year, is a foundational piece on and off the field. And based on his Twitter post after their game at the New Orleans Saints, the lineman heard all the slander coming his way before competitive action began.