Ranking the 10 best Carolina Panthers players from 2022 season

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /
7 of 10
Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Derrick Brown /

. . . DERRICK BROWN. 4. player. 87

Derrick Brown – Carolina Panthers DT

  • 67 tackles
  • 5 tackles for loss
  • 1 sack
  • 7 passes defended

When Derrick Brown got drafted in 2020, expectations were that he would be an elite run-stopper. While he may not be an All-Pro level player, the defensive tackle is an integral cog for the Carolina Panthers who made monumental strides this season.

Statistically, it seems like the former Auburn Tiger still needs work, but that is not the case. Brown played primarily at the 0 or 1 technique, meaning his job was to create space, generate push, and allow for the linebackers and safeties to flow to the ball.

And he did all of that at a high level. Brown’s impact in the middle forces defenses to run the ball to the outside, an area where Carolina’s edge players and linebackers thrived.

Most runs directed at Brown were swallowed up or directed to his teammates. Letting them make tackles for minimal yards.

Brown is the most crucial component of Carolina’s run defense. The one game where he missed a lot of snaps due to an illness was also the team’s worst defensive performance of the season. A game where the Cincinnati Bengals ran all over the Panthers and Joe Mixon scored five touchdowns.

Don’t be deceived by the low number of sacks and tackles for loss. Brown had a great season and quashed any doubts about his long-term NFL aspirations at the right time.