3 Carolina Panthers players with the potential to dominate in 2023
By Dean Jones
Brian Burns - Carolina Panthers OLB
There aren't many pass-rushers around the league on Brian Burns' current trajectory. The former first-round pick is flourishing into a highly-productive performer, generating statistical increases across the board annually and emerging as a prominent leadership presence within the locker room for good measure.
The Carolina Panthers plan to unleash Burns as a 3-4 outside linebacker in Ejiro Evero's new system next season. Given how many improvements the former first-round pick made against the run in 2022, this switch comes with untold potential attached.
Burns is one of the most explosive edge rushers around. His game is becoming more refined and less reliant on his spin move, so a rise in the 12.5 sacks he attained last season cannot be dismissed entirely.
What made Burns' production more impressive last year was the distinct lack of consistency that came from opposite the Florida State product on the defensive front. This proved that he can get the job done even as the focal point of opposing protection schemes.
The Panthers are going to make Burns one of the league's highest-paid pass-rushers before the new season, one suspects. Something he deserves, even if it does raise the expectations heading into Year 5 of his career exponentially.