Ranking the top 10 Carolina Panthers players on the active roster in 2023

Jeremy Chinn
Jeremy Chinn / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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No. 1: Brian Burns - Carolina Panthers OLB

The top player in the Carolina Panthers organization is none other than cornerstone pass rusher Brian Burns.

Let's go ahead and get this out of the way: Burns is not going to be traded anytime soon. He's due for a contract extension where he might get north of $20 million per year, and Carolina was right not to deal him around the deadline last fall.

He's the best player on the team, period.

Burns can do it all. He tees off from the line of scrimmage and can win with an outstanding bend, an elite first step, and the explosiveness to cause even the best offensive tackles to overset in pass protection and become overwhelmed by the speed and quickness - one of the bigger reasons he had 12 sacks last season.

The former 2019 first-round pick has also added the ability to defend the run, racking up 17 tackles for loss, displaying added power and overall play strength. Burns also has the athleticism to drop as a hook or flat defender in certain situations.

What makes things scarier is that Burns is a perfect fit for Ejiro Evero's defense. He will look to produce another 10-plus sack season to show why he's the best player on the roster, no matter what Bryce Young does this season.

I'm excited about what's to come for No. 0.