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. 4: Derrick Brown - Carolina Panthers DL

One of the biggest reasons why you should be excited about Ejiro Evero's defense is the man who broke out in a big way last season. That, of course, is Derrick Brown.

When the Carolina Panthers drafted Brown out of Auburn in the 2020 NFL Draft, it was with the idea he could develop into one of the best nose tackles or interior defensive players in the league. During his first two campaigns, he struggled with consistency as a pass rusher and run defender overall as some fans began to call him a bust.

This is why you give first-round selections at least three years before judging their former draft status.

Brown became a force for Carolina. While the numbers weren't exactly ideal to the level you would expect from a top-10 defensive tackle, he certainly became one of the best noses in football.

The former Tiger dominates the line of scrimmage with raw power, explosiveness, and rare quickness for a 6-foot-5, 320-pound interior lineman. He will push the pocket and opposing linemen into the lap of the QB and Brown does a great job one and two-gapping, displaying the rapid movement to make plays behind the line.

I expect Brown to take a step forward in production. Even if he doesn't, his current play makes him one of the more feared young interior defensive linemen in the league.

I think Brown will enjoy his time playing under Evero. This should further exploit his pass-rush arsenal that has flashed over the last few seasons.