Carolina Panthers

NFL Draft: Carolina Panthers pick Florida State DE/OLB Brian Burns in first round

Grading Brian Burns, the Panthers’ first-round pick

Jourdan Rodrigue grades the Panthers first-round draft pick, Brian Burns out of Florida State.
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Jourdan Rodrigue grades the Panthers first-round draft pick, Brian Burns out of Florida State.

BRIAN BURNS

Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.

Position: Defensive end.

College: Florida State.

What he offers: Burns has arguably the best first step of any defensive end prospect in the draft. He has athleticism to spare, and will look to use it to help the Panthers manufacture defensive pressure. His slighter frame has been a small point of criticism among some analysts, but with Carolina transitioning to more of a mixed defensive front, Burns will fit well at both defensive end and outside linebacker depending any given defensive front.

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Worth mentioning: Burns will immediately be in the mix to start at defensive end across from Mario Addison. Burns can rotate with free-agent signee Bruce Irvin to help replace the recently-retired Julius Peppers.

Bet you didn’t know: His brother Stanley McClover was a seventh-round pick by the Panthers in 2006.

What they’re saying: “He has the best first step in the draft.” - NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah.

Watch this Panthers draft preview with Panthers beat reporters Marcel Louis-Jaques Jourdan Rodrigue sharing what the team needs and who to watch for

Brendan Marks is a general assignment sports reporter for the Charlotte Observer covering the Carolina Panthers, Charlotte Hornets, NASCAR and more. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has worked for the Observer since August 2017.


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