Stock Up: Brian Burns
One of the most highly anticipated sights on Thursday night was the debut of rookie defensive end Brian Burns. The first-round pick out of Florida State will be leaned upon to help improve an abysmal Panthers pass rush that finished 27th in the NFL last season in sacks.
Well after one game, it’s hard not to get excited. Burns was excellent in his debut, getting to the quarterback for two sacks. He displayed an elite swim move to get past a blocking tight end and corral the quarterback on his second sack and was in and around the pocket all night.
Burns is going to be a key piece of this defense and improving on the pass rush will go a long way towards making the Panthers an NFC South contender.
Burns is a long, hyper-athletic defensive end that will only improve as the season goes on. If he can stay healthy and team up with recent additions like Bruce Irvin and Gerald McCoy, the Panthers are in line for a massive improvement in 2019.