Panthers bolster pass rush with Brian Burns in 1st round
Don Juan Moore / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Carolina Panthers selected pass-rusher Brian Burns out of Florida State with the 16th overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft.

He has rare size, length, and explosiveness for the position and adds a high-upside player to Carolina's front-four. Mario Addison and Bruce Irvin currently sit atop the Panthers' depth chart at defensive end.

Burns was an all ACC first-team selection this past season and was viewed as a prospect with one of the highest ceilings in the draft. He accumulated 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss in 2018.

Prospect profile

School: Florida State
Height: 6-5
Weight: 249 lbs

Strengths

  • Tall with long arms used to set edge
  • Excellent pursuit speed
  • Quick-twitch athlete, explodes off the snap
  • Powerful, sudden hands
  • Uses a plethora of effective pass-rush moves and counters
  • Incredibly flexible, runs the arc and changes direction with ease
  • Productive collegiate career, dominated elite offensive tackles
  • Very good athlete for position
  • Lethal bend/rip and inside spin

Weaknesses

  • Thin frame, should add weight for NFL
  • Can be overpowered in run defense
  • Doesn't convert speed to power

Bottom line

Burns is arguably the best pure pass-rusher in this year's class, which will place him high on a number of teams' draft boards. The lanky defender profiles as a solid fit in both 4-3 and 3-4 defenses, but will likely be asked to add some weight and strength to secure an every-down role early in his career. There are concerns, but Burns is a developed edge rusher who possesses elite athleticism, excellent bend through contact, and solid collegiate production.

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Panthers bolster pass rush with Brian Burns in 1st round
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