NFL Network debuted the first part of its NFL Top 100 list on Aug. 14, and the first 50 players were released.
The list is voted on by NFL players, and the first former Seminole recognized was Carolina Panthers defensive end, Brian Burns.
Burns ranked No. 76, ahead of players like Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Trey Hendrickson, Washington Commanders defensive end Jonathan Allen and Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett.
After being selected No. 16 overall by the Panthers in the 2019 NFL Draft, Burns has accumulated 25.5 sacks, 133 tackles and 55 quarterback hits in his career. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2021 after compiling 50 tackles (13 for loss), 18 quarterback hits and nine sacks (tied for career-high).
The former Seminole served as one of the team captains for the Panthers in 2021, and Carolina head coach Matt Rhule complimented Burns' leadership in a quote to Darin Gantt of Panthers.com.
"I think when young players see your best players be humble enough to get coached while being confident to attack on the field sends a good message," Rhule said. "Brian is a leader in that."
As a former first-round pick, Burns had his fifth-year option exercised by the Panthers after his three seasons. If Burns produces another Pro Bowl-caliber season, he could become one of the highest-paid edge rushers in the NFL next offseason.
Burns is the only former Florida State player to appear on the first half of the list. The next portion of the list releases on Aug. 21.
Carolina opens its regular season against the Cleveland Browns on Sept. 11 at 1 p.m.
Stick with NoleGameday for more coverage of Florida State football throughout fall camp.