What to Expect From Brian Burns in Year Two

Schuyler Callihan

A year ago, the Carolina Panthers selected edge rusher Brian Burns out of Florida State with the 16th overall pick. 

In what many considered 2019 to be a lost season for the Panthers, it was a learning lesson for many of Carolina's young core pieces including Burns, who saw his fair share of ups and downs. The biggest thing that fans want to see is for Burns to put together some consistency. He has the ability to become an All-Pro, but at times looks out of sorts.

Burns finished the 2019 campaign rather strong and that could end up being a huge confidence booster heading into this season. Along with that, I think Burns will be one of the biggest beneficiaries of Phil Snow taking over the duties as defensive coordinator. Snow likes to have a multiple look and changes his alignments not only from week to week, but drive to drive as well. He moves his playmakers around so they're never lining up in one spot more than the other and he finds creative ways to get them into position to make plays. His versatility and ability to play multiple spots on the defense will allow him to fit right in with what Snow wants to do defensively.

Carolina's defensive line should be much improved as well in 2020 with the return of Kawann Short and the addition of Derrick Brown. Those two alone will create a ton of room for Burns to shoot gaps and set the edge. 

Should Burns put it all together, he could easily end up with double digit sacks and be one of the most improved defensive players in the NFC. The jump in production for Burns should be pretty massive and I would not be the slightest bit shocked to see him emerge as the team's defensive leader as we navigate through the season.

Successful season

A successful season for Burns would mean that he has taken over the reigns as one of the best defensive players for the Panthers and leads the team or is near the top in sacks. If Burns shows he can be a consistent run stopper, that likely means that he put it all together.

Subpar season

As for a subpar season, Burns would have to endure a season of many ups and downs similar to his rookie campaign or just flat out take a step back in his development. Although he is only entering his second season, the Panthers will need to be able to rely on him. If he shows that he can't be someone they can count on, it would certainly be considered a letdown season for Brian Burns.

What are you expecting from Brian Burns in 2020? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below!

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