Derrick Brown: Breaking Down the Pick & Brown's Fit
The Carolina Panthers made the safe and obvious choice by drafting Derrick Brown with the No.7 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Prior to the draft, many Panthers fans voiced their disapproval circling around the possibility that Carolina would select All-American defensive tackle. Brown did not get the media hype that an Isaiah Simmons, Chase Young, or Jeffrey Okudah got leading up to the draft but people should know that the Panthers got a solid Day One starting defensive lineman with perennial All-Pro potential.
Brown secured himself as the best interior defensive line prospect and will fit like a glove on Carolina’s defense. The Panthers lost the majority of their interior defensive line and pass rush this offseason - Gerald McCoy, Mario Addison, Vernon Butler Jr., Bruce Irvin, and Dontari Poe - who produced 33 of the team’s 53 total sacks in 2019.
While Brown may not be a defensive tackle to post double-digit sack numbers, his rare combination of size, monstrous power, and explosiveness make him an unblockable force - even against double teams - on defense. Defensive tackles with Brown’s size (6-foot-5, 325 pounds) rarely possess the nimbleness and athleticism he provides, giving him an All-Pro ceiling and a solid starter floor on Day One.
Brown has proven to be successful one-gapping or two-gapping between the tackles by using his first-step explosiveness, power, and unrelenting motor to clog up running lanes and disrupt the line of scrimmage. The Auburn product has the potential to be more than just a pressure rusher in the passing game if he improves his hand technique and timing as a pass rusher which could propel him to record consistent double-digit sack seasons in the NFL.
Derrick Brown is an elite every-down impact force who will anchor the Panthers’ interior defense and has perennial All-Pro potential due to the fact that he currently only uses his physical traits to make plays. Once he couples his immense power, explosiveness, and develops NFL-caliber techniques, he could find himself as a hybrid Fletcher Cox/Ndamukong Suh star defensive tackle.
The Panthers now have a defensive line consisting of Kawann Short, Stephen Weatherly, Brian Burns, and now Derrick Brown. The team will look to continue to build this defense up with their No.38 pick and or their No.69 pick on Friday and throughout the weekend.
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