All last season; well, whenever fans took a break from lamenting on the oft-injured offensive line, Panthers fans longed for a consistent and aggressive pass rush. On Thursday, the Carolina front office listened and grabbed Brian Burns, the athletic defensive end from Florida State.
With the Panthers shifting to a 3-4 defensive scheme, Burns simple makes sense. Although scouts felt that Burns, at 6’5, 249 pounds, is a liability in the run game, his speed and quickness in the open field makes him a viable hybrid linebacker. Back in Charlotte, there was a collective sigh of release when Burns was still available at #16. Speaking from Bank of America stadium, general manager Marty Hurney said of Burns, “He’s got a drive. He knows what he’s got to work on (getting stronger). He’s our kind of guy. I think he really wanted to be here. He’s got elite traits that are hard to find.” “He’s got a huge ceiling. He can be one of the best. He knows it.”
Burns’ family isn’t new to the Panther organization. His older brother, Stanley McClover played for the Panthers as a 2006 7th-round pick. Burns fondly remembered being in the presence of recently retired Panthers legend Julius Peppers and says that he’s glad to fill those shoes.
Burns leaves FSU as a first-team All-ACC selection and led the team with 15.5 tackles, 10 sacks, 3 pass break ups, and 3 forced fumbles. The versatile athlete says he’s ready to step in and try to fill the voids left by Thomas Davis and recently retired Julius Peppers as a hybrid defensive end/outside linebacker.