Brian Burns has yet to suit in a Carolina Panthers practice uniform, let alone play his first NFL game. Still, the 16th overall pick of the 2019 draft already knows exactly which NFL quarterback he wants to sack most.
Burns, of course, was talking about Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback who won his sixth Lombardi Trophy last season at the age of 41. Unfortunately for Burns, though, he won’t get the chance to sack Brady as a rookie unless his team meets the Patriots in the Super Bowl. New England isn’t included on Carolina’s 2019 regular-season schedule.
Still, the Florida State product will have plenty of other opportunities to sack other marquee signal-callers, including Jared Goff, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, and division-rivals Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. If his collegiate production is any indication, expect Burns to take advantage. He had 52 tackles, 15 and-a-half tackles for loss, and 10 sacks in 2018, leading the Seminoles’ defense in the last two categories en route to First-Team All-ACC honors.
Brian Burns, at a lean 6-foot-5, 249 pounds, still needs to add some thickness to his frame to better hold up against the run, but should emerge as a valuable situational pass-rusher at the very least as a rookie due to his speed, length, and quickness. He expressed no concerns about adding weight at his press conference, claiming he’d packed on 20 pounds throughout the pre-draft process.