The NFL Draft is here and it is time for GM Marty Hurney and the Carolina Panthers to make their selection with the No. 16 overall pick.
Hurney and the front office have had a quietly impressive offseason, and have a chance to further build on it with the draft. The Panthers will likely draft an edge rusher or an offensive tackle -- but there is plenty of talent on the board at both positions. So, that leave's a huge question mark for the No. 16 pick.
The best two prospects at offensive tackle in this draft include Florida's Jawaan Taylor and Alabama's Jonah Williams -- but they will likely be gone in the first ten picks. Carolina can either go to the next best tackle in Cody Ford from Oklahoma -- or they can pick the best pass rusher.
There is a great pool of talent with pass rushers and it is likely that a few of them will be drafted within the top 15 picks. Ohio State's Nick Bosa will likely be gone within the first two picks and players like Josh Allen, Rashan Gary and Montez Sweat will likely be off the board. Carolina will obviously pick the best pass rusher on the board if they want to draft that position. But, the one pass rusher that will likely slip to No. 16 will be Brian Burns, and he would make a perfect fit for the Panthers.
Burns is a 6-foot-5, 250 pound pass rusher from Florida State. He ran a 4.5 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine and finished last season with 9.5 sacks -- along with 10.5 tackles for loss. His ability to use his swift spin move and blow by defenders have caught the eyes of NFL scouts and ultimately bumped up his NFL stock.
The Panthers lost their legendary defensive end in Julius Peppers and only have Addison as a viable starter. They did add Bruce Irvin to the mix, but he will likely be a rotational player with his age. The team was ranked No. 27 in sacks last seasons with only 35 -- and it ultimately affected the young secondary.
If the Panthers were to draft Burns, he would be a starter from the beginning and replace Peppers. His size and lightning quick speed would be the ultimate replacement for a Panthers legend.