The Draft is in the books and the dust has settled. But how well did your team do in the first round?
We are taking a look back at every selection in the first round and giving you the lowdown on the pick; Was it a reach? Was it a steal? We’ll tell you and give you the impact for fantasy football….
Pick: 16th Overall
Player: Brian Burns
Drafted By: Carolina Panthers
For me, this is an absolute home run of a pick and maybe the best of the first round. Burns was the #9 player on my pre draft board, so to get him at 16 is a bargain, especially when most expected him to be off the board way before the Panthers had a chance to get their hands on him. He just sort of fell into their laps much in the way that Derwin James fell into the laps of my Chargers last draft season. I wonder if Burns can have a similar impact.
Well first off, Burns fills a big need and makes Carolina, younger, quicker and far more potent off the edge. Burns is a pure speed rusher who has a bevy of moves to call upon and 15.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last year for the Seminoles, shows he knows how to navigate his way to the quarterback.
Burns isn’t a greatest run defender and since he weighed in at the scouting combine at 249 lbs, he will be best served by adding some weight to his frame. This added bulk will hopefully make him more stout when setting the edge. His frame is pretty similar to Danielle Hunter of the Vikings when he was coming out of LSU in 2015 and 40 sacks in 3 years later, Hunter is one of the better pass rushers in the NFL; so the path to success has already to blazed for Brian Burns.
Burns should also form a nice duo with Bruce Irvin on the other side and when we add in fellow draftee, Christian Miller, another speedy edge who was taken in the 4th round, Carolina now have a nice trio off rushers, two of whom can grow up together and cause havoc for offensive linemen for years to come.
Fantasy Football Impact:
Burns will obviously only have true impact in IDP leagues but given his success in college I wouldn’t put it past him to be relevant in terms of the sacks and tackles/tackles for loss that he will accumulate.
In terms of the Carolina defense as a whole, well Burns absolutely improves the unit, which I would have down as a solid one in general. However unless you’ve picking your defense very late on, I doubt that you’ll be pining for the Panthers on your draft night, although they could be a nice streaming option later down the line.