The Carolina Panthers wanted to beef up their defense in the 2019 NFL Draft and they were able to do that with the No. 16 overall pick. Brian Burns was drafted out of Florida State and will bring much-needed pass rushing and speed to the defense. He was an absolute star for the Seminoles and his future is incredibly bright.
Last season with the Seminoles, Burns ended up recording 52 total tackles to go along with 15.5 tackles for loss, 10.0 sacks, three forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and three defended passes.
Standing in at 6-foot-5 and 250 pounds, Burns ended up running a 4.53 40-yard dash and also received a comparison to Chicago Bears’ linebacker Leonard Floyd. It may not be the best comparison ever, but Floyd has shown flashes of being a very dominant player. Burns certainly has the tools and talent to become a star at the NFL level.
Carolina has always prided themselves on their defense and that will not change at any point in time under head coach Ron Rivera. Burns joins an excellent linebacker group led by Luke Kuechly. He will also help replace the loss of veteran pass rusher Julius Peppers, who retired this offseason.
All of that being said, there are some things that fans may not know about their new pass rusher. Let’s dive in and take a look at five of those things.
5. His Eating Habits to Gain Weight Were Insane
Some fans will already known this one, but Burns needed to gain weight after signing with Florida State to play college football. In order to do so, he started eating 4,000 calories each day. That is way more than most people are able to eat, but it certainly did the trick and he turned out to be an absolutely dominant athlete.
4. Burns Is a Massive fan of Spider-Man
This is going to be something that many of Burns’ new fans have in common with the Panthers’ new defensive weapon. He is a huge fan of Spider-Man, bringing out the inner kid in him. Add in the fact that Burns showed up to the NFL Draft with Spider-Man socks and fans will like him even more.
3. He Already Has His Sights Set on Tom Brady
Next up, Burns has already made a bold statement since joining the Panthers, making it very clear that he has his sights set on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Soon after being drafted, Burns was asked who he wanted to sack the most, and it didn’t take him long to blurt out Brady’s name. Carolina fans have to love seeing their new rookie setting the bar high.
Take a look at the clip for yourself:
— Fair Game (@FairGameonFS1) April 24, 2019
2. There Are Other Professional Sports Stars from His High School
While this fact may not be of major interest from a football perspective, it is always interesting to see connections between athletes, especially those in different sports. Burns went to American Heritage School in Southern Florida, which was also the school that MLB star Eric Hosmer went to. Another NFL player currently playing that went to the school is Patriots’ second-year running back Sony Michel.
1. His Brother Has Also Played for the Panthers
Finally, and most interestingly, Burns is not the first member of his family to play for the Panthers. His brother, Stanley McClover, had a brief stint with the team. Burns is hoping to make a bigger impact than his brother did, but it’s still a very cool connection to Carolina.