The Panthers needed a pass rusher and with the 16th pick in the NFL Draft they got one in Florida State defensive end/linebacker Brian Burns – a guy who the Panthers had their sights on from the very beginning.
“The way the draft went we felt we were going to be able to get a good football player,” Panthers GM Marty Hurney said after the selection. “We get a guy who we think has elite athletic ability, he’s got length, he’s got speed, he’s got elite change of direction, he makes plays rushing the passer and that was one of the needs we wanted to address. There were times coming into this process I didn’t think he was going to be there, but he was and we’re trilled to have him.”
“He’s a solid young man, very bright, very intelligent, he understands the game and has a good feel for the game,” Ron Rivera said. “When we interviewed him at the combine and we had him come in, there were a lot of positive things that came out of our interactions with him that pushed him right to the top of our list. Knowing that one of the things we want to do is impact and effect our pass rush, we felt would start in that direction. He’s a guy that fits the mold exactly for what we’re looking for – very excited about having a guy with his skill-set.”
Last season, Burns led the Seminoles with 15.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks – earning him first team All-ACC Honors. The hybrid end/rush linebacker, seemed especially excited to come to Carolina – the same franchise who selected his brother, Stanley McClover, in the 7th round of the 2006 NFL Draft.
“It’s really mind blowing that I’m going to the Carolina Panthers and my brother played for them. It was already an attractive place to go because I’ve been there before. I felt really comfortable with the coaches and it felt good. It felt like a perfect fit. I’ve seen my name connected to the Panthers a lot and that means that it was already written and I’m glad it was written this way.”