Carolina Panthers: Derrick Brown the ideal first-round target

The Carolina Panthers have taken on a lot of roster change in the 2020 offseason. Derrick Brown could be the ideal foundation piece for the future.

Matt Rhule’s deconstruction of the Carolina Panthers’ roster has been as impressive as any undertaking in the NFL during the 2020 offseason.

Rhule, who was hired to the Panthers after a tremendous couple of stops as the head coach of the Temple Owls and Baylor Bears (among other jobs) has certainly been abiding by the ‘bring in my own guys’ philosophy, letting go of a number of prominent Panthers players including former league MVP and franchise quarterback Cam Newton.

There have been plenty of players added to the mix this offseason to keep the Panthers competitive in the NFC South, but this team is starting from scratch in a lot of ways.

With the seventh pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft, there may not be a better scenario than the Panthers being able to take Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown.

Brown, an All-American and one of the most dominant players at the collegiate level the past two seasons on the defensive line, would be a critical foundation piece for a dismantled Panthers defensive line which has lost starters and key contributors left and right this offseason, including:

  • Dontari Poe
  • Mario Addison
  • Gerald McCoy
  • Vernon Butler

With that many losses up front on defense, there’s no doubt the Panthers need to make that area of their roster a top priority.

Ironically, Rhule would be starting off his era of Panthers football similar to the way Ron Rivera did — by making a star player from Auburn his top selection.

Brown is a tremendous asset both on and off the field, and exemplifies the kind of toughness and team-first mentality that Rhule prioritizes in his culture building.

Although the Panthers could certainly fall for a playmaker like Isaiah Simmons (if he’s even available), getting Brown would be no consolation — the Panthers would be bordering on NFL Draft theft by getting a player of his caliber with the seventh overall pick.

Next: 2020 NFL mock draft: 2 rounds with big trades

With two, potentially three quarterbacks slated to go ahead of Carolina, they are poised to get a top four non-QB player in this draft class and Brown would quite possibly be their best case scenario.

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