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Panthers 2022 season opener countdown: 53 days to go

We’re counting down the days until the Panthers kickoff the 2022 season.

NFL: New York Jets at Carolina Panthers Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Since we are now down to just 53 days before the Panthers start the 2022 regular season, we’re going to take a look at No. 53 on the roster — defensive end Brian Burns.

The Panthers drafted Burns (6’5, 250) in the first round (No. 16 overall) of the 2019 NFL Draft. In the three years since, he’s played in every single game except one back in 2020 and has become known for his Spider-Man post-sack celebrations. Burns has gotten more disruptive as his career has gone on, even notching his first career Pro Bowl selection last season after posting 51 tackles, 18 quarterback hits, 13 tackles for loss and 9 sacks. Though he has never posted a double-digit sack season, Burns already ranks ninth in Panthers history with 25.5 sacks so far, which also ranks as the highest number by any player who entered the league in 2019. His brother, Stanley McClover, was drafted by the Panthers in 2006. McClover is a heavy Twitter presence on behalf of his younger brother and can often be seen at home games hyping up the crowd.

In college, Burns was a forced to be reckoned with off the edge at Florida State. Here is a quick recap of his best season with the Seminoles (2018), courtesy of the Panthers website:

In 2018, was named to Phil Steele’s All‐America team, All‐ACC First Team and Bednarik Award semifinalist...produced 52 tackles, including 15.5 for loss with 10.0 sacks, eight quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles, three pass breakups and one fumble recovery

That type of playmaking ability is what led the Panthers to use a first round pick on the young pass rusher, and so far he has shown that ability to get to the quarterback. Some Panthers fans are starting to get a little restless with his inability to break the double-digit sack threshold, though, especially since his cap hit jumps to over $16 million dollars next season after the Panthers picked up his fifth-year option back in April. In order to really solidify himself as a cornerstone of the defense and break the bank on a possible contract extension, Burns has to get to some of these quarterbacks just a half-step quicker to up those sack numbers.

What do you think Panthers fans? Will Brian Burns snare a double-digit sack season in his web, or will his massive extension hopes get squashed this season?