The Panthers made defensive tackle Derrick Brown a first-round pick in 2020 and he promptly took a spot in the team’s starting lineup for his rookie season.
Brown had 34 tackles, two sacks and 12 quarterback hits while playing 70 percent of the defensive snaps for Carolina. Both sacks and 11 of the quarterback hits came in the second half of the season, which suggests Brown was finding his way in the NFL as the year came to an end and left him certain of things that are going to have to change in his second year with the team.
“I’ve got to play a lot better,” Brown said, via Darin Gantt of the team’s website. “I’ve got to be more consistent. At everything, every situation. I don’t think it’s one thing. It’s a focus. Last year, with everything going as fast as it was through my rookie year, it was trying to juggle everything. Now being able to sit down and focus and learn is the biggest thing.
The Panthers focused exclusively on defense in the 2020 draft and safety Jeremy Chinn was the standout of that group last year. A step up to that level for Brown would be a welcome development in Carolina this fall.