CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers welcomed a new member to their team Thursday night.
The Panthers selected Florida State defensive end Brian Burns with the 16th pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Position flexibility is something coach Ron Rivera loves in defensive linemen and Burns has the skills to be both a rush defensive end and an outside linebacker. He did it at Florida State.
For his career as a Seminole, Burns had 124 tackles with 24 sacks and 39.5 tackles for loss.
This past season, Burns started all 12 games with 52 tackles and 10 sacks. He also had 15.5 tackles for loss and forced 3 fumbles.
Last season, the Panthers only tallied 35 sacks which was 27th in the NFL. Clearly they had to improve their pass rush and they did with this pick.
Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft will take place Friday night. In the 2nd round, the Panthers will have the 47th pick. In the 3rd round, Carolina will pick at #77 and #100.
In the 2018 draft, the Panthers selected wide receiver DJ Moore in the first round and cornerback Donte Jackson in the second round. Moore was selected to the 2018 All-Rookie Team by the Pro Football Writers Association.