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Carolina Panthers Brian Burns projected as opportunistic rookie

As Brian Burns waited patiently on draft day to hear his name called, Carolina Panthers general manager Marty Hurney had to be eager. Watching the first-round unfold Carolina had Burns targeted, needing to add a pass rusher on the outside who would fit into their new defensive philosophy.

Set to feature various fronts next season, coach Ron Rivera is expected to evolve from his traditional 4-3 set into more 3-4 looks. This shift is being made to create different avenues of pressure for the Panthers to attack opposing quarterbacks. Nowhere is this more important than in the NFC South, where teams face both Drew Brees and Matt Ryan twice every year.