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Panthers were playing Derrick Brown out of position

Derrick Brown may be on the rise, but he has yet to soar amongst the very best at his position . . . at least according to a few folks in the biz.

Using the votes and analysis from league decision makers, coaches, scouts and players, ESPN senior NFL national reporter Jeremy Fowler recently pieced together a top-10 list of the game’s best defensive tackles. And Brown, who’s coming off a breakout campaign, just misses out on the rankings.

The Carolina Panthers big man, however, landed in the “honorable mention” section—where Fowler included the following quote from an NFC executive:

“He’s coming. He was a bit out of position early in his career as a read-and-react guy, but late last year they had him attacking more. He’s 320 pounds and a hell of an athlete. I imagine he’ll be top 10 by next year.”

Brown, obviously, appeared much more comfortable in his role during the 2022 season. After two largely quiet years to start his NFL run, he posted career-highs in tackles (67), passes defensed (seven), stuffs (11.5), stops (31) and even in his Pro Football Focus grade (84.4).

And now that he’s in a position to be more of a wrecking ball than an anchor, even in Carolina’s switch to a 3-4 base, he may be able to position himself into an actual number on this list come next summer.


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Story originally appeared on Panthers Wire

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