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Giants Now: Best is yet to come for Brian Burns

BRIAN-BURNS-GN predicts strong season for Brian Burns's Eric Edholm recently broke down nine players that he believes will have strong, bounce-back seasons in 2024. Giants outside linebacker Brian Burns made the list.

"Burns was pretty darned good last season, all things considered, but it was a trying final year in Carolina..." wrote Edholm. "The result was that Burns' sacks and pressure rate were both down from the previous two seasons, even though his performance hadn't dropped off considerably. But now that Burns has been paid by the Giants, operating on a line featuring Dexter Lawrence and Kayvon Thibodeaux, the hope is that the 26-year-old can make his sixth season the best of his career."

The Giants acquired the 6-foot-5, 250-pound linebacker in a trade with the Panthers during the first week of free agency. Burns was set to be one of the top free agents on the market this offseason before the Panthers placed the franchise tag on him.

The 26-year-old registered eight sacks, 16 tackles for loss, 18 quarterback hits, one forced fumble and two passes defensed across 16 games last season.

Burns' 46 career sacks are tied for 12th in the NFL since he entered the league in 2019, while his 59 tackles for loss are tied for sixth-most in that span. He also has eight forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries to go with his 95 quarterback hits.

Burns has never recorded fewer than 7.5 sacks and 16 quarterback hits in a season, which he did as a rookie. He posted career-highs in sacks (12.5) and quarterback hits (22) in 2022, when he earned his second consecutive Pro Bowl nod. He is one of only eight players in NFL history to record at least 7.5 sacks in each of their first five seasons.

According to Pro Football Focus, the trio of Burns, Lawrence and Thibodeaux combined for 148 quarterback pressures in 2023.

Lawrence was recently named the No. 2 interior defensive lineman by PFF, and earlier this offseason, the analytics site listed him as the No. 8 player overall from the 2023 season. He registered 4.5 sacks, seven tackles for loss, 21 quarterback hits and two passes defensed to go with his 53 total tackles (32 solo), along with a career-high 65 total pressures.

Meanwhile, Thibodeaux saw his sack total increase from four during his rookie campaign to 11.5 last season. The 23-year-old also set new career-highs with three forced fumbles, 12 tackles for loss and 16 quarterback hits.

All three players are below the age of 27.

The nine players featured on's list were:

  • QB Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars
  • QB Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
  • RB J.K. Dobbins, Los Angeles Chargers
  • WR Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers
  • TE Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons
  • OT Orlando Brown, Cincinnati Bengals
  • DT Daron Payne, Washington Commanders
  • OLB Brian Burns, New York Giants
  • LB Jack Campbell, Detroit Lions

View the best photos as the Giants take the field for minicamp at the Quest Diagnostics Training Center.

View photos of every move made by the Giants during the 2024 cycle.


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