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Get to know first-round pick Derrick Brown

GTK Derrick Brown

The Panthers added the first member of its 2020 draft class Thursday night by selecting defensive tackle Derrick Brown with the seventh overall pick.

Brown spent the last four years at Auburn, where the defensive tackle totaled 170 career tackles, 13.0 sacks and 33.5 tackles for loss. As a senior, Brown earned consensus All-America honors and was a finalist for the Outland, Nagurski and Bednarik awards.

Now, before Brown makes his way to Carolina, get to know the newest Panther.

Setting the right example

When Brown settles down in Charlotte, he won't be coming on his own. His 16-month-old son Kai will be joining him.

After the conclusion of Brown's junior season at Auburn, he and longtime girlfriend Tayla Main welcomed a baby boy, and since then, Kai has been Brown's motivation. Despite being a projected first-round pick in the 2019 draft, the defensive tackle opted to return to Auburn for his senior year – and Kai was part of the reason why. 

Brown said he knows that when the time comes he'll find himself pushing Kai to earn his degree, so it was only right for him to go back and finish his before leaving Auburn.

What's next?

Exactly what Brown will do with his degree is still up in the air, though.

In December of 2019, Brown graduated from Auburn's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business, but that doesn't mean he's set on heading into the world of marketing once his playing days are over.

Brown has expressed an interest in a number of different fields, but one thing has always remained the same: he's repeatedly been quoted as saying he's determined to be more than just an athlete.

Brown's knack for politics and keeping up with current events even earned himself a few nicknames with his teammates at Auburn, like "Baby Barack" or "Channel 5, Reporting Live."

A natural leader

His mind may not be made up yet, but politics could be a fitting next chapter for Brown, considering he's already served as president once.

During his senior year at Auburn, Brown was the president of the university's Student Athlete Advisory Committee, which works to give student athletes a voice when it comes to regulations and policies. Brown also served as a member of the SEC's Student-Athlete Leadership Council, a larger body that meets annually with the conference commissioner to discuss SEC and NCAA rules.

Brown also earned back-to-back recognition as a finalist for the Jason Witten College Man of the Year award, given to one college football player each year who exhibits "exceptional courage, integrity and sportsmanship both on and off the field."

It's easy to see how Brown leads on the field, but he's just as much a leader in the classroom and in the community, too.

View photos of Carolina's first-round pick, Derrick Brown, out of Auburn.

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