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NFL Man of the Year Nominees 2022 | Panthers |


Carolina Panthers

DB Scholarship (1)

Derrick Brown


Table inside Article
Position College Years in the NFL
Defensive Tackle Auburn 3

Excellence on the Field:

Derrick Brown was selected as the Carolina Panthers #1 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and earned PFWA All-Rookie honors. At the 2022 midseason mark, he ranks second in the NFL in tackles by a defensive tackle and third among all defensive linemen. Only halfway through the season, Derrick only needs 16 tackles to break former Panthers Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawaan Short's single season position record of 55 tackles. He also garnered his first career interception in an early 2022 season win against the New Orleans Saints. While he doesn't play in a high-profile, traditional statistics-generating position, Derrick has positioned himself as a foundational building block and leader on the Panthers defensive unit.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts This Year:

Derrick commits his support to both the Charlotte community as well as his local community, Sugar Hill, GA. In May, Derrick went back to his alma mater, Lanier High School, and provided nine outstanding students with The Georgia Brown and Bill Rias Scholarship totaling $40,000. Named after his late grandparents, the scholarship was created to honor students' strengths in and out of the classroom and recognize individuals that have proven to be a role model for their peers. The scholarship program is designed to provide opportunity for engaged students with promising abilities whose GPA is 2.8 or 2.9, which aligns with Derrick's own high school GPA. "You never know what an individual could be going through at home and how that affects their schoolwork," said Derrick.

Dedication & Commitment to Community Efforts in Years Past:

Since joining the NFL, Derrick has known that this world under the lights is bigger than himself. Derrick started his foundation in August of 2022, which was a natural next step for him. To date, The Derrick Brown Foundation has impacted 3,000+ at-risk youth through community events and programming and 4,000+ families impacted through holiday gifting and resource distributions. Even throughout the pandemic, Derrick and his team found creative ways to stay involved; from COVID-19 care baskets for five foster families in-need full of essentials, to providing over $50,000 worth of in-kind Halloween costumes and candy for a Halloween Extravaganza. Derrick's Foundation partnered with state officials to feed 100 Veterans battling food insecurity every Veterans Day. They also partnered with Walmart to start a food security program that provided a special shopping spree for 25 families in need, and provided 3,000 families in Gwinnet County, GA with turkeys, produce and non-perishable products for Thanksgiving. Derrick also enjoys participating in a shopping spree with kids and families in need around the holidays. Derrick has partnered with Project Universal Love (PUL) on a myriad of these events, including a Holiday Bike and Toy Distribution gifting $100,000 worth of new toys, bikes and holiday gifts to 1,000 at-risk youth throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg County community and served 100 families through the Angel Tree program with holiday gifts. The past few summers, Derrick has worked with Nike, as a Nike community captain, to provide a free football camp, impacting 175 youth in the community of Sugar Hill, GA. Over $30,000 of in-kind support, gifts, food and equipment is donated by the foundation for each camp. Derrick and his foundation partnered with Gwinnett County Sheriff's Department to have 100 deputy sheriff's volunteer and participate in the camp while engaging with the youth to help bridge the gap between police and children in the Georgia community. In 2020, Derrick's efforts were recognized by the NFLPA as the Week 6 Community NFLPA Community MVP.

Positive Character & a Lifestyle of Giving Back:

"I've always been around people willing to give their last leg for others," said Derrick. He's motivated to be a leader and raise leaders in the community. Through the work of his foundation and its mission, Derrick works to empower at-risk youth and families in need through resource distribution, scholarships, educational advancement, and mentorship-based programming. Derrick is a humble man – he wants for nothing, squirms when the limelight is on him and serves others under the radar because selfless service was instilled in him at a young age. He grew up watching his parents provide for others even when they had "just enough". Raising his children to serve others, even though his circumstances have changed since being drafted in 2020, has been a tradition he intends to pass down to his children. It is not lost on Derrick that he has always been looking and striving for opportunities as he grew up. Providing opportunities for all has been a passion of Derrick's since starting his foundation. As a locker room leader, Brown serves as the team's alternate NFLPA representative. The Carolina Panthers are proud to select Derrick Brown as their Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year.