Vikings No. 4 pick, CB Brandon Burton, Utah

Posted April 30, 2011 @ 2:37 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

The Vikings might have made one of their better value picks with Utah CB Brandon Burton, who graded out as a third-rounder on some teams' boards. But he also was beaten a lot in college and might need to be rolled up in press coverage to be effective. Let's take a look at what PFW draft expert Nolan Nawrocki wrote about Burton in the 2011 Draft Preview book:

Notes: Also ran track as a Texas prep. Redshirted in 2007. Played in 11 games in '08 and recorded three tackles without a pass breakup or interception. Played in all 13 games in '09, with 12 starts, and logged 47 tackles, 10 pass breakups and an interception with four tackles for loss and a sack. Started all 13 games in '10 and tallied 51-8-2 with one tackle for loss, a forced fumble and two blocked kicks, including one that preserved a win against Brigham Young.

Positives: Good height and leaping ability to contend with big receivers (see Pittsburgh vs. Jonathan Baldwin). Has natural cover skills to turn, run and make plays on the ball. Is athletic and moves fluidly — accelerates and glides over turf. Enough speed to keep pace vertically. Good closing burst on plays in front of him. Has experience as a jammer. Good character.

Negatives: Has small hands. Too linear and straight-linish. Struggled to match up against better competition (see San Diego State, TCU and Notre Dame). Lacks elite top-end speed and twitch. Is lean and underpowered and needs to bulk up and improve functional strength — stays stuck on blocks and gets bullied on the perimeter. Does not square up ballcarriers and passes up some contact. Limited physicality. Technique needs refinement and is susceptible to double moves. Inconsistent and gets beat more than he should. Has a 32-inch vertical jump.

Summary: Good-sized, confident, finesse cover man who is most comfortable manning up and using his length and natural cover skills. Could develop into a No. 2 but is not an elite athlete and does not project as a core special-teamer, and soft playing style will turn off some teams.

NFL projection: Third- to fourth-round pick.