- AProjectionRound 1
- Arm33 ⅞
Strong Points: Measured in Indy way bigger than what he played at and had a phenomenal workout at the larger weight. Tall with long arms (33 7/8"). Productive pass rusher (23 career sacks). Very good chase player. Very good overall athlete with smooth change of direction. Played from both a 2- and 3-point stance and has experience dropping into coverage.
Weak Points: Still needs to get a little bigger (255 -- 260 would be ideal). Can be slow off blocks. Doesn't always play strong and he didn't bench at the combine. Hand use needs to improve. He has dropped into coverage, but he is not experienced playing in coverage. Game is built on speed, not power and Burns has to learn to play with more explosiveness.
The Way We See It: A very productive speed pass rusher at the college level, but Burns has a limited pass rush repertoire. He has very good initial quickness and the flexibility to bend and turn the corner, but he doesn't have many moves or countermoves. He flashes an inside spin and can be slow to redirect to come back across his opponents face. In the run game, once a blocker gets his hands on Burns, it can be all over. His added bulk should help in this area. Burns has tremendous upside because of his speed and athleticism but still needs to get a little bigger and much stronger. He also must develop a more diverse rush plan. Burns will be best as a 3-4 outside linebacker, but he can also play right end in a 4-3 if he gets stronger. He is not unlike Leonard Floyd of the Bears when Floyd came out of Georgia in 2016. Floyd went in the Top-10 (No. 9 overall) and Burns could very well go in the same area because of his traits and upside.
Hub Arkush: Burns has a chance to be a special pass rusher, but whether he can add enough bulk and strength to be a four-down defensive end or outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme is the $64,000 question. He checks in at 6-5, 249 but looks more like 230, and right now his game is built strictly on speed. Does he have the power to handle NFL tackles once they get their hands on him? Though he has a special first step off the edge on the rush, whether he can play the run is uncertain and he wasn't asked to drop in coverage at Florida State. But as a pure pass rusher, Burns can be a blur going by less-skilled tackles.
Best Fit: Falcons, Panthers, Lions, Patriots
Red Flags: Basketball build. More athlete than football player. Must get stronger.
NFL Comp: Julius Peppers, Leonard Floyd, Vic Beasley