Oren Burks 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Position: Linebacker
Height: 6’3″
Weight: 233 pounds
School: Vanderbilt Commodores

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash
: 4.59 seconds
Bench press: 18 reps
Vertical jump: 39.5 inches (second among linebackers)
Broad jump: 10 feet, 11 inches (first among linebackers)
Three-cone drill: 6.82 seconds (third among linebackers)
20-yard shuttle: 4.15 seconds (second among linebackers)

Oren Burks 2018 NFL Draft Profile

Oren Burks was one of Vanderbilt’s bright spots last fall. On the field, Burks developed quick instincts while playing multiple positions on Derek Mason‘s Black Death defense as a safety, linebacker, and a “star” hybrid position. His versatility will make him an asset to any NFL defense. His football I.Q. and game intelligence will help him adapt quickly.

Off the field, he is a philanthropist through and through. Burks was a member of the 2016 Allstate Good Works team. His call to serve his team, school, community, and mankind is above and beyond most men twice his age.

Burks is entering the draft after his redshirt senior season. The comparisons to fellow Commodore Zach Cunningham, now with the Houston Texans, are many. Yet Burks’ Combine performance bested Cunningham in every category. Burks played three positions during his college career at Vanderbilt. Most would perceive this as a weakness. With Burks, this is a strength. He is versatile, intelligent and adaptable to any defense. He is essentially a hybrid player that will fit in well with the speed of the ever-changing NFL defensive landscape.

Burks started 11 of 12 games last season with 45 solo tackles and 82 total tackles. He registered seven tackles for loss, a quarterback sack, interception and a fumble recovery. Burks had 15 tackles at Florida and 12 tackles against Kentucky. He ended his career with 40 starts in 45 games. His final stats as a Commodore are 237 total tackles, 136 solo tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss and five interceptions.


  • A leader on the field
  • Football IQ
  • Game Intelligence
  • Quickness
  • Athleticism
  • Great Instincts
  • Explosive
  • Physical
  • Aggressive
  • Extremely Versatile
  • Great Length
  • Strong on the run sideline to sideline


  • Needs to improve on tackling and follow through
  • Has a tendency to get neutralized in the hole
  • Needs more consistency with tackling
  • Needs to become more effective in slipping blocks

NFL Comparison: Zach Cunningham

Teams with a Need at Position: Buffalo Bills, Dallas Cowboys, Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Miami Dolphins, Minnesota Vikings, New York Giants, New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Projection: Sixth to seventh round

Bottom Line

Oren Burks has explosive speed and range that gives him the ability to play sideline to sideline and get to the ball. His game intelligence, football IQ, and versatility will help him adapt to the NFL, thus making his playing potential is limitless.

Burks length will make him an attractive pick, as well as his awareness on the field. He’s a versatile and athletic player. He’s also aggressive and is not afraid to attack. Burks has the ability to be a game changer. He is not a perfect player with some inconsistencies, but they are fixable issues with some repetition and practice. Burks has the potential to make an immediate impact on any team willing to draft him. He will be an effective team leader on and off the field.

Main Photo Credit:

OXFORD, MS – SEPTEMBER 26: Oren Burks #20 of the Vanderbilt Commodores intercepts a pass intended for Evan Engram #17 of the Mississippi Rebels during the first quarter of a game at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium on September 26, 2015 in Oxford, Mississippi. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)