Brian Burns 2019 NFL Draft Profile

Overview
Position: Edge defender
Height: 6’5″
Weight: 249 pounds
School: Florida State Seminoles

Combine Performance Data
40-yard dash: 4.53 seconds (third-best amongst edge rushers)
Vertical jump: 36 inches
Broad jump: 10 feet, 9 inches (second-best amongst edge rushers)
Three-cone drill: 7.01 seconds (fifth-best amongst edge rushers)

Brian Burns 2019 NFL Draft Profile

The 2019 NFL Draft class is regarded as defensively dominant and it is highlighted by a group of very talented edge rushers. One of them hails from the state of Florida and that is Brian Burns. Born in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Burns went on to have a successful high school career at American Heritage. The defensive end recorded 135 tackles and 28 sacks through his junior and senior season and was ranked as a five-star recruit by 247Sports. Burns’ athleticism and quickness generated plenty of national buzz as he went on to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in 2016 before committing to the Florida State Seminoles.

It did not take long for Burns’ impact to be felt at Florida State. As a freshman, Burns recorded 9.5 sacks which led all freshman in 2016 to go along with 10.5 tackles for loss. After being named a Freshman All-American, Burns saw a dip in production his sophomore year and recorded 48 tackles and only 4.5 sacks. Despite the low numbers, Burns had his best game versus Clemson that season and recorded a career-high seven tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and two sacks.

Burns bounced back nicely in 2018 and recorded 52 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in 12 games. The edge rusher was named fourth team All-American and first-team All-ACC. He not only earned team MVP and defensive MVP honors but also served as the Seminoles captain displaying leadership on and off the field. After the 2018 season, Burns declared for the NFL Draft.

Strengths

  • has desirable height and length for an NFL-caliber edge rusher;
  • has an elite level of athleticism for the position;
  • extremely quick off the line of scrimmage;
  • beats offensive tackles with speed rush time and time again;
  • has an elite level spin move that he sets up very well;
  • has incredible bend when turning the corner in his pass rush;
  • sets up his counter moves at an elite level;
  • has a knack for forcing fumbles once near the quarterback;
  • a leader of the locker room – voted team captain in 2018;
  • shoots the gap very well in run defense;
  • takes good pursuit angles;
  • rarely misses tackles when ball carriers are in his grasp.

Weaknesses

  • considered a little too underweight for his position;
  • does get pushed around by linemen in run block scenarios;
  • will need to improve overall strength;
  • struggles to disengage from blockers in the run game;
  • very little experience playing with a hand in the dirt;

NFL ComparisonChandler Jones

Teams with Need at PositionArizona Cardinals, Carolina Panthers, Detroit Lions, New England Patriots, New York Giants, New York Jets, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Projection: Top 20 Overall

Bottom Line

There is a lot to like in Burns’ game as he can easily become one of the league’s most prolific pass rushers in a 3-4 defense. The one knock on him is that he struggles to provide much run support in comparison to prospects like Nick Bosa or Montez Sweat. Nonetheless, Burns’ natural bendability and athleticism will allow him to be a guy that gives NFL offensive tackles plenty of problems. He may be only a two-down player his first couple of seasons in the league, but once Burns improves his ability to defend the run, he should become an elite NFL edge.

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