NAME: Brian Burns
SCHOOL: Florida State
RECRUITMENT RATING: 4-star
WT: 231 lbs
Ball Get Off/Arc Speed: Possesses a lighting quick first step off the ball. His speed around the arc is very good but he doesn’t seem to maintain the initial jolt he gets from his first step. Can still win with pure speed regardless. Takes optimal length in his strides to cover ground in a hurry as well.
Run Defense: Has ideal length to become an excellent edge setter at the next level. Also, utilizes text book hand placement with his run fits. Can hold his own at the point of attack but occasionally gives up some push. Lacks the optimal strength/power to discard blockers out of his way. Shown the ability to blow plays up in the backfield with his explosive get off.
Motor: Motor is phenomenal. Almost never takes reps off and plays through the whistle. Loves how he chases plays down from the backside. Pursuit skills are impressive.
Bend: Might be the most flexible edge defender in the class. Possesses insane hip flexion that allows him to dip under blockers and bend the edge. Also is always mindful of keeping his hips square to the Quarterback. Tends get pushed off the edge track when he has to lean into his opponents to corner. Doesn’t have the girth to consistently stay stabilized on the arc when turning tight angles. Definitely could use some more meat on his bones to improve in this area.
Pass Rush Ability: Explosive get off, elite flexibility, and nuanced hands make him extremely lethal as a pass rusher. Utilizes a variety of swipes, swims, chops, rips, etc. to beat his opponents. Is a specialist with counter strikes as well. Understands how to get tackles off kilter with jab steps and usually follow it with a nasty spin move or swim. Would like to see him have more of a plan b when his speed rush is neutralized. Offers virtually nothing as a power rusher.
Lateral Range/Change of Direction: Silky smooth change of direction skills that allow him to redirect with ease. Range is elite. Has a rare ability to blew up option plays at the mesh point.
Awareness: Could still improve recognizing specific blocking schemes, but is a pretty assignment sound player none the less. Sees the ball carrier in the backfield well. Always methodical with his pass rush plans as well.
Best Trait: Flexibility
Worst Trait: Power
Best Film: Boston College (2018)
Worst Film: Alabama (2017)
Brian Burns possesses all of the physical traits to be a dynamic speed rusher. He is also very nuanced with his hands and pass rush counters, which is why I expect a clean transition to the NFL. The biggest concern with Burns will be his weight. 240 lbs is light for the position, and does effect parts of his game (struggles to bend to through contact and lacks power). Fortunately, for Burns he has room on his frame to put on more weight. But will the additional size minimize his trump card traits like his explosiveness and flexibility? Well that really depends on how much weight he puts on. Regardless, his skill set is rare, and he should be highly coveted by the NFL. He could play in an odd or even front, but Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 would be ideal.
- Marino, Joe. “2019 NFL Draft Player Profile: Brian Burns.” The Draft Network, 3 Jan. 2019, thedraftnetwork.com/2019/01/03/2019-nfl-draft-player-profile-brian-burns/.