2022 NFL Draft Prospects: Treylon Burks

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It seems like every year now the wide receiver NFL Draft class is packed with talent. From Justin Jefferson to CeeDee Lamb in 2020 and from Ja’Marr Chase to Jaylen Waddle in 2021, that certainly has been the case. The 2022 crop of pass-catchers offers similar intrigue. So let’s take a look at the playmaker currently sitting atop my wide receiver rankings: Arkansas’s Treylon Burks! The 6’5″ 225 lb. Burks was named First-Team All-SEC in 2020, and has announced his decision to opt out of Arkansas’s bowl game and declare for the 2022 NFL Draft. Let’s dive into his tape!

Strengths: Burks is an extremely well-rounded receiver who checks every box. For starters, he has good size with a strong, compact build. He is athletically gifted as well, with good quickness, shiftiness, burst, and a dangerous second gear. Burks can line up anywhere on the line of scrimmage and threaten any portion of the field. He has experience lining up in the slot, on the perimeter, and even in the backfield. In each of these alignments, Burks’s combination of size, strength, and athleticism poses issues for the opposing defense. He is elite after the catch, with the shiftiness to make defenders miss, the burst to beat pursuit angles, and the great power to break tackles. Burks regularly turns catches that would typically only gain a yard or two into big first down gains. He excels against press coverage, with the foot quickness and craftiness to beat the defender off the release and the burst to separate. From the slot, Burks works the middle of the field fearlessly, walling off defenders and catching through contact very well. Burks is a bonafide deep threat as well, with the ability to stack cornerbacks on his hip and use his good long speed to win vertically. Between his ability to win deep and his prowess after the catch, Burks is a threat to take it to the house on any play, as attested by his handful of long touchdowns this year. He is a solid route runner too, with the quickness to make his routes crisp and the potential to improve even more in this area. He works well through route contact, displaying the requisite strength to do so. Overall, Burks has the athleticism, route running, and strength to gain separation at all three levels, and the run-after-catch ability to take any catch for a touchdown. In addition, Burks is dominant at the catch point, demonstrating incredible leaping ability, body control, hand strength, and assertiveness to go up and high point the football, even when it requires a significant adjustment to the throw. He is equally skilled at using his handwork to clear a throwing window late even when he is covered. Overall, Burks has reliable hands and presents very few drops on tape. Burks is a highly intelligent player as well, showing great sideline awareness, awareness of the first down marker, and ability to find the soft spots in zone coverage. When willing, his strength makes him a very good downfield blocker.  

Weaknesses: Burks oddly did not line up on the perimeter very often, which could result in an acclimation period if an NFL team envisions to make use of his dynamic skill set primarily on the outside. While his route tree did expand in 2021, it was still rather limited compared to what he will be tasked with in the NFL. Burks’s effort as a blocker is a little inconsistent. Burks’s game log reveals a few quiet outings in contrast to his many dominant performances, namely the 10-yard and 16-yard games against Georgia and LSU, respectively, which is a slight concern but should be understood in the context that the entire offense struggled mightily in those games. 

Bottom Line: Burks is a top ten talent in my mind right now. He has one of the most well-rounded profiles I have ever seen at the wide receiver position. He is very dangerous on screen passes, highly reliable on intermediate routes, and dynamic as a deep threat, while also being able to handle touches out of the backfield. With his burst and strength, Burks can take any touch to the house for a touchdown. I believe that with his extremely versatile skill set, he can be an incredibly dangerous chess piece for a creative offensive coordinator to terrorize opposing defenses with. His floor is quite high and the sky is the limit for Burks if he lands on a team that puts forth his versatility by lining him up all over the formation. Burks can truly become a Pro-Bowl caliber receiver that opposing coaches stay up at night figuring out how to gameplan against. 

Make sure to check out fellow scout Alex Greb and I’s podcast episode revealing our respective wide receiver rankings Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET live on Bold Take Scouting’s YouTube channel to find out where Burks ranks for Alex and who closely follows him for each of us!

Sources

  1. Cover Image: https://www.wholehogsports.com/news/2021/nov/21/burks-plays-through-injury-bounces-back-in-a-big-w/

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