Sunday, July 3, 2022

Treylon Burks 2022 NFL Draft profile: Fantasy Football fits, strengths, concerns, full scouting report, more

Treylon Burks 2022 NFL Draft profile: Fantasy Football fits, strengths, concerns, full scouting report, more

Here’s how Burks’ game translates to the NFL

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USATSI

If you’ve watched any SEC game featuring the Arkansas Razorbacks over the past two seasons, you’ve definitely noticed wide receiver Treylon Burks. It was hard not to — Burks accounted for 37.2% of all Razorbacks receiving yards over the last two seasons. They used him on quick-hitting screens, pitches out of the backfield as a running back, quick in-breaking routes from the slot and vertical shots. Basically, any way the Razorbacks could get the ball into Burks’ hands, they would, and for the vast majority of the time the massive size/speed freak rewarded them.

Burks, a former four-star recruit (No. 16 overall WR in the country; No. 1 in the state of Arkansas) from the countryside (Warren, AR), is a mild-mannered and hard-working prospect from everything that’s been said about him from his coaches and teammates despite being the focal point of the offense. His size/speed profile makes him one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft, and given the success rate of prospects with his size/athletic profile, it’s fair to predict him as an immediate Fantasy Football success in his rookie season. While we don’t quite expect defenders to bounce off of Burks and get bullied by him at the NFL level as they did at the collegiate level — bullying SEC defenders says a lot. His ability to run past them in the open space says even more.

Age as of Week 1: 22 | Height: 6-2 | Weight: 225 | 40-time: 4.55

Comparable body-type to: Dez Bryant

We’re breaking down everything you need to know about Burks from a Fantasy manager perspective, including best fits, Dynasty outlook, measurables, scouting report, key stats and an NFL comparison.

Want a deeper dive into the advanced analytics on Burks? Sportsline’s Jacob Gibbs has you covered here.

Best Fantasy fits

Green Bay Packers

Any team that drafts Burks will want to start him off in the slot. While he projects as someone who can win on the outside as a boundary X receiver, with examples to back it up on film, he has a lot more reps in the slot and his college coach agrees that’s where Burks fits best. The Packers can give him that right away — after trading away Davante Adams and losing Marques Valdez-Scantling in free agency, the depth chart here is wide open. Making this fit even clearer is the offense Matt LaFleur runs in Green Bay. 

There should immediately be quick-hitting options to maximize getting the ball to Burks in space early, including plays that will put Burks in motion (into the backfield like he was at Arkansas). The Packers were rumored to be interested in drafting receiver prospect Lavishka Shenault a couple cycles ago and Burks can offer them a lot of what they were going to get with Shenault — but with a higher ceiling.

Cleveland Browns 

The Browns make for another strong fit for Burks despite the fact that he would be joining a Kevin Stefanski offense that has used heavier personnel packages than other teams. I believe Stefanski would alter his approach to fit the talent around him and Burks’ ability to create yards after the catch in space would play perfectly within his system off of the play action game. With Amari Cooper filling the X boundary receiver role, Burks could man the slot in 11 personnel and play the Z when they went to 12 or 13 personnel groupings. 

New England Patriots

Although the Patriots spent a lot of money on free agent receivers Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne two offseasons ago, they are still looking for a big-time playmaker at receiver. And I expect them to utilize a playmaker of Burks’ skill set well both from the slot and aligned on the outside. More importantly, the system is a nice fit equipped with quick-hitting passing designs and a quarterback who is adept at getting the ball out of his hands fast and accurately.

Dynasty outlook

Burks has seen his Dynasty stock dip slightly since his combine, and it’s not just because of the slower-than-anticipated 40-yard dash. Burks also registered a disappointing vertical jump (19th percentile among WRs) and 3-cone (used to test agility; 8th percentile). If this sounds familiar, these were the same knocks used against DK Metcalf in the pre-draft process (not the exact drills, but a poor combine), and he also slipped in Dynasty drafts. Burks will settle in as a middle to back-half first-round pick in Dynasty rookie drafts held before the draft, and depending on which team selects him, he could rise fast.

Scouting report

Strengths

  • Size. Burks has it all — length, strength, and physicality. He uses his size better than any receiver I’ve studied thus far in the class, specifically in his ability to initiate contact and make things difficult for smaller defensive backs.
  • Breakaway speed is an asset for Burks no matter what his 40-yard dash time says. If you want proof, all you need to do is watch him break away from two Alabama defenders — the second-fastest defense in the SEC and possibly the country in 2021. Breakaway runs after the catch are consistent in Burks’ film.
  • Burks brings versatility to the next level as he can line up in the slot, as the X or in the backfield as a playmaker — in some ways making him a bigger version of Deebo Samuel if he matches with the right offensive coordinator.
  • For a player of his size, Burks does an incredible job of separating from defenders on in-breaking routes,  specifically off the RPO (run pass option) game at Arkansas while working from the slot. 
  • Surprisingly agile and effective on horizontal routes (again, trust the game film not the 3-cone testing) — get him the ball on horizontals in space and he’ll break away. 
  • Burks is a broken tackle machine in the open field who does an excellent job using his entire body to shrug off defenders, and this includes a nasty stiff arm, but his core strength is in his lower half. One of the strongest receivers in this class.
  • One of the best yards-after-the-catch receivers in his class despite his lack of timed (40-yard dash speed), his game speed is evident in pads.
  • Excellent at high-pointing the football and making acrobatic catches.
  • Burks does an excellent job using his strong hands to secure catches.
  • Physical at the catch point — does an excellent job making contested catches in traffic.
  • Displays plus body control in the air to adjust to 50/50 throws.
  • Despite not having top-end, straight-line speed, Burks shows off excellent burst and eats up ground fast on vertical routes.
  • Burks also does an excellent job tempoing his routes, using his feet deceptively to sell in-breaking routes before pressing vertically.
  • Not an advanced route tree — same as we heard for DK Metcalf. It’s a projection.
  • Good burst, eats up ground on vertical routes  
  • Uses his body well to initiate contact and make things difficult for smaller defensive backs
  • Better running horizontal routes than vertical which is interesting .. breakaway speed evident 
  • Very rarely tested against press coverage

Concerns

  • Played the slot almost exclusively at Arkansas and had some of his production schemed up within that Arkansas system. This doesn’t mean he can’t excel as a boundary receiver because his traits project to the next level at all three receiver positions.
  • Burks was rarely tested by press coverage (only 39 total snaps against press in 2021), however he does have examples of burning bump-and-run press coverage for long touchdowns (see: Texas A&M 2021).
  • Burks is definitely a bit tight in the hips and this could lead to concerns about his ability to throttle down and get into his breaks smoothly on intermediate and deep in-breaking routes like dig routes.
  • Burks did not run the “full route tree” at the collegiate level, but that doesn’t mean he can’t do it. I find this to be less of a concern as I project him to be able to learn how at the next level.
  • I expected more from Burks as a blocker given his size and where he aligned at times on offense — there is room for growth and effort is not a concern, but it wasn’t what you hoped for.
  • Poor testing (vertical jump, agility drills, explosive jumps and straight-line speed).

Stats breakdown


G Rec ReYds Avg TD
2021 12 66 1104 16.7 12
2020 9 51 820 16.1 7
Career 32 146 2399 16.4 19

Advanced stats to know

  • 92.6 PFF grade against single coverage — highest in the nation.
  • 9.3 yards after the catch average — fourth-highest in the nation
  • Big-play threat — 16.4 career yards per catch average

NFL comparison

Burks measured in almost identical to former Cowboys star WR Dez Bryant at the Combine (Treylon Burks at combine: 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, 4.55 40 —  Dez Bryant at combine: 6-2, 225, 4.52 40) and there are similarities in their games too. Like Bryant, Burks does an excellent job going up to get passes and winning vertically without elite straight-line speed. He is also surprisingly effective on quick in-breaking routes. Burks may even have a slight edge on Dez when it comes to his tackle-breaking ability and breakaway speed.

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