The 2019 NFL Draft will be a great event for teams to start building for their future. The Game Haus will be doing scouting reports on some of the top prospects in the 2019 NFL Draft. Florida State defensive end Brian Burns had a solid 2018 season and will now be in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Position: Defensive End
2018 stats: 52 total tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, three passes defended, one fumble recovery, three forced fumbles
Size: 6-foot-5, 249 pounds
Burns was an impact player as a freshman for the Seminoles in 2016, helping them to a 10-3 record. After a down season in 2017, he picked up his level of play up in 2018 to elevate his draft stock. Due to his resurgence, he is now a solid edge rusher in the 2019 NFL Draft class.
As a Seminole, Burns totaled 123 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 23 sacks, seven passes defended, two fumble recoveries and seven fumbles forced. When he was a freshman, he played in just eight games and totaled 8.5 sacks. Although he played in 13 games as a sophomore, he was only able to get 4.5 sacks. Burns did still rack up 13.5 tackles for loss that season. He was able to more effectively get after the quarterback in 2018 with 10 sacks and also tallied 15.5 tackles for loss.
NFL teams will wonder why his pass rushing production took such a steep dip in 2018, but will love his production as a freshman and junior. With his final season in college being a good one, Burns will now be selected within the first few rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.
Burns is one of the more athletic pass rushers in the draft class. He has good speed off the edge and also has solid agility to help him get around blockers, which helps him make plays all over the field. He also has good body control, allowing him to beat offensive linemen with some frequency.
At the snap of the ball, Burns is usually quick off the line of scrimmage. There are plays where he is faster than others, but that actually is a good thing for him, as he has jumped right when the ball is snapped. After a good start to the play, Burns can use the good jump to help beat tackles around the edge or set them up to beat them back inside, because they are trying to catch up with him.
He has a wide variety of pass rushing moves and has the potential to add more to his game. At Florida State, he showed a good spin move that he used with some regularity. He demonstrated good bend to get around the edge and was also able to set tackles up to beat them on the inside. With those moves already working for Burns, he shouldn’t have to add too many more to be a dynamic pass rusher at the next level.
His size and play strength will come into question. He is just 235 pounds, which is significantly lighter than any offensive lineman he will face in the NFL. Burns will need to add strength to his game to shed blockers and be more than a speed blocker.
Burns is below average against the run, partially because of his lack of strength. He isn’t always able to get off blocks and make the play. At times he also doesn’t have great gap integrity, as running backs were able to cut back and run to his side of the field because he vacated his gap responsibility. He does however, usually set the edge well against the run.
At this point in his development, Burns might just be a situational pass rusher. Because of his lack of size and trouble against the run, teams could leave him off the field for first and second downs. If teams don’t feel comfortable playing him all three downs, he could slide down draft boards.
Projected Draft Range: First round-Second round