2018 was a season to forget for many reasons, if you’re an FSU fan. Aside from the struggles of the team as a whole, some individual players stood out. One of them, defensive end Brian Burns, is suddenly looking to get his name called on Thursday night in round one of the NFL Draft.
Burns was a top recruit in the state of Florida after a fantastic high school career and a part of two state championship teams in his time at Ft. Lauderdale’s American Heritage. At Florida State, he made an immediate impact as a freshman. He played both end and linebacker and posted 9.5 sacks, a total of 24 tackles with 10.5 of those for a loss. All of that, and he wasn’t even a every down player.
Burns followed that up with 48 tackles with 4.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, and two blocked punts in 2017.
Those stats showcased his skills in both the defensive pass rush and on special teams. Last season, the worst for FSU in decades, he was one of the lone bright spots for the Noles posting a stat line of 52 tackles with ten sacks, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. Burns was eventually was named first-team All-ACC.
At 6’5 and almost 250 pounds, Bruns has a long, athletic frame. Some scouts believe he could play some hybrid linebacker if asked. He turned heads at the Combine with a 4.53 40 time and 36 inch vertical leap.
Burns possesses quickness, but speed is what sets him apart from the rest. This is what has helped him get to the quarterback at a high rate.
He is not bad against the run, and he has the bend that a lot of scouts look for when looking for an impact pass rusher. Some scouts are comparing him to former hybrid rusher, like Aldon Smith and former first-round pick Leonard Floyd. And, he has reportedly been great in individual work outs and interviews with teams, too.
With how vital edge rushing is in the NFL, it would not be surprising at all to see Burns’ name called out as one of the coveted 32 picks later in the first round Thursday night.
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