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Brock Huard’s 2019 NFL Draft preview: FSU DE Brian Burns

Apr 20, 2019, 8:14 AM | Updated: Apr 21, 2019, 11:48 pm
Brian Burns, NFL Draft...
2019 NFL Draft prospect DE Brian Burns forced seven fumbles while at FSU. (Getty)
(Getty)

Each weekday at 8:30 a.m. leading up to the NFL Draft, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard will profile a prospect he considers to be an early-round possibility for the Seahawks. His previews continue with Florida State defensive end Brian Burns.

Listen to Huard’s full breakdown of Burns in the audio clip embedded below.

• Position: DE
• Height/weight: 6-5/249
• Class: Junior
• Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, FL

Scouting report: A five-star recruit out of American Heritage High School in Fort Lauderdale, Burns opted to stay in his home state by committing to Florida State University. He racked up 123 tackles and 23 sacks in three years with the Seminoles. In 2018, Burns posted highs in tackles, tackles for loss, and sacks in 2018, which earned him a First-Team All-ACC nod and team MVP honors. Burns was also a semifinalist for the Chuck Bednarik Award (given to the nation’s top defensive player).

Brock’s take: “If you want to look up ‘pretty’, you’re going to see this kid. A five-star athlete. He was a freshman All-American, then came on the scene sophomore year and dipped a little bit; he had a little bit of expectation and a little bit of hype. His junior year, he came back around and he was First-Team All-ACC. I saw him twice last year. He just devoured bad offensive linemen.

“Craft Pete Carroll’s open-edge pass rusher — what’s the first thing you want? Speed. Burns was a 4.54 at 249-pounds. Give me the other thing that Carroll loves with speed: length. Burns is 6-feet-5 with 34-inch arms. That’s very, very good. (But) Pete Carroll will be scared at his weight. Burns is a wiry guy. He’s your basketball player that happens to be an unbelievable pass rusher.

“(But) the pad level he plays at just blows your mind. How can you bend like that at 6-feet-5? Well, he could do so in college because he weighed 225-, and maybe played at 230-pounds. That doesn’t work in the NFL. It just doesn’t. If Andrew Whitworth gets his hands on you at 230-pounds, you’re done. I don’t care how quick you are. If Duane Brown gets his hands on you at 230-pounds, it’s not happening.

“So is Burns’ 249-pound weigh-in at the combine a totally inflated weight? Or is this guy going to grow into some of that size? That, to me, is why at No. 21 he would not be drafted. This would be your perfect guy in a year where you had bunch of players over-drafted and he fell to you at 30 or lower. You would love him. But at 230-pounds, and even if he plays at 240, I just don’t know. I’m saying no at No. 21.”

How he’d fit: Defensive end is one of Seattle’s biggest areas of need. The team’s leading pass rusher, Frank Clark, finished the year with team highs in sacks (14) and quarterback hits (27), followed by defensive tackle Jarran Reed (10.5 sacks). However, both players are entering the final year of their deals, and Clark will play out 2019 under a $17 million franchise tag.

Jacob Martin and Rasheem Green can count themselves among Seattle’s promising young talent, but the Seahawks are still widely expected to select a defensive player with their first pick. Could Burns find himself slipping into the second round?

Brock Huard’s 2019 NFL Draft profiles:

UW DB Taylor Rapp 
ASU WR N’Keal Harry 
Clemson DE Clelin Ferrell 
Mississippi State DT Jeffery Simmons

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Brock Huard’s 2019 NFL Draft preview: FSU DE Brian Burns