Brian Burns is exactly the type of edge rusher the Los Angeles Rams are looking for. Samson Ebukam is still a work in progress and Dante Fowler Jr. may leave via free agency. The Rams will need to find an edge rusher either way. The Florida State junior possesses raw talent to become a vital part of any NFL defense.
College stats and honors:
2018: 52 tackles, 10 sacks and 3 forced fumbles.
Career: 123 tackles, 23 sacks and 7 force fumbles (2016-2018).
Accolades: Bendarik Award semifinalist, FSU Team MVP (2018).
Clocking in at 4.53 seconds in the 40-yard dash during the NFL Combine, Burns is not lacking at speed. Burns is excellent with his feet, which allows him to anticipate the opposition’s movement. He also utilizes his hand placement well enough to gain better leverage in 50-50 situations.
With a 6’4″ frame and weighing in at 245 pounds, his size is certainly not an issue either. Burns has reportedly gained approximately 15 pounds since the end of his junior year at FSU. Despite him being considered a little skinny by NFL standards, Burns is already putting on weight to address his skinny frame. A player of that height and frame is tough to pass up. Also having a naturally long wingspan helps his cause too. Possessing a wingspan of 83 5/8″ is rare.
As stated previously, Burns has explosive speed, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is a fast edge rusher. He made the plays he needed to at Florida State by outrunning everyone. His physical gifts allowed him to terrorize opposing defenses. Burns has to learn how to utilize his speed properly against opposing players. His lack of physical size was also an issue in college. Burns has begun to put on weight, but that doesn’t mean he will adapt to his physique right away. He can play OLB or DE but he may be too skinny at the moment to be reliable at DE even with the additional weight. If he continues to put on more weight and muscle, he could eventually move down to DE. For now, teams may have to use him as an OLB. Luckily the Rams are in need of both positions at the moment.
Expected Draft Round:
Burn’s draft stock has improved since the NFL Combine. He is now expected to go in the first round. His rise may be toward the middle of the first round. The Rams are slated to at pick No. 31 in the 2019 NFL draft, so they may need to trade up if they really like him.