Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
While Brian Burns is rarely talked about as a top-five pick, it is a real possibility that he falls within the top-10 and higher than many think. Adding Burns to the list of players to consider before White, he brings too much athleticism and versatility to a 3-4 defense to be overlooked.
Burns calmed fears about his size at the combine, weighing in at nearly 250 pounds, and still testing off of the charts athletically in Indianapolis. Burns’ wingspan measures in the 97th percentile of all edge rushers, giving him the length to separate away from offensive tackles, and he arguably has the best bend on film to combine with that length; this is a lethal combination off of the edge.
In Indianapolis, Burns ran a 4.53 second 40 yard dash, ranking him in the 97th percentile of all edge rushers, and also tested in the 80th percentile or above in the vertical jump (81st), 3-cone drill (82nd), and broad jump (97th). Uniquely, he also partook in linebacker drills on the field and looked fluid and comfortable dropping into coverage and breaking on the football.
In order to secure Burns, staying in front of the Detroit Lions with the eighth overall pick is the wisest bet, as they have been rather cozy with the Florida State pass rusher. With possibly the highest ceiling of any player in the draft, Burns must be considered with the fifth overall pick.