2019 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Florida State EDGE Brian Burns



COLLEGE: Florida State

CLASS: Junior

2018 STATS: 52 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 3 passes defended, 3 forced fumbles (12 games)

CAREER STATS: 123 tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, 23 sacks, 7 passes defended, 7 forced fumbles (33 games)

GAMES WATCHED (8): Miami, Wake Forest, Virginia Tech, Boston College (2018); Alabama, Clemson, Louisville, Florida (2017)

4.53 36″ 129″ 7.01

BALL GET-OFF (18/20)

  • Good first-step quickness — seems to have a more explosive get-off when rushing with his hand in the dirt; really gets depth on the second and third steps
  • Good snap count anticipation


  • Capable edge-setter — uses length well to keep blockers away from his frame and keep his outside shoulder clean
  • Does a very good job of maintaining outside edge contain
  • Makes plenty of pursuit plays thanks to speed/agility
  • Good tackler
  • Good play recognition
  • Doesn’t have the strength needed to consistently stack-and-shed blocks or squeeze gaps against bigger blockers
  • Occasionally gets washed out of gaps due to pad level

TECHNIQUE (13.5/15)

  • Good overall hand usage/variety with pass rush moves — two-hand swat, speed chop, swim, spin, cross-chop, club/rip
  • Sequences pass rush moves together fluidly
  • Good hand placement and arm extension vs. run
  • Understands how to attack offensive tackles based on their stances/sets
  • Occasionally struggles to turn a tight corner on outside rushes because he’ll shy away from contact and widen his path a little too far to the outside (I think this is because he knows that he can’t really win with power moves at this point in his career)
  • Struggled to free himself when blockers got their hands into his chest (although it happened rarely)

POWER (10.5/15)

  • Has enough functional strength to hold up as a front-side run defender
  • Has flashed a long arm move but it was only effective when he had several yards to get his speed up; doesn’t currently possess overwhelming power/dynamic power moves


  • Excellent flexibility through shoulders, hips and ankles
  • Top-notch ability to reduce surface area around the corner


  • Prototypical frame/length (33 7/8″ arms)
  • Likely needs to add weight to play as a 4-3 defensive end on a full-time basis

MOTOR (4.5/5)

  • Effort is consistently good as a pass rusher
  • Generally hustles in backside pursuit


  • Good closing speed and change-of-direction

OVERALL GRADE: 86.00/100.00 — 1ST ROUND — Rookie starter; top-15 player at position/Pro Bowl potential

NFL COMPARISON: polished Randy Gregory without the off-field baggage

SCHEME FIT: 3-4 OLB; can be a full-time 4-3 DE with added weight


“Brian Burns looks like a plug-and-play 3-4 outside linebacker. He has an impressive combination of speed, flexibility and technique. Despite a slender frame, Burns holds up well as a front-side run defender. He’s not a dominant point of attack run defender who ragdolls blockers and racks up tackles from the front side, but he sets the edge consistently and generally does a good job of keeping his outside shoulder clean.

To become a full-time 4-3 defensive end, Burns will likely need to add significant weight. While he has adequate functional strength to hold up as a front-side run defender and has even flashed a long arm on a couple occasions, he doesn’t currently possess dynamic power moves. Burns will need improve his play strength in order to take his game to the next level. At age 20 with a 6-foot-5 frame to fill out, Burns appears to have ample room for physical development. If Burns can improve his play strength and further develop his power game while maintaining his explosiveness, he could develop into a top-tier NFL edge defender, a la Aldon Smith in his prime.” — Dan Wussow

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s