Thus far in 2018, the defense has been the more impressive side of the ball for Florida State and Mr. Burns has certainly been the most “ex-cell-lent!” defender the Seminoles currently have. Brian Burns gets into opposing backfields like C. Montgomery Burns imposes evil plots against the people of Springfield.
With 4.5 more tackles for a loss, Burns will pass up Bjoern Werner and enter the Seminoles all time top ten for TFLs. With 3.5 more quarterback sacks he’ll enter the Noles’ all time top ten list. With four, he’ll surpass Andre Wadsworth, who is tied for seventh all time in FSU history.
Being mentioned in the same breath as guys like Werner and Wadsworth tells you everything you need to about the NFL Draft stock of Brian Burns.
He seems to be a consensus mid-late first round prospect, but there are more than a couple NFL mock drafts out there that currently have him in the top 10-15 range. The now retired Werner, a Berlin, Germany native retired in 2016, but he was selected 24th overall in 2013 by the Indianapolis Colts, exactly one spot ahead of his Florida State teammate Xavier Rhodes.
Wadsworth was selected third overall by the Arizona Cardinals in the 1998 NFL Draft. Werner and Wadsworth both had very brief professional careers, and thus did not rack up big numbers in the National Football League, but Burns has tremendous potential to do the opposite. What he has to focus on most, in order to realize that potential, is to add weight.
Brian Burns is listed at 235, and in order to become a true tour de force at the next level, he needs to be in the 250s-260s range. He has the option to stay in school another year and get there, but given how high his current draft stock is, he’s best served by declaring this year.
Of course, this class is a very deep one for defensive linemen. It really should be the DL Draft, especially so at DE. It seems that pass rushers are always in higher demand every year on draft night. Especially so if you’re a prospect who can play as an edge rusher on the line or lineup as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
It all depends on the scheme, and where a given prospect fits into that scheme. The more defensive formations and systems you can be compatible in, the higher your stock.
The Ft. Lauderdale native led the nation in sacks among freshmen in 2016.
He’s been on a positive career arc during his time in Tallahassee and if he continues that trajectory he will certainly see his name called very early on draft night.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC Chicago.com and Chicago Tribune.com, is currently a regular contributor to SB Nation, WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.