Denzell Burrell, OLB, Virginia

Scouting reports of outside and inside linebackers in the 2010 draft.
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Denzell Burrell, OLB, Virginia

Postby Pudge » Sat Apr 10, 2010 12:09 am

Virginia Senior
40: 4.62 (Campus)

PROS: Has good speed and closes well on the ball, able to make plays in pursuit. Has good hips and fluid working in coverage. Can match up with backs and tight ends in man coverage as well as moving well in space for zone. Shows some burst off the edge as a pass rusher. Plays with passion.
CONS: Doesn't show ideal instincts vs. the run. Can be a bit reckless at times and needs to take better angles to the ball in space. Lacks any real pass rush moves off the edge, relying on his speed and quickness. Needs to do a better job getting off blocks.
OVERVIEW: Plays OLB in Virginia's 3-4 scheme, but might project better as a SAM guy in a 4-3 scheme. You like his speed and coverage potential. Started the past two seasons. Best season came as a senior where he had 49 tackles, 3 for loss, 2 sacks. Missed 10 games due to a knee injury as a freshman in 2006.
NFL FORECAST: Burrell is probably a guy that is destined to be a reserve on the next level. He has good size, speed, and coverage abilities, but isn't much to talk about as a run defender or pass rusher. Despite playing in a 3-4 scheme, I don't see him excelling in that scheme on the next level, unless it's on a team that uses one of its outside linebackers primarily to cover TEs and play the run, playing opposite a pass rush specialist. But if he wants to play in such a role, he probably should try and bulk up and get up to around 245-250 pounds to fit best there. I think he can play in the 4-3 scheme as a SAM linebacker that can work in coverage and be functional because of his speed. But again, he's just a backup. He should be able to find a niche in the league if he can impact right away on special teams, but doesn't offer a ton of upside as a starter because he's not really a playmaker and lacks instincts.
ATL FORECAST: His speed and coverage potential could make him a decent backup to Nicholas in Atlanta. And while he's nothing to write home about as a pass rusher, having some experience there means that he can contribute somewhat as a blitzer. But he's not a guy that will do much more in Atlanta besides offering decent depth and special teams ability. You like his size, but not sure he has more defensive potential than Spencer Adkins, who is faster, rangier, and a better pass rusher. So I don't think he beats out Adkins for a roster spot unless the Falcons move Adkins to weakside linebacker.
VALUE: For a team targeting depth, he might make a decent seventh round pick.
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