5-9/192 Central Florida
Pros: Does a good job keeping things in front of him and shows good awareness in zone. Has good ball skills and does a good job attacking and playing the ball in the air. Shows potential as a press corner, although primarily plays off. Has good quickness and speed as a return threat. Shows good awareness there knowing when to field the punt and nice vision when the ball is in his hands.
Cons: Needs to improve in run support as he's too inconsistent. Does a nice job when things are in front of him like on a wide receiver, showing nice pop and tackling ability in the open field. But seems lackadaisical in run support when he's in pursuit. Lacks the ideal hips and burst to excel in man coverage.
Overview: Due to similar size, school, and playing style, Burnett reminds you a bit of Asante Samuel. He's a good zone corner with nice ability as a punt returner.
NFL Forecast: While Burnett compares to Samuel, I don't think he'll be one of the best corners in the league within five years. But I do think in the right scheme (a zone-heavy one) he could be one of the better guys. He can definitely help a team as a punt returner, and somewhat as a kickoff guy as well. He should become a starter in time, but if he's not playing in a zone-heavy scheme, he won't be much more than a nickel cornerback. Draft him to help you out immediately on special teams, and then in a year or two he should be able to challenge the starting job.
ATL Forecast: Burnett would fit in Atlanta due to their propensity to play a lot of zone coverage, not to mention that adding a punt returner like him would help as well. He's a smart returner and does a good job making the first guy miss and going upfield. Basically in that regard, he's the anti-Adam Jennings. As a corner, he can immediately help out in the nickel, but in a year or two could be starting. And eventually could develop into the team's top corner.
Value: He's a nice middle round pick. I'd probably take him in Round Four, but it wouldn't be a stretch to snag him in the third, especially if you need an immediate boost on special teams.
Scouting Reports of cornerbacks in the 2009 NFL draft.
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