Georgia Tech Junior
PROS: Has good burst and speed and closes quickly on the ball. Shows good hitting ability, but also does a nice job wrapping up and can make the stop in the open field. Quick to come up and defend the run and shows ability to weave through traffic when playing in the box. Does a nice job when he can keep things in front of him, showing nice ball skills and can play deep centerfield. Shows ability to read the quarterback and break up the pass over the middle. Has decent hips and burst to match up with tight ends and backs. Has good range and quickness.
CONS: Takes some poor angles at times and will miss some stops in the open field. Needs to show better awareness, as he has a tendency to bite on play fakes and will get turned around in coverage at times.
OVERVIEW: Burnett has all the tools you like to see in an NFL safety prospect: size, speed, range, hitting ability, ball skills, and cover skills. Two-year starter that combined for 11 interceptions the past two years as well as 11 stops behind the line of scrimmage.
NFL FORECAST: Burnett has the potential to play either free safety or strong safety, although I think his transition to the pros probably be will a bit quicker if he starts out at strong safety. I think he can impact right away as a starter, although I'm sure there will be some growing pains. He needs to become more consistent in coverage. With a year or two under his belt at strong safety, he should be able to make a nice transition to free safety. But a team can start him right away at free safety, go through some of those early growing pains and by his third year I think he should be one of the top safeties in the league. He's better in run support than coverage, but I think he can handle the coverage duties teams will ask of him. He's quick and solid enough that he can take on tight ends right away, and I think has enough skill to be a decent option against wide receivers down the road. The key with him is to play a bit more disciplined at the next level. I don't think he will be an elite safety, but I do think he can be one of those second tier safeties in the Quintin Mikell mold.
ATL FORECAST: Burnett has the potential to be an upgrade in Atlanta over DeCoud simply because he's got a better build and physical potential. So he should be an upgrade in run support, although I'm not sure he's going to be much better in coverage than DeCoud is. Maybe he'll have a better knack for making big plays. As for him at strong safety, he can definitely push Moore down the road. In Atlanta, he would likely start off as a backup, and within two years should be able to challenge for a starting job and potentially win one by his third year.
VALUE: Burnett is a solid second round pick that should go in the Top 50.
1-poor, 2-weak, 3-above average, 4-very good, 5-elite
BALL SKILLS: 3.5
Scouting Reports for the 2010 NFL Draft prospects.
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