As we get closer and closer to the 2019 NFL Draft, it’s worth looking at some of the prospects the Buffalo Bills may be picking in less than two weeks. As we approach the big night, we take a look at the background of former Florida State defensive end Brian Burns, expected to be taken within the first round.
A five-star recruit (yes, another one) Burns burst right out of the gate at Florida State, starting eight games as a freshman as a rush linebacker and finished with 8.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles-for-loss. Despite a low sack total in 2017, with only 4.5, Burns’s tackles and tackles-for-loss went up significantly with 26 and 13.5 respectively. The Seminoles' fortunes declined yet again in the 2018 season, but Burns was a lone bright spot for the team, finishing with a career high 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for loss.
Lining up as a lanky 6’5” and weighing 235 lbs, Burns was the designated speed rusher for the Seminoles—and his best trait is his ability to scream off the edge, bend the corner, and attack the opposing quarterback. His pass-rushing ability stands out even when compared to most of his fellow draft peers. With a player that light, you’d expect him to give ground in the run game, but his toughness when facing down a run-blocking tackle was surprising. He may have the ability to excel as an edge-setter as well. His athletic testing numbers compete favorably to Lorenzo Carter and Danielle Hunter.
Burns’s stock has been on the rise ever since the season ended. Most mock drafts have him going anywhere from fourth overall to the 32nd pick. Pass rushers are always in high demand however, so a top-15 selection seems likely.