Can Jake Burton of the New York Giants join the list of undrafted free agent offensive linemen to have successful NFL careers? Let’s take a closer look at Burton as we continue player-by-player profiles of the 90-man roster the Giants will bring to training camp.
Contract: Year 1 of three-year, $2.44 million undrafted free agent deal | Guaranteed: $40,000 | 2021 cap hit: $665,000
Career to date
Burton played offensive tackle at UCLA, appearing in 29 games. When the PAC-12 originally announced it would not play in the fall because of COVID-19, Burton, a graduate transfer, entered the transfer portal and quickly chose Baylor.
Burton moved from right tackle at UCLA to guard at Baylor. That wasn’t because of lack of ability, but because when he arrived at Baylor that’s where the need on the offensive line was. That flexibility should serve him well as he tries to earn at least a practice squad berth with the Giants.
A scouting report via Pro Football Network:
Positives: UCLA transfer who started eight games last season. Large, wide-bodied lineman who is best in a very small area. Keeps his head on a swivel, always looks for someone to hit, and stays square. Keeps his feet moving, works his hands throughout the action, and attacks assignments. Flashes athleticism.
Negatives: Lacks footwork in space. Gets tall and isn’t a leverage blocker. Lacks balance moving in space.
Analysis: Burton was durable and productive throughout his college career and possesses next-level size. He lacks great upside, but has the measurables and intellect to back up at either right tackle or guard.
NFL teams are always looking for developmental linemen with positional versatility. There are players like that dotting practice squads across the league every season. One such undrafted free agent, Kyle Murphy, started the 2020 season on the Giants’ practice squad and ended it on the 53-man roster.
While some analysts have pegged undrafted center/guard Brett Heggie as a player to watch for the Giants this summer, Emory Hunt of Football Gameplan told the ‘Valentine’s Views’ podcast on Friday that he is actually higher on Burton.
Burton is competing with players like Murphy, Jackson Barton and Heggie to, most likely, land a practice squad spot.
Our own Nick Falato wondered if Burton has the athleticism to play in the NFL. We’ll find out in August.