The 2022 NFL Draft has wide receivers of all shapes and sizes, from big “X” receivers to lean speedsters, to shifty slot receivers.
For a long time, Arkansas wideout Treylon Burks was at (or near) the top of that varied wide receiver depth chart. But then he had a disappointing performance at the 2022 NFL Scouting Combine and his draft stock seemed to fall off.
Has he fallen out of the first round entirely? We won’t know that until the end of April, but it does seem as though the excitement around him has cooled.
But that being said, Burks is still an exciting receiving prospect. The New York Giants have needs all over their roster, and improving their passing offense is definitely one of those needs. We don’t yet know what their offense will look like in 2022 and beyond, but is it possible that Burks could be a fit?
Games Played: 32
Yards (YPC): 2,399 (16.4 per catch)
Yards (YPC): 222 (5.8 per carry)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 19 (18 receiving, 1 rushing)
Games Played: 12
Yards (YPC): 1,104 (16.7 per catch)
Yards (YPC): 112 (8.0 per carry)
Total Touchdowns (rushing/receiving): 12 (11 receiving, 1 rushing)
Best: Size, ball skills, competitive toughness, run after catch, long speed, blocking
Projection: A starting receiver with position and scheme versatility.
Treylon Burks is a big, strong, versatile, and competitive wide receiver prospect from the University of Arkansas.
Burks possesses very good size and mass for the position, weighing in at 6-foot-2, 225 pounds, with long arms, big hands, and good thickness in his upper and lower halves. His frame, blending athleticism with power, gives him the ability to fill a variety of roles within an offense.
Burks lined up all over the Arkansas offense, taking snaps at both wide receiver positions, the slot, out of trips and bunch formations, out of the backfield as an H-back, and even as a running back. Arkansas also frequently used Burks as a motion player, changing positions to help expose the defensive coverage, as well as putting him in jet and orbit motion. Burks was used to attack the defense at every level of the field, from vertical passes down the field, to come-back routes and back-shoulder throws in the intermediate area, to screen passes and even taking handoffs as a runner.
Burks has a solid release off the line of scrimmage, using good foot quickness, hand usage, and play strength to defeat press-man jams. He is also sudden, quickly getting into his route against off or zone coverage. Burks’ routes aren’t overly flashy, but he makes good use of his size to press them vertically into cornerbacks, and throws in enough fakes to create separation out of his breaks.
He has good ball skills down the field as well. Burks does a good job of locating, tracking, and making quick adjustments to the ball, and routinely extends to pluck the ball out of the air. He is very competitive at the catch point, never shying away from contact, putting his body between the defender and the ball, and fighting to come down with the ball in contested catch situations.
Burks is excellent with the ball in his hands, either in yards-after-catch situations or as a runner after screen passes or hand-offs. He has solid initial quickness and the play strength to force missed (or broken) tackles, and has surprisingly good long speed in the open field. Burks has great vision as a runner, weaving his way through traffic and denying defenders good angles for tackle attempts.
His competitiveness shows itself again as a blocker, and he is completely willing to block for his teammates on the perimeter, and even as a lead blocker on read-option plays. Burks has good enough technique, and enough play strength, to sustain blocks in the open field and create opportunities for his teammates.
While Burks is a good athlete, and a capable big-play threat, he isn’t an elite athlete. He lacks great explosiveness and agility to string moves together or make very sharp cuts. Likewise, Burks’ speed is more of the “build up” variety, and it can take him several strides to reach his top speed.
He is also a functional route runner, but isn’t yet a technician. Burks’ routes were good enough for a collegiate spread offense, but there is certainly room for improvement at the NFL level.
Overall Grade: 8.0
Treylon Burks projects as a starting wide receiver with positional and scheme versatility at the NFL level.
Burks’ frame and experience should allow him to line up at any wide receiver position an NFL team is likely to use. He has the frame and release skills to play the “X” receiver role, while his dependability and ball skills should make him a good possession receiver, and his work in space could make him a tough match-up out of the slot.
NFL teams should do their best to move Burks around the offensive formation and take advantage of the various match-ups they’re able to force. He could prove particularly dangerous motioning to the running back position then running wheel or angle routes, and teams who make frequent use of screen passes will likely grade him highly as well.
In general, Burks should become a receiver to be feared for a team that works to scheme the ball to playmakers in space. Burks is the kind of receiver who instantly transforms into a running back when he gets the ball in his hands, and offenses would be wise to take advantage of that as early and often as possible. He could even play a hybrid role, blurring the line between runner and receiver.
He can be even more effective in route combinations as he improves his route running. Greater precision could help make those plays even more effective, as he would be more able to take advantage of the schemed separation or help create conflicts for teammates.
Some may be disappointed in Burks’ measured athleticism, but those concerns don’t show up on the field. He is seldom caught from behind, and was a consistent big-play threat against some of the best defenses in the country.