The Green Bay Packers need receiver depth after they traded Davante Adams and Marquez Valdes-Scantling signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. But they’re cap-strapped after extending Aaron Rodgers, making the draft the most logical spot for them to add receivers to their roster. They have picks No. 22 and 28, meaning some marquee wideouts will be off the board.
But Treylon Burks out of Arkansas should be available late in the first round, and he’s one of the most overlooked receivers in the draft.
Burks isn’t only one of the most underrated receivers in this year’s draft, but he was also one of the most underrated receivers in college football last year. He consistently got better every year he played and topped his junior season with 66 receptions for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. Not too shabby in the SEC.
If this doesn’t tell you what you need to know about Burks, I don’t know what will.
Burks is also massive. And I mean huge. He has the frame of some tight ends. Burks measures 6’3”, 225 lbs. with a 6’7” wingspan. As you saw in the previous clip, this puts him in prime position for jump balls. However, his size means that he is naturally a little bit slower.
Many pundits have Burks’ draft stock dropping due to his slow 40 time. However, everyone takes these combine metrics way too seriously (again). Burks can make a difference on the field, and that’s all that matters. A 40-yard dash time is just a metric. It doesn’t correspond perfectly with athleticism and play on the football field.
Also, that’s no slouch that this so-called “slow” wide receiver is outrunning in the clip above. That’s Jordan Battle, likely a first-round safety in this year’s draft.
If you don’t believe me, here is Burks taking an end-around to the house.
With Burks being a tremendous deep threat and jump-ball receiver, you would hope he has good hands. Not to worry, because he is probably the best pass-catcher in this year’s draft.
Check out this Odell Beckham Jr.-like grab he made against a talented Ole Miss defense.
Burks also has a very similar playing style to a young Josh Gordon, which is a compliment. He is a specimen like Gordon, one that the Packers need.
Burks also excelled at making plays in space, almost averaging 10 yards after the catch. That’s pretty good for someone who draft experts label as slow.
Not that it will make or break his draft stock, but Arkansas would frequently use Burks in wildcat formations and on trick plays. Having this Swiss Army knife skillset on offense is something that the Packers could utilize at the receiver position.
Even if the Packers opt not to use this side of Burks’ skillset, just having a player who knows how to take snaps at quarterback is useful.
The major knocks on Burks’ play seem insignificant. Almost everything that is being used against him can be countered by watching his tape — especially the criticisms of his speed.
However, he does need to fine-tune some aspects of his game. Burks’ route-running needs the most work. It can look sloppy at times and take a long time to develop.
Burks also struggles to get separation at times because of his subpar route-running. However, that is something that he can polish with proper NFL coaching.
It also helps that the Packers have already met with Burks, and it looks pretty likely that the Packers will draft him this year.
Drafting a wide receiver in the first round would make Packers fans extremely happy, and Burks will likely be available late in the first. He could be a perfect replacement for Adams, with the potential to light up the NFL for years to come.