Burden Highest Graded on Preseason Watch List

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During the spring months, NFL teams have their advance scouts visiting colleges for junior days and looking at the tape of the last season to put together a watch list for the next NFL Draft. The preseason watch lists are shared with the teams that are part of National Football Scouting or the Blesto scouting service. Looking at one of the preseason watch lists for NFL teams, Missouri wide receiver Luther Burden is the highest-graded prospect entering the 2024 college football season.

Burden was a real weapon for Missouri in 2023, as he caught 86 passes for 1,212 yards and nine touchdowns. The 5-foot-11, 208-pounder was a fast, shifty playmaker who was a big part of Missouri going 11-2 last season.

The advance scouts had the highest preseason grade on Burden, putting him just above Notre Dame cornerback Benjamin Morrison and Colorado cornerback Travis Hunter. In my latest 2025 NFL Mock Draft, I have Burden going in the top 10.

It bears repeating that the preseason grades are not set in stone, and scouts will completely forget them soon. In the 2018 preseason, Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray and Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams were not on the preseason watch list. Yet Murray became the No. 1 overall pick, and Williams went third a few months later. Sometimes, college coaches ask scouts not to include some players on a watch list to motivate that player. There have been other late-round projections, such as Joe Burrow, who ended up skyrocketing during the season. Other players had high preseason projections but were mid- or late-round picks months later. Thus, the value is more of a watch list over grades of players’ abilities. But entering the 2024 season, Burden had the highest grade of any prospect on the watch list.