By Charlie Campbell
Summary: The 2021 Arkansas Razorbacks were a tough team that put together an impressive season with an 8-4 record in the toughest division of college football. Their best player was Treylon Burks, who put up some huge games and made big plays in the clutch while also playing banged up at times. On the year, Burks totaled 66 receptions for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also took 14 carries for 112 yards and a rushing touchdown. As a sophomore in the shortened 2020 season, he had 51 catches for 820 yards and seven touchdowns. After his excellent junior year, Burks decided to skip the Outback Bowl versus Penn State to begin his draft preparation.
What Burks can do as a possessional receiver really sets him apart. He is a dangerous wideout, who while not being a burner with rare speed, makes up for it with polish and physicality. Burks relies on good route-running and his strong, reliable hands to do the dirty work and move the chains in the short to intermediate part of the field.
Burks is very dangerous with the ball in his hands. He uses his well-built frame to break tackles and is very difficult for a lot of defensive backs to get to the ground. His strength to run through their hands makes it difficult for them to get a hold of him. While Burks isn’t super elusive and is more straight-line athlete, he does have the feet to dodge some tacklers in the open field. Burks has excellent yards-after-the-catch potential for the next level, where he could be a great fit for a West Coast offense.
With his height, strength, and ability to catch the ball in traffic, Burks is a nice weapon in the red zone. He also tracks the ball well and snatches with late hands to make the reception. Consistently, Burks uses his big frame to shield defenders from the ball and present a good target for his quarterback. He also uses his height, length, and leaping ability to regularly make catches over defensive backs. As a result, he is difficult to cover with his ability to win 50-50 passes. Burks is going to have to win on contested catches as pro because he won’t be one of those wide receivers who generates a huge amount separation. But he has a history of winning on 50-50 passes and outfighting defensive backs by using his thick frame and strength to get the better of them.
Burks could help himself by putting up fast times in workouts prior to the 2022 NFL Draft. Multiple NFL team sources have told WalterFootball.com they project Burks to go as high as the back half of the first round and that he should not last long if he makes it into the second round.
Player Comparison: A.J. Brown. Burks is very similar to A.J. Brown coming out of Ole Miss, and I believe that Burks will be an effective No. 1 receiver like Brown is in the NFL. Brown (6-0, 226) faced questions about how fast he was, which led to him being a second-round pick, but like Burks, Brown plays plenty fast enough while being an excellent runner after the catch. Burks played similarly for Arkansas. Like Brown, Burks could go in the second round, but Burks might get picked in the back half of the first round, which is where Brown probably should have gone.
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