6’1, 210 pounds | Safety | Georgia Tech
Agility: Burnett has very good agility, and he displays the kind of quick-twitch movements not often seen in safeties. Has fluid hips that he can flip without taking a misstep.
Ball skills: Finishing his career with 14 interceptions, Burnett clearly has excellent ball skills. Has very good instincts when the ball is in the air. Quickly breaks on the ball.
Instincts: Part of what got Burnett onto the field as a true freshman were his excellent instincts. He can quickly decipher run and pass plays and can look into the quarterback’s eyes without it hurting him.
Pass coverage: Thanks to his athleticism, Burnett showed at times he could play solid man coverage against wide receivers. He can stay with most tight ends, but could be out-muscled in the open field. Possesses very good instincts in zone coverage. Has played on occasion at cornerback.
Pursuit: Will take poor angles when he comes down to the line of scrimmage to get after a running back. Has to rely on his athleticism too often to quickly redirect himself and get into the play.
Run support: Burnett is very willing to help against the run, which makes him a good candidate to be a strong safety. He played rover at Georgia Tech, which was more of a hybrid strong safety and free safety. Finished his career with 235 tackles, most of them coming against the run. Sniffs out the ball really quickly.
Size: Burnett’s size is optimal for the safety position. He’s big enough to take on running backs and hold up against tight ends. He’s also not too big and stiff in his movement, like Roy Williams. Won’t need to get much bigger in the pros.
Speed: Burnett’s speed is good but not elite. He works up field effortlessly to help against the run. Has the speed to work sideline-to-sideline. Displays his speed covering kickoffs. His acceleration is very good.
Tackling: Is inconsistent in his tackling technique. Will properly wrap up on some occasions but tends to shoulder tackle. This was much more evident in Burnett’s junior season than in his sophomore year.
Final word: Playing at rover at Georgia Tech, Burnett showed he has the all-around skills to play either safety position. He’s athletic enough to play free safety and cover a lot of field. But he’s also strong enough to handle the strong side.
As a sophomore, Burnett was dynamic intercepting seven passes. He wasn’t quite as good as a junior but still decided to enter the draft. He’s just a level below Eric Berry and Earl Thomas, but perhaps just as good as Taylor Mays.