With Brian Orakpo’s announcement this week that he’s retiring from the NFL, and Derrick Morgan’s contract expiring in March, the Tennessee Titans could certainly use some pass rushing help.
So it’s probably not a surprise that CBS Sports has the Titans taking Florida State’s Brian Burns, an edge rusher, in the first round of their latest mock draft.
Here’s what they have to say about the pick.
The Titans smartly started building for the future of their edge rush in the last draft by taking Harold Landry, and now they give him a running mate with Brian Orakpo retiring and Derrick Morgan a free agent. There’s no question what you bring Burns in to do: get after the quarterback. He’s an ideal fit for a 3-4 team at his size, but his explosiveness will make him difficult to handle for all but the most athletic of offensive tackles.
Burns is an impressive athlete who has the size (6-foot-5/235 lbs) to be an effective pass rusher in the NFL (though he could certainly stand to add a few pounds of muscle).
The former Florida State standout had 8.5 sacks as a true freshman in 2016. He only had 4.5 sacks in his sophomore season, but he totaled 13.5 tackles for loss and 48 total tackles.
As a junior this past season, Burns compiled 10 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss and 52 total tackles. He’s also had six forced fumbles over the last two seasons.
Here’s what The Draft Network had to say about Burns in their scouting report before the 2018 season.
Already showing a variety of pass rush moves, footwork, burst and length, Burns has a considerably high ceiling as a pass rusher. He does well to minimize his surface area and use his hands to clear his pads. He knows how to use his feet to set up his pass rush moves and draw opponents out of their sets to soften his rush angles. He has the flexibility to corner the edge track and length to finish. His pass rushing skill set translates nicely to the NFL level.
Burns would certainly be a nice addition to the Titans’ roster. But they might have some competition for some of the draft’s top edge rushers.
The Carolina Panthers have the No. 16 overall selection and they’re also in the market for an edge rusher (especially with Julius Peppers on the verge of retirement).
Could this be another scenario where Titans general manager Jon Robinson deems it necessary to trade up?
It’s definitely way too early to know the answer to that question, but it’s absolutely a possibility.
Featured image via Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports