NFL Draft: Could Packers choosing Treylon Burks turn him into the next Deebo Samuel?
Welcome to the 2022 edition of the Fantasy Football Rookie Snapshot NFL draft series! In this space, fantasy football expert Liz Loza will analyze the incoming class of first-year stars and gauge their impact — be it immediate or latent — on our fake football game.
Next up, the wide receivers. She kicks things off with Arkansas' star alpha wideout, Treylon Burks!
Treylon Burks, Arkansas
Size: 6-foot-2 and 225 pounds
Age: 22-years-old (3/23/2000)
Bio: A local kid made good, Burks was a Lumberjack before he became a Razorback. A star receiver on the football team (151-3,403-43), the Arkansas native also played basketball and baseball at Warren High. Despite missing most of his senior season with a torn ACL, Burks was heavily recruited, earning four stars and receiving nine offers from top programs (including Clemson and LSU).
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He ultimately committed to Arkansas and became a three-year starter, leading the team in catches and yards within a year of his arrival on campus. The 22-year-old closed out his college career as the Razorbacks’ sixth-most productive player at the position, amassing nearly 2,400 receiving yards over his time in Fayetteville.
Pros: Hulking frame, unmatched versatility, 50/50 dominator
Cons: Raw route runner, concerns over his speed (ran a 4.55 at the Combine)
The Big Picture
Could Tyreek Hill dust Burks in a foot race? ONE HUNDO. Could Burks turn around and bench TWO of Hill? YES (plus another 10 pounds).
Burks’ upside isn’t in his speed (though if he gets loose in the open field … watch out). It’s in his size, strength and versatility. This is a man who, per Bruce Feldman, can bench 380 and squat 500 pounds. He’s a bully on the football field. One that can out-muscle/maneuver/jump defenders, regularly winning in contested situations and piling up yards after the catch.
He’s an athletic weapon who was deployed in a buffet of ways over his college career. Whether manning the outside, the slot, taking hand-offs out of the backfield or even throwing passes, Burks consistently produced at all levels of the field. That varied assortment of reps isn’t just proof of Burks’ athleticism, it also illustrates an extensive football IQ.
So while he remains a “raw” prospect with messy routes, Burks has shown the ability to pick up new concepts and succeed in a variety of ways. That figures to be a boon for any creatively minded coach(es) at the next level.
NFL Comp: Andre Johnson, (taller) A.J. Brown
The Fantasy Fit
There’s a lot of talk about Burks sliding because of his underwhelming 40-yard-dash time. The consensus appears to believe that the Jets will snag Drake London (Rookie Snapshot coming on April 15), which would mean Burks falling outside of the top-10. That may be, but I highly doubt he slips past the first round.
Therefore, he could land on several different teams. The Eagles, Saints, Packers and Lions all have gaping holes at receiver. But the tricky part about Burks is that his success as a fantasy factor is largely predicated on being paired with — as teased above — an innovative play caller.
Green Bay, obviously, remains the most appealing landing spot. Not just because of the 150-ish targets vacated by Davante Adams’ departure, but because Matt LeFleur (who has roots in the Shanahan and McVay coaching trees) has demonstrated a willingness to think outside of the box.
Burks has the potential to work as a Deebo Samuel-like weapon in an offense led by last year’s MVP. That’s a scenario that LeFleur and fantasy managers should be equally geeked about. Were it to happen, I’d take the over on 70 catches, 850 yards, and 23 side-eyes from Aaron Rodgers.
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