While replacing what A.J. Brown brought to the Tennessee Titans offense is no easy feat, it can be argued Treylon Burks is in as good a position to do so as any of the other first-round receivers.
Stylistically, Burks and Brown play a similar style of game.
The Titans are presumably hoping Burks can put up similar first-year numbers to Brown’s rookie season, when he hauled in 52 receptions, 1,051 yards and eight touchdowns while averaging 20.2 yards per reception.
Burks caught 66 passes for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns this season at Arkansas, and he averaged 16.4 yards per reception in his three years with the Razorbacks. He can play in the slot or outside, and he’s tough to bring down once he gets in space.
There’s much to like about what Burks adds to the Titans offense. His 6-foot-3, 225-pound frame gives him an advantage over most defensive backs in contested catch situations, and defenders have a tough time shutting down his after-the-catch ability.
Here’s what draft experts are saying about Tennessee’s newest offensive weapon:
Matt Miller, ESPN:
"Day 1 starter. The Titans trade away Brown and draft the player I compared to him in the pre-draft process. Burks will excel at slant routes and in the screen game. His ability to create after the catch will have Titans fans remembering Brown ... albeit on a much cheaper contract in the long term."
Lance Zierlein, NFL.com:
“Big, smooth and natural, Burks possesses the versatility to operate from wherever you want and get to wherever you need no matter the competition. He's a mismatch receiver combining size, strength and competitiveness similar to the Titans' A.J. Brown, but his speed testing at the NFL Scouting Combine did not meet expectations.
“Arkansas benefited by putting the ball in his hands from a variety of alignments and there is no reason to believe NFL play-callers won't benefit from doing the same. The tape is extremely exciting with real NFL skills jumping off the screen, but his potential to become a high-volume, three-level target is a little more cloudy after a relatively disappointing showing at the combine.”
Dane Brugler, The Athletic:
“With 82.9 percent of his career snaps coming in the slot, inline or in the backfield, he was deployed across the formation to create mismatches and led the Razorbacks in receiving yards each of the past three seasons. With his vision and acceleration, Burks has the skills to turn quick-hitters into big plays, breaking tackles with his balance, body strength and competitive toughness (led the SEC with 22 plays of 20-plus yards in 2021).
“He can also track the football downfield with his large catch radius, although his separation skills can be mitigated by his undeveloped rhythm as a route runner. Overall, Burks is underdeveloped as an outside route runner, but he is a dynamic weapon with the ball in his hands and boasts the unique blend of size, athleticism and ball skills to grow into an NFL team’s No. 1 receiver. He compares to a linebacker-sized Deebo Samuel in a similar scheme.”
Oliver Hodkinson, Pro Football Network:
“Burks is the epitome of a big-bodied pass catcher. He has a very well-built frame that, at times, allows for an impressively physical brand of football. This is particularly apparent at the catch point. 50/50 balls often result in him making the catch as he outmuscles his opponent.
“The Arkansas WR is also able to use his physicality to manufacture yardage after the catch, proving a difficult proposition to take down in space. Burks wins at the catch point with more than physicality alone, however. [Burks] demonstrates excellent ball tracking and body control, giving him an advantage in these situations.”
Bleacher Report Scouting Department:
“Burks is a good overall athlete who consistently shows burst, balance and body control to smoothly start and stop on routes. His very good burst also shows up when he gets north with the ball in his hands. Burks is able to split defenders in a hurry, and his play strength lets him break through tackles from smaller defenders.
“He has large hands that allow him to pluck throws out of the air with ease, and he can often make the spectacular catch away from his body, although he will have some concentration drops crop up. Arkansas likes to move Burks around the formation to highlight his talent, often putting him in motion before targeting him with a throw or designed run.”
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