Brian Burns | Pass Rusher You Need to Know

Pass Rushers are always a hot commodity to NFL teams and tend to have a higher focus put on them by both the media and the fans. And while most people already know about Nick Bosa, Rashan Gary and Clelin Ferrell one name that might be a little more under the radar is Florida State’s Brian Burns. With Florida State moving on with a new coaching staff and Josh Sweat gone to the NFL, the attention now turns to Burns who could be on the verge of a breakout year.

 

What Brian Burns Does Well

Burns is at his best when attacking forward using his his burst and lateral agility to react and make subtle changes of direction allow him to get around defenders and make plays. As a pass rusher he looks to beat the offensive tackle with speed to the edge and then has the ability to sink his hips to bend around the the offensive tackle and get to the quarterback. Even when not lined up off the edge Burns showed the lateral agility to loop inside and then the quickness to beat interior offensive lineman .Burns can also use his long arms well to either swat away the hands of the offensive lineman or to get a hand to the ball to jar a fumble loose.

 

Concerns About Brian Burns

While Burns has success playing in space, he can really struggle working in a phone booth. When offensive lineman are able to get their hands on him he gets pushed around way too often causing him to be a liability at times in the run game. Burns also has trouble shedding blocks even if they are in the gap right next to him. If he’s able to use his length and create some leverage he should be able to set the edge in the run game, but it hasn’t be evident yet. As a pass rusher Burns shows the ability to win with athletic ability, but needs to learn how to use his hands and develop a couple of go to moves to win against NFL offensive tackles.

 

Outlook

With former defensive coordinator Charles Kelly now gone and Harlon Barnett taking over this should be a good move for Burns. Kelly’s defense was not a good fit for the athletes they had and Barnett’s Michigan State style 4-3 Quarters defense means they’ll want to rush just four defenders and should allow Burns to be more aggressive and work more as a 5 or 7 technique. That being said Burns best fits a defense that will allow him to play in space, so playing an outside linebacker in a 3-4 or even a weakside linebacker (leo) in the Seattle Style 4-3 Under Defenses are his best options. If Burns is able to further develop his pass rushing moves and improves his ability to take on blocks he has the chance to be elite. But it’s all about getting there.

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