Matt Waldman’s RSP Boiler Room revisits the game of Arkansas weapon Treylon Burks and reveals a skill where Burks improved in 2021 and two areas where he continues to struggle.
My project names for Burks as I study his film are Deebo Patterson and Cordarrelle Samuel. Big, strong, fast, and developing into a reliable contested-catch weapon, my eventual player comparison I’m leaning toward is heavier to the Cordarrelle Patterson side.
Regardless of whether Burks’ game falls closer to Samuel or Patterson, all three have things in common beyond the big, strong, fast label. None of them possessed strong release skills against press coverage during their college careers and none of them were especially refined at reading zone coverages and knowing how to make mid-route adjustments.
This RSP Boiler Room compiles plays from Burks’ 2020 and 2021 seasons that are representative of what I’ve noticed repeatedly about Burks’ struggles with having a plan against press coverage beyond 1-2 moves that have become predictable. This episode also gives an example of where Burks can improve as a route runner against zone coverage as well as illustrates where Burks’ work at the catch-point has improved.
I’m almost positive that Burks will not be my top-ranked receiver in this class but he will be in one of my top two tiers. As mentioned in past RSP publications, rankings suck. Media scouts aren’t making boards for a specific team which means we’re inherently evaluating players on a wider template of possibilities than an individual team. At the same time, we have to note where a player could offer a strong or weak fit.
Burks, like Samuel or Patterson, can become the production leader of an offense early in his career if his new team creates plays that scheme him open and exploits his vertical route running against zone coverage. If nothing changes with his game as a rookie, Burks will be a high-end scheme player–a potentially productive complement to the offense.
If Burks can eventually develop his skills against press coverage and become reliable at reading zone coverage, he could become the primary weapon in his offense and a premier match-up threat. Where he lands will indicate how good he can become as a rookie. How he appraoches his profession will determine if he can transcend the offense.
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