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Scouting Report: Treylon Burks, WR, Arkansas

One of the Packers’ top targets in mock drafts will visit the team.

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Arkansas Pine Bluff v Arkansas Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

At Acme Packing Company, we’re going to start writing up scouting reports for you on players who take or are set to take visits with the Green Bay Packers. Since Brian Gutekunst has taken over the franchise as general manager in 2018, the team has drafted eight players that they have brought in on visits.

Those players are quarterback Jordan Love, receivers J’Mon Moore and Marquez Valdes-Scantling, tight ends Josiah Deguara and Jace Sternberger, edge defender Kendall Donnerson, linebacker Oren Burks and cornerback Ka’dar Hollman. They also have added undrafted free agents from this pool of players, with the visits presumably being recruiting pitches, like Tim Boyle and even current long snapper Steven Wirtel, who first had a stint with the Los Angeles Rams.

Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus reported last week that Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks is going to take a visit with the Green Bay Packers this offseason, along with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Tennessee Titans. For what it’s worth, the Titans, Buccaneers and Packers pick 26th, 27th and 28th in the upcoming draft, respectively.

Here’s what you need to know about Burks:

General

Treylon Burks Stats

Year Receptions Yards TDs Carries Yards TDs Punt Ret Yards TDs Kick Ret Yards TDs
Year Receptions Yards TDs Carries Yards TDs Punt Ret Yards TDs Kick Ret Yards TDs
2019 29 475 0 9 35 0 12 130 0 10 226 0
2020 51 820 7 15 75 0 1 4 0 0 0 0
2021 66 1104 11 14 112 1 0 0 0 1 0 0
Total 146 2399 18 38 222 1 13 134 0 11 226 0

Treylon Burks is a big-body wide receiver at 6’2” and 225 pounds, which very much fits the Packers’ receiver room over the last two years. The question moving forward is if Green Bay still values size over speed now that Davante Adams is no longer catching perimeter screens for the team.

The junior declaration committed to Arkansas, who offered him after his freshman year, before his senior season of high school. The in-state product went to the same high school as former Razorback receivers Jarius Wright and Greg Childs, which is one reason he chose to play for the local program instead of LSU and Florida State, programs where he also held scholarships. In his senior year of high school, he tore his ACL, which is his only significant injury as of late.

The vast majority of Burks’ snaps in Arkansas’ offense came as a slot player, by design. The Razorbacks run a shotgun-based power-run offense that saw the team rush for more yards than they threw for in 2021, including 664 rushing yards on the ground by quarterback K.J. Jefferson (reminder: college rushing stats still include sack numbers as well.)

Beyond playing in the slot, Burks saw limited reps as an outside receiver, in the backfield as a screen and RPO threat and as a wing, playing a tight end-type of position. If the Packers continue their strategy at receiver, which sees them play in tight end alignments at a rate near the very top of the league, that should provide value in Green Bay. Remember, two of the guys who did this frequently, Marquez Valdes-Scantling and Equanimeous St. Brown, have left in free agency, and another, Allen Lazard, is on a one-year contract with the team.

Positives

Rare size and the skills that come with his frame are Burks’ calling card. Not only is he big, but he’s acrobatic, physical, can make catches while contorted and has plenty of off-frame receptions on film.

While his 4.55-second 40-yard dash time isn’t great, it’s more than fine for a player of his size. Remember, Davante Adams ran a 4.56-second 40 at about 10 pounds lighter back in 2014. Burks burns up cushions primarily from 5 to 15 yards, which is where he should make most of his damage, in terms of separation. At this point, he’s a plus post and corner route player who has the potential to win vertically when pressed. According to Pro Football Focus, despite rarely playing outside in Arkansas’ scheme, Burks has the highest yards per route ran among receivers drafted, or projected to be drafted, in the first two rounds since 2017.

Another positive in his game is his yards after contact ability, as SEC defenders routinely fell off of him. He shows both impressive balance after contact, to go along with his contorted catching ability, and power in his legs once he’s got a clear lane to run through. He can be used in the screen game, not just as a blocker.

Negatives

For a wide receiver who made three All-SEC teams, he was not really showcased in Arkansas’ offense. Despite playing in the slot, he often lined up around the numbers due to the very wide splits the Razorbacks played with. Think of the Art Briles system back when he was coaching at Baylor, which tricked some teams into overdrafting talents like Kendall Wright, Terrance Williams and Corey Coleman. While the raw tools are there, there is a lot to still project with Burks’ film.

Despite his size, the idea of him as a blocker is more intriguing than what he does as a down-to-down player. As head coach Matt LaFleur has noted, and as his actions have proven as he’s shaped the receiver room over his three years in Green Bay, blocking at the position matters to the team.

While Burks has the speed to win vertically against press coverage, the same cannot be said about off coverage, at least relative to NFL cornerbacks. Between that, the fact he’s not a very twitchy route-runner and that he’s inconsistent out of hard breaks like out routes, he’s closer to a mid-to-deep range high-end project with acrobatic ability than a player who is necessarily ready to be an NFL start Day 1.

His hands are somewhat inconsistent, but it’s tough to tell if his drop issues are truly a problem or if his long frame and acrobatic ability allow him and his quarterback to take chances on balls that other receiver prospects simply wouldn’t have a chance at.

Final thoughts

Burks is a Day 1 prospect who has Pro Bowl upside as an all-around player. His frame, strength and play speed allow him to play outside, inside, at the line of scrimmage and in the backfield, a value-add in an offense that uses Allen Lazard, functionally, as an extra tight end at times and has dabbled in jet motion and split back gun looks.

If drafted, he should be looked at as a potential Lazard replacement, who is on a one-year tender, as a big-body receiver who can make acrobatic off-frame catches in the intermediate range. While he’s not the burner that some fans may want, at least against off coverage, in an NFL where a receiver like the Chargers’ Mike Williams can net a $20 million per year contract with $40 million guaranteed, having Burks, even if he takes a year to adjust to the play-style of the league, on a cost-controlled deal is worth a first-round selection.