First things first, Burks has to be available, but what should be his role when he’s on the field?
Is it Usage? Samuel. Ceiling? Brown. Or is he just a mesh between Courtland Sutton, Brian Quick and Laquan Treadwell?
Credit to those who said pre-draft, that Treylon Burks was closer to Laviska Shenault and Deebo Samuel than A.J. Brown.
Brown was my comp because I was evaluating with the old scouting adage of “what could he become” but Shenault and Samuel are the comp that gets you his immediate impact and production.
Now don’t get me wrong, he’s a better potential vertical threat than those guys but we’re strictly talking production here. And by production, I mean catches, carries, and yards. Utility, if you will. All too often it’s easy to get a guy like that involved earlier by being creative with him. Give him highly schemed looks with bubbles, screens, end arounds, backfield carries, and just being intentional with his involvement. Without question, in a traditional dropback game, he can beat defenders horizontally on crossers and vertically on go’s. But 4 to 5 intentional targets/touches would do wonders for his confidence. I’m not Burks but I think that would signify even more of the coach’s belief in him, therefore installing more of a sense of duty and responsibility, and if doing well, confidence is the natural byproduct.
Coming out of college Burks ranked #1 in screen yardage. 37.8% of his 66 catches in 2021 came on screen passes. 44.6% of his yards were on vertical routes. There’s a delicate balance between him banging with those front seven defenders all the time and keeping him healthy. Because he’s had a significant injury history, specifically to his lowers. That’s a different topic altogether. But regardless he’s a professional football player that is 6’2″ 225 lbs. the organization is expecting results.
Video Explanation: Availability is your best ability.
Here’s a detailed assessment talking about how Burks’ body type may be something he can’t escape. https://youtu.be/Kid_cP9Tq9Y?si=9Q1n_alKtHKrHpSe
He’s Shown That He Can Stretch The Field
Over the past year, he’s worked on his route craft and nuance and just like the Titans need to see their young QBs play, they also need to see what they have in Burks, in a multitude of ways.
He’s shown the ability to be a downfield combat catcher but you can’t live off of that because it’s such a low probability play. The Titans want an efficient passing game and that low percentage heave is just not going to get it done all of the time.
With that being said, of course give him his looks but he can be so much more.
Teams Have Reportedly Called Titans About Burks
Teams have been calling the Titans about Burks’ availability, and honestly, I’d be listening. I said in a previous article that a 1st or 2nd would be the starting point, but a player of similar potential would suffice. Players like Donovan Peoples-Jones and Jahan Dotson stand out the most, if available. Both are not being utilized in their current offense. DPJ is legit swap worthy plus draft capital, but Dotson would need to add even more draft capital to make me do it. Important to remember, it’s not about how much you value said player it’s how much the team inquiring values that said player.
This is just a thought. Common trade deadline conversation.
Burks could be another team’s missing piece or next star. He could be the Titans’ next star, but he needs to stay healthy, and they have to get him the ball.