2019 Raiders Draft Prospect Profile
Name: Ben Burr-Kirven
School: The University of Washington
Weight: 230 pounds
Draft Projection: Day 3
With Kirven, his speed also focuses around his eyes. Before the play develops, you will see him streak towards the area before the moment unfolds. With little wasted motion, he finds the ball. Burr-Kirven exhibits disciplined speed. For example, he will rarely overrun the play.
In reviewing film, Burr-Kirven brings versatility, technique, and drive to making the stop. When facing the target in space, he will not bite on the juke. Instead, he focuses on the torso. Meanwhile, when approaching from an angle, Burr-Kirven attacks the target, head up, and quickly. More importantly, look for the punch to dislodge the ball. In addition, Burr-Kirven can secure the stop while ripping at the ball.
Dropping back into coverage actually suits Burr-Kirven. Provided the range of coverage is not too deep. While he can drop ten yards back, too much seam space may not be his forte.
Burr-Kirven is a blitzer at this point. That is to say, he just runs towards to quarterback without moves or nuance. Over time, if he incorporates better hand technique, it will serve him well.
Despite his frame, Burr-Kirven will correctly predict the flow of a run. By anticipating the hole, Kirven will force the action wider. He affects the play, leading to the conclusion.
Burr-Kirven is not an imposing figure. He will not stand out in a crowd. Yet, his leadership and willingness to throw himself into the fray stands out. If the offense calls a screen or perimeter run, look for him to lead the charge.
Overall, due to his contract, Tahir Whitehead could be the only returning starting linebacker. For years, the Raiders struggled to assemble a quality depth chart. Granted, from Miles Burris to Ben Heeney, the recent past does not conjure up thoughts of talent. Now, Kirven brings flexibility to the Raiders. First, he will not hurt them in coverage. With a knack for sitting down in the zone or playing underneath, nickel duties could find him on the field. Next, within the confines of a regular defense, Kirven could hold up in the run game based on his timing, vision, and decisive acceleration. However, if the Raiders draft Kirven, he will initially start on special teams. This gives him the opportunity to get NFL snaps while figuring into the defensive gameplan. More importantly, the Raiders will benefit from a volume tackler.