Name: Brian Burns
School: Florida State
Height: 6′ 5″
Weight: 249 lbs.
After the retirement of Brian Orakpo and the loss of Derrick Morgan in free agency, the Titans are thin at outside linebacker. The unit has 2018 second-round pick Harold Landry along with 37-year old free agency addition Cameron Wake. However, Wake will almost certainly only be used as a situational pass-rusher. Therefore, the Titans need to find a running partner for Landry on the other side. This should be the top priority for Tennessee in the draft. Conveniently for the Titans, this year’s draft class is loaded with talent at pass-rusher. Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, and Montez Sweat will be long gone by the time the Titans pick at #19. However, there is a chance Burns could fall to Tennessee and General Manager Jon Robinson shouldn’t hesitate to take him.
Why is Burns a Fit in Nashville?
Tennessee drafted Landry last year in order to prepare for the eventual loss of Orakpo and Morgan. However, they struggled mightily getting to quarterbacks without blitzing last year despite having all three in the rotation. Landry looks like he can develop into an elite speed-rusher off of one side, but they need someone to complement his skills on the other side. Burns is an elite athlete and ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at the combine, along with a 129 inch broad jump, which was the third-furthest among EDGE defenders. His size and speed will allow him to rush the passer effectively and will give tackles nightmares. Landry has shown he can make plays against the run, while Burns is more of a pure pass-rusher. The Titans need someone who can make life hard for Andrew Luck, Nick Foles, and Deshaun Watson twice a year. Burns fits the bill and would be a perfect complement to Landry with Wake rushing on third downs.
Jon Robinson loves to draft players who produced in college rather than prospects who have potential. Burns would be no different. The Florida State defensive end racked up sacks and tackles for loss throughout his career in Tallahassee. Throughout his college career he had 23.0 sacks and 38.5 TFL in 33 games. This included 10.0 sacks and 15.5 TFL in his final season. Burns could immediately make an impact on the defensive side of the ball for Tennessee. Their secondary proved they could cover, but getting to the passer would make things so much easier for the defense. Burns stands at 6’5″, but has elite bend just like Landry. He is lightning quick and has long arms that will allow him to use his speed to get around tackles and make plays. If Burns is the pick for the Titans in the first round, fans of the team should be ecstatic. Opposing coaches for the next few seasons will struggle with how they are going to be able to block Burns, Landry, and Jurrell Casey in the middle. Burns may not make it to the Titans, but if he somehow slips to the 19th pick, the Titans most likely will not pass on him.