Burns was the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first-round draft pick (25th overall) in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Burns started out his career on the right foot, playing in all 32 games, recording 99 tackles, 4 interceptions, 2 fumble recoveries, and 26 passes defended. He struggled his last two seasons, however. In 2017, his production dropped. He had no interceptions and as the season progressed his confidence went down. He eventually lost his starting job.
In 2018, Burns continued to struggle. He fell in the depth chart to the point of only playing in six percent of the defensive snaps. He played primarily on special teams and was inactive for the final six games of the season.
Burns basically signed a one-year “prove it” type of deal. He’ll compete for the starter’s job. The Bears have second-year player Duke Shelley, who they are fond of, and Kevin Toliver, their undrafted rookie free agent signee in 2018.
In addition, Expect the Bears to draft a cornerback in April’s draft. The competition could bring out the best in all the players involved, especially for Burns. He showed promise during his first two seasons, but when he lost his confidence he went downhill. Hopefully, the competition elevates his play and his confidence returns. There is nothing worse than a cornerback without confidence. He should be supremely confident, almost bordering on cockiness. They get picked on a lot, and sometimes they win and sometimes they lose. Having that confidence helps him forget the times he got burned.
Burns kept thinking about the times he struggled and let it affect him. Now, he has a change of scenery and hopefully, that helps him. He is not only a supremely athletic corner with top track speed but also has the body (6-feet tall, 195 pounds) and physical tools to succeed. He was an All-American track star at the University of Miami. If he can get out of his own mind this could be a good signing. At the very least, the Bears have good depth at cornerback and an added player at special teams.