When the NFL Draft finally rolls around, the Ravens will be looking long and hard for pass rushers and inside linebackers.
With Miles Burris, the Ravens could kill two birds with one stone, acquiring both a fearsome pass rusher and a solid inside linebacker prospect.
Burris, an outside linebacker for San Diego State, has all the markings of a Ravens linebacker. He is explosive and a superior athlete, but most importantly, he lives, eats and breathes football.
In describing himself, Burris points to his explosion and power as his defining characteristics on the field, and it shows in his tape. He genuinely looks like the best athlete on the field.
He also references his passion for the game, saying, "I love the violence of the game, I love to compete and I want to win.”
That passion is perhaps the most important facet of any prospect on the Ravens' radar, and Burris is definitely on the Ravens' radar.
Sports Illustrated analyst Tony Pauline tweeted: "Baltimore Ravens worked out Miles Burris/LB/San Diego State at pro-day. Used him as an inside linebacker which is interesting..."
Clearly the Ravens think highly of Burris if they conduct his pro day workout. Still, Burris has multiple suitors, including the Jaguars, Raiders, Saints, Buccaneers and Rams.
Despite being an under the radar prospect, Burris is attracting attention, especially after a pre-draft session that saw him bench 31 reps at the combine and run a 4.6 40 at his pro day.
The Ravens could certainly make good use of that kind of athleticism.
As a linebacker in SDSU's 3-3-5 defensive scheme, Burris lined up all over the field. He points to his experience lining up over the tight end, dropping in zones and rushing of the edge as an example of his versatility, another facet that pro teams covet.
With that versatility and athleticism, Burris could line up at any of the Ravens' four linebacker spots.
He has the strength to set the edge like Jarret Johnson once did, he has the explosion to rush the passer like Terrell Suggs and he has the movement skills and technique to play on the inside, as well.
Further, his athleticism makes him an ideal special teams candidate. The Ravens have been committed to special teams this offseason, and Burris would be a huge contributor in the facet of the game.
In the end, though, his fire for the game is what will keep Burris firmly on some teams' radar.
In speaking with him, that fire came through very clearly as he closed his comments, saying, "I love the game of football, I want to keep playing as long as I can and I want to make it happen.”
Right now, Burris looks like a fifth or sixth round prospect, but he plays like an NFL linebacker, and that kind of ability is invaluable.
If the Ravens come down with him on draft day, he could carry the torch as the next great Ravens' linebacker. That would make him, without question, the steal of the draft.
All quotes obtained first-hand unless otherwise noted.
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