Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Why he can excel
There may be too many reasons to list here, particularly because I have already gone on at length on this subject.
But to summarize, Burkhead brings a lot to the table.
He has the mentality that would make any coach drool as he brings experience in a multi-back system, a strong work ethic and lacks the diva complex that runs rampant through NFL locker rooms.
Physically, he has all the tools, from his speed in the open field to his power between the tackles.
What he must prove
There are really two main obstacles which Burkhead must overcome in order to make a splash in the upcoming draft.
First, he needs to establish his name. Suggesting that NFL scouts would fail to find a prospect from a school like Nebraska is just ludicrous. After all, Miles Austin and Tony Romo have made brilliant careers from humble collegiate beginnings. But there is still no denying that Le’Veon Bell and Montee Ball are stealing the headlines from the Big Ten Conference’s combine contingent.
Second, and probably more importantly, Burkhead needs to dispel any concerns about his propensity for injuries. If there is one thing NFL teams dislike more than paying running backs to stand the sidelines in street clothes, it is paying rookie, unproven running backs to stand the sidelines in street clothes.
The timetable for Burkhead to make a full recovery is obviously not going to change to accommodate the NFL combine’s schedule. Performing unaffected by his nagging injury would do well to rid the scouts of that concern.