In my initial Dallas Cowboys Mock Draft, I had the ‘Boys selecting Utah cornerback Brandon Burton in the third round. I figured I’d provide a more detailed analysis of Burton’s play.
Brandon Burton seems like a “typical” Dallas Cowboys cornerback due to his excellent speed and the fact that he is superior in man-coverage as opposed to zone. He uses his long arms (he’s 6’1”) to generally get a nice press on receivers. In the film below, Burton didn’t play much press coverage because of his opponent–Pitt’s Jonathan Baldwin.
Baldwin is a massive receiver and Utah apparently didn’t think Burton could muscle up with Baldwin (although it is generally easier to press a big guy than a small, quick one, in my opinion).
Nonetheless, the Pitt game was one of Burton’s worst. He was forced to play off-coverage quite a bit and didn’t fair that well. At the 2:21 mark, you can see Burton get turned around on a double-move and yield an easy score. When he’s more than five yards off the ball (as in that play), his footwork suffers.
The routes Burton covers superbly are the deep ones—the go, deep post, and so on. He’s got excellent make-up speed and can allow a receiver to get to his hip without giving up the deep ball (double-moves, as you saw, are a different story). Burton also has great jumping ability.
Many people seem to think Burton is a good (even great) tackler, but I don’t see it. He’s better than Jimmy Smith, but Burton fails to get off blocks and gets overpowered often. He’s not unwilling to stick his nose in there, but he is only effective if he’s unblocked. You can see him get neutralized in the run game at the nine-second mark and (especially) at the 1:56 mark. On the latter play, Burton gets absolutely demolished.
As I stated above, I think Burton will get selected around the third round. Because of his position, he could sneak into the back of the second round, but I don’t think he deserves to be there. He’s an Orlando Scandrick-type player: He’s got the potential to be a solid contributor, but he’s not going to be a No. 1 cornerback. I’d give him a third or fourth-round grade.
Other Potential Dallas Cowboys Draft Picks in 2011