Artie Burns NFL Draft 2016: Scouting Report, Grade for Steelers Rookie

B/R Video@@bleacherreportB/R VideoApril 29, 2016


A fast, fluid, long cornerback with the ideal traits of a Round 1 player, junior Artie Burns has been surrounded by buzz in the lead-up to the draft.

With six interceptions and five pass breakups in 2015, Burns made a huge impact in the Miami secondary. He allowed just one touchdown all season—in the Virginia Tech game—and impressed as an eraser in man coverage. He has the length and closing speed to give wide receivers a cushion at the line, but can also counter that and get in their face to use his hands to press and jam.

A typically cocky, loud player, Burns backs it up. He loves to chatter, but when you’re grabbing six interceptions and blanking receivers’ attempts at the end zone, you can run your mouth a little bit.

Burns fits the mold of what the NFL wants in an outside cornerback: long, rangy and able to eliminate jump balls with length and/or a vertical jump. He has all that.


Burns is raw as the day is long and will need coaching up in rookie camp on timing and technique at the position. With his focus split between football and track, he’s never had time to commit to learning the intricacies of the position—and the former staff at Miami had a reputation for not developing talent. Burns must be taught to play hands-off coverage to eliminate the penalties that popped up on tape.

Burns must also learn to get that 6’0” frame bent lower in his backpedal so he doesn’t waste his speed and fluid motions by playing tall and allowing wide receivers to eat him up on breaking routes. He has natural athleticism and instincts, but his play awareness can be improved with film study and reps in practice.

Burns doesn’t bring much in the run game, and with five missed tackles on the year, he is weak at the point of attack when taking on ball-carriers.


Height: 6'0"

Weight: 193 lbs.

40 Time: 4.46s

3-Cone: 6.96s

Short Shuttle: 4.30s

PRO COMPARISON: Johnathan Joseph, Houston Texans
FINAL GRADE: 6.75/9.00 (Round 2—Future Starter)


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.