Deontay Burnett Declares for 2018 NFL Draft After 3 Seasons at USC

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistJanuary 8, 2018

Southern California wide receiver Deontay Burnett (80) in action during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Utah in Los Angeles, Saturday, Oct. 14, 2017. USC won 28-27. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)
Kelvin Kuo/Associated Press

Deontay Burnett is headed to the NFL. The USC Trojans wide receiver announced his intention to enter his name in the 2018 NFL draft Monday, forgoing his final year of eligibility. 

The junior recorded 86 receptions for 1,114 yards and nine touchdowns in 2017. He was by far the favorite target of quarterback Sam Darnold, who will also be taking his talents to the NFL after announcing his draft intentions earlier this month. 

Burnett is listed at 6'0" and 170 pounds, and his biggest question mark at the next level is his size. He's a little on the slight side, and his measurements at the scouting combine could determine whether he has a real shot at being an outside guy. If Burnett measures under six feet in shoes, odds are teams will want to groom him to remain in the slot—a place he thrived in at USC.

"He's sneaky-fast, and obviously, he's such a great route-runner," Darnold told 247Sports in September. "He's matured so much over the past couple of years, just in terms of route running and his knowledge for the game. He's always doing the little things right and leading by example.

"You always see him out here. He's one of the last guys to leave and one of the first guys to arrive. I don't think that mentality will ever change."

Walter Football has Burnett ranked 17th among receivers in the 2018 class. Burnett is likely going to be a mid-round pick unless he has a stellar showing in Indianapolis at the combine. 

The film highlights him as a smart route-runner who makes guys miss and can stretch the field. 

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