Brian Burns Declares for 2019 NFL Draft, Will Skip Senior Season at FSU

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistDecember 3, 2018

Florida State's Brian Burns runs before an NCAA college football game against Syracuse in Syracuse, N.Y., Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018. (AP Photo/Nick Lisi)
Nick Lisi/Associated Press

Defensive end Brian Burns will forgo his senior season at Florida State in favor of entering the 2019 NFL draft.  

"Florida State has been some of the best years of my life," Burns told Pete Thamel of Yahoo Sports. "These last three years have been great playing with my teammates, but I feel like this is my opportunity, and time for me to go."

While the Seminoles were disappointing as a whole in 2018, Burns enjoyed a career-best campaign with 10 sacks and 52 total tackles.

The 6'5", 235-pound native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, burst on to the scene in 2016 with 8.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss in just eight games, which netted him Freshman All-America honors.

His production dropped off a bit in 2017 to the tune of 4.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles for loss in 13 games, but he bounced back in a big way in 2018.

As part of his latest big board, Bleacher Report's Matt Miller ranked Burns as the No. 28 overall prospect and No. 7 edge rusher in the 2019 draft class.

CBS Sports NFL draft expert Chris Trapasso is among those who see immense potential Burns as an NFL prospect, but he noted that Burns could benefit from bulking up: "He'll want to get into the 240-250-pound range to play on the outside in the NFL, but with his natural athleticism and flashes of hand usage, he absolutely has the physical profile of a first-round selection."

Burns is versatile due to his ability to rush the passer with his hand on the ground as a defensive end or while standing as an outside linebacker.

Many current NFL defenses utilize hybrid players like Burns and play an amoeba style meant to confuse opposing offenses at the line of scrimmage.

Burns is the perfect fit for that type of system, and his athleticism could make him a handful for offensive linemen to handle at the next level.

His decision to enter the NFL draft comes at a high point in his collegiate career, and the fact that he figures to excel at the NFL Scouting Combine likely played role in his choice as well.

Returning to school and turning in another productive season may have sealed his fate as a first-round pick, but it is difficult to envision Burns remaining on the board for too long given his skill set.

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