Jermaine Burton’s Draft Profile | Alabama, WR Scouting Report

If he passes the character evaluation for NFL teams, Alabama WR Jermaine Burton has the scouting report to go early in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Meet the wild card of the loaded 2024 NFL Draft wide receiver class: Alabama’s Jermaine Burton. A former highly touted recruit who established himself as one of college football’s best deep threats, can Burton grow to become even more at the NFL level with his scouting report?

Jermaine Burton Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 6’0″
  • Weight: 194
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: Alabama
  • Current Year: Senior

Hailing from Calabasas High School, Burton — originally from Alabama — was a high four-star recruit in the 2020 class, with top-100 buzz from multiple outlets. He recorded a blazing 4.43 40-yard dash as a high school competitor, and that top-tier athleticism earned him an opportunity to play with his home-state Georgia Bulldogs.

Burton played two seasons for the Bulldogs, amassing 53 catches for 901 yards and eight scores over that span. But the emergence of weapons like Brock Bowers, Ladd McConkey, and Adonai “AD” Mitchell limited the available targets.

As a result, Burton transferred in 2022 and chose the Alabama Crimson Tide as his next destination. He joined up with eventual first-overall pick Bryce Young in 2022, notching a career-high 40 catches for 677 yards and seven touchdowns.

MORE: Free NFL Mock Draft Simulator With Trades

It was a ground-breaking campaign for Burton, who established himself as a respectable receiving threat. But questions surrounding his consistency and discipline still loomed, so he returned in 2023 to headline the Crimson Tide’s receiving corps.

In 2023, despite catching one less pass than the year before, Burton achieved career-highs in both yards (798) and touchdowns (eight), averaging 20.5 yards per catch. Burton’s ability as a deep threat helped Alabama reach the CFB Playoff, but the Calabasas, California product also flashed additional upside, piquing the interest of NFL teams.

Burton’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Elite speed threat with easy explosiveness, who effortlessly warps coverage angles.
  • Has the energetic acceleration capacity to peel around tight coverage and find space.
  • Twitched-up mover with snappy redirection freedom and crisp agility as an RAC threat.
  • Flashes advanced angle and spatial IQ, and blind-spot awareness when stemming DBs.
  • Has the speed and bend to stem DBs and manipulate angles while tracking vertically.
  • Can use precise throttle modulations and stride freedom to carve into open zones.
  • Able to sustain speed through route transitions with smooth curvilinear acceleration.
  • Shows off elite stopping ability, sink, and swivel flexibility overtop comeback routes.
  • Can eviscerate off-man coverage at stems with brutal jab steps and head fakes.
  • Flashes elite catching instincts, contortion ability, ball tracking, and timing at the point.
  • Can snare passes far past his frame while having the sideline awareness to land his feet.
  • Proactively works back to passes and rises up to meet the ball, getting the jump on DBs.
  • Quietly has incredibly sure hands, and can gather RAC passes with diamond technique.
  • Instantly resets feet for RAC, and has foot speed and tempo to erode tackling angles.
  • Versatile movement-Z WR who can separate on the boundary or be used on motions.

Weaknesses

  • Has a relatively lean frame, and length is around positional average.
  • Doesn’t have great play strength against press and can be delayed upfield on releases.
  • Has a release package, but can work on improving synergy and targeted physicality.
  • With gliding mobility, sometimes drifts past optimal sit locations and shortens windows.
  • At times, can sync up a bit better with vertical presses, plants, and head fakes at stems.
  • Sometimes loses balance when attempting to stack quick lateral route transitions.
  • Doesn’t have elite hand strength in contested situations and can be prone to instability.
  • Was prone to focus drops in 2022, but noticeably improved in 2023.
  • Undeniably chippy competitor, but sometimes gets carried away with post-snap antics.
  • Effort sometimes wanes when he’s not the main read, or when scramble drills arrive.
  • Sometimes lacks angle awareness and power drive as a blocker on the boundary.
  • At times, stalls out after initial contact as a blocker and fails to displace DBs.
  • Lower early-down snap share reflects his inconsistency as a blocking presence.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Purely off of film, Burton grades out as a top-64 prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft and one of the more underrated prospects in the class. Character evaluations will play a large role in solidifying Burton’s stock, but if he doesn’t hold himself back, there’s little preventing him from being a dynamic receiving weapon.

Burton came into the 2022 season with high expectations after transferring from Georgia and initially failed to meet them. But he returned to school and made the most of his opportunity in Tuscaloosa, reinventing his game as a route runner and an RAC threat while maintaining his utility as a venerable deep threat.

Burton’s non-elite production may be concerning to some, but watching his 2023 tape at Alabama, there were many quality targets that went overlooked by Jalen Milroe. Burton’s separation ability is certifiable, and he appears to have parsed down the competitive fire that was, at times, unkempt in his earlier years.

Simply put, Burton has every athletic tool in the box. He’s hyper-explosive, an elite speed threat, extremely agile, energetic, and flexible in tight spaces — and he’s shown to have the spatial awareness, route-running IQ, deliberate motion, and bend to ruthlessly weaponize that athleticism in the separation phase.

On top of the separation and RAC utility that comes with Burton, he’s also an instinctive catcher with stellar body control, hand-eye coordination, contortion freedom, and sideline awareness. Additionally, his hand technique and consistency were a pleasant surprise on his 2023 tape.

For NFL teams, the biggest question surrounding Burton may be his character, mentality, and temperament. His growth as a player in 2023 is a very positive development, but effort, both as a secondary read and a blocker, could be more consistent.

Additionally, Burton’s temper has gotten the better of him in the past — most notably after a 2022 loss to Tennessee, when he struck a fan who was storming the field.

KEEP READING: Top WRs in the 2024 NFL Draft

Burton’s past struggles with temperament and effort unearth other questions: Is he coachable? Will he hold himself accountable? And will he be able to reach his ultimate ceiling? Those questions loom large for NFL teams.

Burton’s spread as a 2024 NFL Draft prospect is relatively large. If lapses in effort prove to be glimpses of a larger issue, he could struggle to catch on as more than a rotational deep threat. But if Burton can put it together, he has legitimate impact starter upside as a movement-Z with three-level dynamism.

All the 2024 NFL Draft resources you need — the draft order, the top QBs, the Top 100 prospects, and the full 2024 Big Board — right at your fingertips at Pro Football Network!

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