Luther Burden III’s Draft Profile | Missouri, WR Scouting Report

As his 2025 NFL Draft scouting report details, Missouri WR Luther Burden III may be the next WR1 to hit the draft circuit. Here's what he brings.

The 2025 NFL Draft cycle is upon us, and the scouting report of Missouri wide receiver Luther Burden III is one that’s already garnered plenty of attention.

Can Burden compete for the WR1 title in the upcoming class, and where does he provide the most value?

Luther Burden III’s Draft Profile and Measurements

  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 208 pounds
  • Position: Wide Receiver
  • School: Missouri
  • Current Year: Junior

Every summer, we roll over to the next cycle, and a new WR becomes the apple of the evaluation community’s eye. Heading into the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, odds are high that Burden will be this WR.

Burden has long been preconceived as a potential first-round prospect in the 2025 NFL Draft, and he’s done nothing to stall his momentum in that regard.

He was a consensus five-star recruit coming out of East St. Louis High School who, in his senior season, caught 71 passes for 1,174 yards and 20 touchdowns, and returned 21 punts for 852 yards and eight scores.

Burden could have attended a blue-blood school, but instead, he remained in-state and chose to help resurrect the Missouri football program. And the results have already come along.

In 2022, Burden flashed promise with 463 total yards and eight total TDs — as well as a punt return TD. In 2023, Burden was a driving force in the Tigers going 11-2, and Burden himself was a first-team All-SEC honoree with 86 catches for 1,212 yards and nine scores.

The trajectory has been set for Burden, and he’s rocketing toward Round 1 at a rapid pace. But looking at his current profile, where does his grade land him, and where might he settle in when the 2025 NFL Draft arrives?

Burden’s Scouting Report

Strengths

  • Sports a dense, compact frame with excellent mass and proportional length.
  • Extremely explosive and fluid mover, and a potent weapon on designed touches.
  • Can go from 0 to 100 in an instant, and has the long speed to stretch vertical seams.
  • Possesses hyper-elite short-area twitch and energy, yielding unmatched creation ability.
  • Boasts rare foot speed, cutting flexibility, and short-area malleability as a RAC threat.
  • Has the focus and smooth control to corral passes in-stride while keeping speed.
  • Can secure passes over the middle amidst contact, with sturdy diamond technique.
  • Flashes elite catch-point instincts and timing, using late hands to control positioning.
  • Can freely contort for back-shoulder passes, using stellar body control and flexibility.
  • Has shown he can use second-level split footwork to offset and then bend around DBs.
  • Has the hip flexibility and sink to make angle adjustments while keeping pace on breaks.
  • Possesses the foot speed and sink to suddenly stop on hitches and intermediate curls.
  • Shows off good zone awareness, and can sit in middle-field windows and extend plays.
  • Physical competitor who can use his length to pry past zone defenders and enter space.
  • Frame density, length, and energized leg churn enable him to pry through solo tackles.

Weaknesses

  • Doesn’t have an abundance of experience or comfort against press-man coverage.
  • Footwork and successive weight distribution against press can be uncontrolled.
  • At times, can be more efficient and deliberate with head fakes ahead of stems.
  • Can more effectively press upfield into breaks to draw defenders off of stems.
  • Sometimes runs into DBs’ frames while tracking upfield, giving up space.
  • At times, gets too cute trying to use tempo and runs himself out of positioning.
  • Still learning how to properly use positioning and cut angles at proper depth.
  • Overall, has room to further expand his route tree to feature more layered routes.
  • Will at times veer and defer to physicality when unable to separate organically.
  • Can make a more concerted effort to make himself available on the scramble drill.
  • Has room to give more consistent effort both as a blocker and late in routes.

Current Draft Projection and Summary

Entering the 2025 NFL Draft cycle, Burden grades out as a mid-to-late-first-round prospect. He’s a definite Round 1 candidate and a contender for the WR1 mantle in the upcoming class.

A former five-star recruit, athleticism and talent are two clear strong points of Burden’s profile. To that end, he’s an incredibly unique WR prospect. He has a well-leveraged, dense, and compact frame — but he also has the length to pry past defenders, extend, and snare high-difficulty throws.

Past his measurements, Burden is as dynamic as they come. He’s a hyper-elite explosive threat with game-breaking short-area twitch and agility, and his energized motion allows him to create space and recalibrate at a moment’s notice.

With his combined speed, explosiveness, agility and twitch, play strength, and contact balance, Burden is a devastating RAC threat. He also has the sturdy hands and body control to corral high-difficulty attempts and convert on chances time and time again.

Where Burden stands to improve most is as a route runner. His sense of positioning, footwork efficiency, pressing technique, and consistency can all improve. But even then, Burden has the bend, flexibility, sharp angle freedom, and zone awareness to sustain a high ceiling — and he’s already an alignment-versatile weapon.

Already, Burden is worthy of Round 1 capital. And if he can improve his consistency as a route runner, he can be a true blue-chip WR talent, a top-10 selection, and one of the better WR prospects we’ve seen over the five years.

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