The Arkansas Razorbacks haven’t had a wide receiver drafted to the NFL since Cobi Hamilton in 2013. However, Treylon Burks has the potential to alter that streak in the 2022 NFL Draft. The powerful all-purpose pass catcher projects to be one of the top wide receivers in the class, and his scouting report details precisely what makes Burks so unique.
Treylon Burks NFL Draft Profile
- Position: Wide Receiver
- School: Arkansas
- Current Year: Junior
- Height: 6’3″
- Weight: 225 pounds
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Treylon Burks Scouting Report
Arkansas WR Burks is a walking contradiction to the statement “size doesn’t matter.” At 6’3″ and 225 pounds, he owns the physicality of a traditional big-bodied playmaker but comes with deceptive athletic upside — we’ll get to that momentarily. In addition to his incredibly well-put-together frame, Burks possesses insanely big hands.
He has to have custom-made 5XL gloves to wear on game day, and this hand size gives him incredible catch ability. Furthermore, his hand size allows him to be physical in the ground game. Burks is both willing and able in this regard. He does an excellent job of getting his hands on his man and blocking downfield.
For a player of his size, he is unexpectedly athletic
Burks contains deceptive speed, which, combined with his size, makes him a handful in coverage. Additionally, he is extremely fluid in his movements. This allows him to ghost through soft spots in coverage, often resulting in chunk plays for Arkansas’ offense.
The unique combination of size, speed, and athleticism allows Burks to produce yardage after the catch consistently. It’s rare to see him brought down on the first contact.
Finally, Burks’ versatility should only add value to his NFL Draft stock. Although Burks took most of his snaps out of the slot, he has experience out wide and in the backfield. Arkansas uses him in motion, and there are even examples of him aligned on the end of the offensive line as if he were a tight end.
Areas for improvement
As exciting as Burks is as an NFL Draft prospect, the Arkansas WR has some areas for improvement.
There are some examples of drops on his tape that you would expect him to secure. With such large hands and exceptional catching technique, the presumption is that these drops result from complacency. Burks will need to ensure he cuts these lapses of concentration out of his game to maximize his potential.
Although it isn’t his fault, the Arkansas offense manufactures a lot of touches for him. As a result, Burks hasn’t demonstrated a vast route tree.
Burks’ Player Profile
The word “unique” is often overused in football analysis, but Burks was anything but ordinary for Warren High School. A multi-year starter in several sports, he could have comfortably made a living in either basketball or baseball. However, Burks chose to put his athletic ability to stellar use on the football field.
Built differently even at a young age, Burks had the build of a linebacker combined with the speed and overall athletic ability of a wide receiver or running back. Inevitably he saw time on both sides of the ball, plus special teams, but it was his offensive prowess that blew coaches and analysts away.
During his junior season, Burks secured 45 receptions for 1,090 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns. In a mesmeric display of his offensive capability, he also contributed 936 rushing yards and 27 touchdowns on 114 carries. Burks helped lead Warren to the Arkansas 4A State Championship Game, although he couldn’t help secure consecutive championship titles.
The college football world was taking notice
247 Sports ranked Burks as the 16th wide receiver in the class, the top player in Arkansas, and he narrowly missed out on being a top-100 player in the 2019 recruiting class. The Arkansas native received offers from across the nation, including Clemson, FSU, LSU, Tennessee, Ole Miss, and Michigan. Yet, for Burks, there was truly no place like home.
“I picked Arkansas because I grew up here watching the Razorbacks and I always wanted to play for them. Nothing is like playing for the Natural State.”
Burks committed to Arkansas before his senior season. With his recruitment wrapped up, he could focus on delivering another state title to Warren High School. Unfortunately, Burks would suffer a significant injury that curtailed his high school career. He’d already showcased his incredible versatility one last time, however. In addition to taking his high school production to 3,403 receiving yards and 43 touchdowns, Burks completed 4 passes for 137 yards and 3 touchdowns while returning 3 punts for 88 yards as a senior.
Burks’ career at Arkansas
Burks was a major recruiting coup for Arkansas. Unsurprisingly, he made an immediate impact as a true freshman, making nine starts in 11 appearances. His incredible versatility that was exhibited at Warren HS was put to good use in the SEC. During the 2019 season, Burks registered passing, receiving, and rushing snaps as Arkansas looked to get the ball into their playmaker’s hands in any way possible. Additionally, he saw time as a kick and punt returner.
As a true freshman, Burks led Arkansas with 475 receiving yards. His 16.4 yards per catch ranked second of all SEC freshmen, and he ranked second in receiving yards per game. Burks also logged the most return yardage for an Arkansas player since 2017, earning second-team All-SEC recognition for his special-teams ability to go with his All-SEC Freshman honors.
Although he didn’t register a touchdown in 2019, his play put the Razorbacks in a position to score on multiple occasions.
Burks wouldn’t have to wait long to secure his first college touchdown
In the season opener of his sophomore campaign, he snagged a touchdown and 102 receiving yards against Georgia. It would be the first of four 100-plus-yard receiving games in 2020 despite the shortened season. Ole Miss, Texas A&M, and Missouri would all succumb to monster performances by the Arkansas wide receiver. Burks recorded his career-high catches (11) against Ole Miss while torching Missouri to the tune of 206 yards, a career-high for single-game receiving yards.
Despite missing one game due to injury, Burks finished 2020 with 820 receiving yards and 7 touchdowns at 16.1 yards per catch. He ranked third in the SEC for yards per game (91.1) and finished fifth in the conference for total receiving yards. More impressively, he was one of just two players in the FBS who registered 800+ receiving yards and 70+ rushing yards last year. The other? 2021 NFL Draft first-round selection Kadarius Toney, demonstrating the potential Burks has in the upcoming class.
Can Burks become the first Arkansas WR since 2005 to be selected in the first round? With his combination of speed, size, and versatility, he projects to be one of the top wide receivers in college football this season. As a result, being a Day 1 selection isn’t out of the question.