Tag:Morgan Burnett
Posted on: August 17, 2010 12:45 pm
 

Ten Surprising Rookies So Far (3rd Rd-UFA)

During a handful of radio spots over the past few days I've been asked to list rookies that have stood out to me in film review so far in the preseason.

Of course, I start out with some of the obvious choices. Many of the first and second round picks are already proving that the 2010 draft class was every bit as strong as we said it was .  

Rather than re-state the obvious -- that Ndamukong Suh guy is pretty good -- I thought I'd highlight ten players selected in the third round or later that I and, more importantly, league sources feel have been impressive thus far in the preseason.

This isn't meant to be an exhaustive list. There are certainly other players who have stood out, as well. Feel free to leave comments with others that have impressed you and I'll keep my eye on them.

Players are listed in the order they were selected, not necessarily by who has impressed the most.

  1. S Morgan Burnett, Packers (3rd round, 71st overall): Burnett struggled a bit in Green Bay's preseason opener against Cleveland, but otherwise has been one of the rookies generating the most buzz.  Green Bay loves his range, but wants to see him be more consistent in his gap responsibilities. 
  2. WR Jordan Shipley, Bengals (3rd round, 84th overall): Anyone who focused on Shipley while at Texas won't be at all surprised that he's impressed so far with the Bengals. Shipley's toughness, reliable route-running and soft hands have made him the unsung star of a receiving corps dominated by the personalities of Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens.
  3. TE Tony Moeaki, Chiefs (3rd round, 93rd overall): Moeaki has been one of the real stars of training camp for the Chiefs, displaying the athleticism and soft hands that helped him be a standout at Iowa. If he can remain on the field (durability was an issue in college), he could give the Chiefs the best option down the middle they've had since allowing Tony Gonzalez to leave for Atlanta. 
  4. WR Mike Williams, Buccaneers (4th round, 101st overall): I've already highlighted Williams in a previous blog post as having a terrific camp. He showed off his athleticism in the preseason opener, making bigger plays against Miami than Brandon Marshall was able to do against the Bucs. If Williams can keep his focus, he could end up as one of the biggest steals of the 2010 draft.
  5. CB Walter Thurmond, Seahawks (4th round, 111th overall): Thurmond entered his senior year as a potential Top 50 prospect, but a horrific knee injury sidelined him early. It was surprising to see a team take him as early as Seattle did simply because the belief was that Thurmond was at least a year away from contributing. Instead, he saw extensive time in Seattle's opening game against the Titans at cornerback and punt returner. Watch out for Thurmond. He was among the more consistent of Oregon'd DBs in recent years -- quite a statement considering that the other three starters (Patrick Chung, T.J. Ward, Jarius Byrd) were all second round picks.
  6. DT Geno Atkins, Bengals (4th round, 120th overall): I've touted Atkins' explosive burst off the snap before and it is showing up for the Bengals. Atkins is known for flashing and then disappearing for long stretches. If he can play with consistency, he could emerge as Cincinnati's starting three-technique. In two games he has 3.5 sacks.
  7. FB John Conner, Jets (5th round, 139th overall): Due to his Terminator nickname, the fact that Rex Ryan used "his" draft pick on him and the exposure of Hard Knocks and Monday Night Football, Conner is finally getting the hype his game deserves. It's been awhile since we've seen a fullback this explosive a blocker and capable as a runner/receiver come into the NFL.
  8. NG Cam Thomas, Chargers (5th round, 146th overall): The Chargers made a calculated gamble releasing veteran Jamal Williams, but in Thomas they appear to have the big body necessarily in filling their former Pro Bowler's large shoes. Thomas has impressed head coach Norv Turner and appears well on his way towards seeing extensive playing time as a rookie this season.
  9. DE Greg Hardy, Panthers (6th round, 175th overall): Like the Bucs' Williams, I've already highlighted Hardy's play because, quite frankly, he's been among the most impressive rookies I've seen so far this preseason. With Julius Peppers gone, few are expecting Carolina to have any success rushing the passer this year. I think the combination of Hardy and 2009 second round pick Everette Brown could surprise.
  10. WR Victor Cruz, Giants (undrafted free agent): I considered several undrafted free agents to list here, including Philadelpia offensive tackle Austin Howard, Detroit safety Randy Phillips and Houston DT Malcolm Sheppard, among others), but Cruz's dominating performance against the Jets on Monday Night was too much to ignore. I blogged about his 6 catch, 145 yard, 3 TD performance last night, but all indications are that his efforts have been just as good throughout OTAs and training camp. 


Posted on: April 16, 2010 12:21 pm
 

S Burnett -- the "wow" workout no one knows

It happens every year. There is a workout or two that slip through the cracks when the Pro Days are going strong that somehow doesn't get the attention it deserves.

This year that workout was the Georgia Tech Pro Day.

While all of the attention on that day was placed upon defensive end Derrick Morgan and running back Jonathan Dwyer, in reality, free safety Morgan Burnett was the star of the show.

His numbers, while all impressive, were led by a 3.92 second short shuttle -- the fastest verified time from any player tested at the Combine or any Pro Day this year. His 11'08 broad jump is also a spectacular number.

As a point of comparison, Fresno State cornerback A.J. Jefferson led all Combine participants with a 4.00 second time in the short shuttle and Virginia cornerback Chris Cook led all in Indianapolis with an 11 foot broad jump. 

Burnett was unable to workout at the Combine due to a strained hamstring.

Measuring in at 6-1 (3/8) and 209 pounds, Burnett was clocked at 4.51 seconds in the 40-yard dash, among the fastest times of any safety tested this year. He also posted a 39.5" vertical jump, an 11'08" broad jump and a 6.87 second 3-cone drill.

Folks, those are staggering numbers that deserve attention.

I've spoken with teams who feel that Burnett is a lock for the middle of the second round. Based on these numbers, Burnett should have been included in my previous post -- which identified five players who could be surprise first round picks.

In reality, the people who matter -- NFL scouts -- fully know Burnett's impressive workout results. An estimated 20 teams were represented at the workout, including three head coaches. While Gil Brandt and the staff at NFL.com typically do a fabulous job of posting the "official" results from each workout, this one inexplicably was not reported.  
Posted on: March 15, 2010 1:56 pm
 

Early results from Georgia Tech Pro Day

The highly touted prospects from Georgia Tech are proving well worth the acclaim so far this morning, according to league sources at the scene.

Defensive end Derrick Morgan, the highest rated Yellow Jacket, has looked good in positional drills. His burst upfield and lateral agility have been especially impressive.

Running back Jonathan Dwyer, who may have had the most riding on today's performance after a disappointing workout at the Combine, helped his cause by clocking in at 4.51 and 4.54 in the 40-yard dash. Dwyer, who had dropped several balls at the Combine, was significantly improved as a receiver today. Dwyer's times and improved hands were especially impressive considering it was pretty wind, I am told.

Safety Morgan Burnett also helped himself by clocking in at a 4.43, according to one scout's watch. He also showed great explosiveness with a 40" vertical and 11'0 broad jump.

Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas, as expected, was unable to participate due to the broken foot he suffered preparing for the Combine. Thomas, who is still in a walking boot, is hoping to work out for scouts prior to the draft.
Posted on: September 17, 2009 2:17 pm
 

Junior DE Derrick Morgan the one to watch tonight

It used to be that any time the Miami Hurricanes took the field, NFL scouts flocked to their sideline. Rebuilding over the past few seasons, however, has made it so that most scouts have been paying more attention to their opponents rather than those hailing from The U.

Tonight's game between Georgia Tech and Miami is no different as the three elite talents to watch are Yellow Jacket juniors Derrick Morgan (DE), Jonathan Dwyer (RB) and Morgan Burnett (FS).

Though the running back Dwyer gets much of the attention, Georgia Tech's consistently in churning out highly rated defensive linemen and Morgan's early season success has him flying up draft boards. Morgan, who has 5 sacks over his first two games, was especially dominant last week in a nationally televised game against Clemson. Morgan had a game-high 10 tackles, a personal-best four tackles for loss (13 yards), and three sacks (nine yards). I've spoken to NFL scouts who believe that when it is all said and done, Morgan could leap ahead of SEC stars Greg Hardy (Ole Miss) and fellow junior Carlos Dunlap (Florida) to be the highest rated DE potentially available for the 2010 NFL Draft.

While the Yellow Jackets have the better draft-eligible talent, Miami has some intriguing seniors to keep an eye on. Left tackle Jason Fox has been rising up the board recently for his play. He won't be matched up often against Morgan due to the fact that Morgan typically lines up at left defensive end (against the right tackle), but his athleticism is worth watching -- especially on the few occasions they are pitted against each other.

Inside linebacker Darryl Sharpton, a potential riser in a relatively weak class at inside linebacker (at least after Florida's Brandon Spikes) will have to be especially cognizant on his reads against the Yellow Jackets' unique triple option offense.

 
 
 
 
 
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