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2015 NFL DRAFT
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Morgan Burnett

Height: 6-2 | Weight: 209 | College: Georgia Tech
 
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Overview

Burnett had a breakout season as a sophomore. He tied for the national lead with seven interceptions, led the Yellow Jackets in total tackles (93) and solo tackles (62) and earned All-American honors.

Burnett wasn't inexperienced, even though he started just one game as a freshman. He played in every game and led the Yellow Jackets with three interceptions in 2007.

His 2009 production (85 tackles, 48 solos and four interceptions) was solid, and the playmaking Burnett proved that his sophomore season was no fluke. His 14 career interceptions rank second in Georgia Tech history.

Blessed with protoytpical size, Burnett's final grade might be determined by his time in the 40-yard dash. NFL teams have plenty of options on draft day at safety, considering the influx of underclassmen, but don't expect them to wait long to nab a natural playmaker like Burnett. A top-75 grade and quick ascension into an NFL lineup appears likely.

Analysis

Read & React: Reliable instincts for the position. Diagnoses the play and accelerates quickly to the ball, showing little wasted motion. Understands his role as the last line of defense and takes good angles to limit the damage.

Man Coverage: A bit high in his backpedal, but can flip his hips to turn and run with receivers. Changes direction quickly enough that he was often asked to drop down as a nickel cornerback and appears to have the fluidity and break on the ball to do so at the next level. Good hand strength to press at the line of scrimmage. Keeps his hands on the receiver at the start of his route to disrupt timing with the quarterback. Quick, active hands to fight with the receiver as the ball arrives. Good ball skills (14 career INTs).

Zone Coverage: An alert zone defender, Burnett understands his role and the role of his teammates. Recognizes holes in the zone and is quick to react. Sneaks a peek back at the quarterback and breaks on the ball quickly. Has the straight-line speed and agility to change direction necessary in being a true centerfielder in three-deep coverage and the range for two-deep.

Closing/Recovery: Sneaks a peek into the backfield to read the quarterback's eyes. Generates speed quickly out of his breaks and shows a late burt to close. Locates the ball quickly and competes for the jump ball. Highpoints the ball and has the body control and strength in his hands to come down with the contested interception.

Run Support: Willing and active in run support. Attacks the line of scrimmage, but will take questionable angles to the ball and is too often forced to re-direct at the last moment and latch on for a drag-down tackle, rather than applying a forceful pop. Willing to take on blockers, but prefers to elude and make the tackle himself.

Tackling: Flashes some pop as a hitter. Can be an intimidating presence over the middle. Often leads with his shoulder rather than wrapping up. Generally a reliable wrap-up open-field tackler. Takes questionable angles when coming down in run support, forcing himself to lunge and latch on to the ballcarrier attempting to cut back against him. Has the strong, accurate hands to grab hold for the pull-down tackler, but this is an area in which he could improve. Stronger NFL runners will be able to break away from his arm tackles.

Intangibles: Elected to leave early despite what some characterized as a "disappointing" 2009 season. Signed with Georgie Tech as a highly touted prep prospect. Received offers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. First career touchdown came on an INT return against 2009 No. 1 draft pick Matthew Stafford in 2008.

2009 Season

Burnett will leave Georgia Tech with 14 career interceptions, tying for the second-most in school history and just two shy of tying the Tech record of 16 held by Willie Clay (1988-91). His 235 career tackles are the eighth-most by a defensive back in Yellow Jacket history.

2008 Season

Emerged as an All-American as a sophomore … named second team All-America by Rivals, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News … a second team All-ACC selection … tied for first nationally in interceptions (7) … his seven INTs were the most by a Tech player since 1991 and ties for the fourth-most single-season INTs in GT history … had more interceptions in 2008 than the entire Tech team had in all of 2007.. has 10 career interceptions -- only four active players in the ACChave more and all four were seniors in `08 … recorded double-figure tackles in four games … led the Jackets in tackles (93) and solo tackles (62) … had 24 more tackles than any player on the Tech roster … also had 7.0 tackles-for-loss, a team-high eight pass break-ups and a forced fumble … had two games this season with two interceptions … recorded 14 tackles, nine solo tackles and two tackles-for-loss vs. LSU in the Chick-fil-A Bowl (Dec. 31) … picked off a Matthew Stafford pass and returned it 35 yards for his first career touchdown at Georgia (Nov. 29) … paced the Jackets with seven tackles (six solo), had a tackle-for-loss and a pass break-up vs. No. 23 Miami (Nov. 20) … recorded eight tackles, six solo tackles, a tackle-for-loss and broke up four passes vs. Florida State (Nov. 1) … picked off a Marc Verica pass, recorded 11 tackles, nine solo tackles and had a tackle-for-loss vs. Virginia (Oct. 25) … produced two interceptions, a tackle-for-loss and five total tackles at Clemson (Oct. 18) … had an interception, a pass break-up and five solo tackles vs. Mississippi State (Sept. 20) … recorded a career-high 13 tackles and added a half-tackle-for-loss at Virginia Tech (Sept. 13) … had a team-high 10 tackles, including nine solo tackles, forced a fumble and a pass break-up against Boston College (Sept. 6) … the defensive star of the game in the season opener vs. Jacksonville State (Aug. 28) … picked off two Ryan Perrilloux passes, returning one of them 47 yards … the starter at the Rover position … versatile enough to play any position in the secondary … has very good speed and a nose for the football.

2007 Season

2007 ACC All-Freshman Team (Sporting News). Played in all 13 games and started the Nov. 17 game vs. North Carolina … subbed at safety and came in on the nickel package all season long … led the team in interceptions (3) … ranked fifth on the team in tackles (57) … 37 of his 57 tackles were solo efforts … ranked second on the team with seven pass break-ups -- six of which came in the final three games of the season … had 2.5 TFL's and 1.0 sacks from the safety position … had one fumble recovery for 26 yards in the Nov. 24 Georgia game … made an impressive college debut when he made a bone-crushing sack and had six total tackles in the season opener at Notre Dame (Sept. 1) … had a career-high seven tackles including five solos vs. Boston College (Sept. 15) … recorded his first career interception -- and Tech's first INT of the season -- at Virginia (Sept. 22) … picked off his second pass of the season the following week vs. Clemson (Sept. 29) … his third interception of 2007 came vs. Army (Oct. 20) … first career start came Nov. 17 vs. North Carolina and responded with five solo tackles, six total tackles and two pass break-ups … had six tackles, a fumble recovery and three pass break-ups vs. Georgia (Nov. 24) … tied a season-high with seven total tackles in the Humanitarian Bowl.

High School

Four-star prospect by Rivals, which tabbed him to its national Top 100 (No. 84) . . . Also named to the ESPN 150 and the PrepStar 100 . . . Rated the No. 6 player in Georgia and No. 7 safety in the nation by Rivals . . . The No. 5 prospect in Georgia by SuperPrep, which also rated him the No. 15 defensive back in the nation . . . Ranked No. 16 in Georgia by Scout.com . . . Class AAAA first-team all-state as a senior after earning honorable mention all-state recognition at quarterback as a sophomore . . . Preseason Super 11 by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which also put him on its Top 50 in Georgia . . . Also on the Georgia Top 50 list compiled by the Macon Telegraph . . . The No. 21 player on the Mobile Press-Register Super Southeast 120 and a member of the Orlando Sentinel's All-Southern team . . . Four-year starter and three-year team captain for coach Don Shockley at North Clayton High . . . Defensive Player of the Year for Clayton/Henry Counties . . . Made 135 tackles as a senior and and six interceptions including three that he returned for touchdowns . . . Also had 1,100 yards rushing, 875 yards receiving and 650 yards passing . . . Added 101 tackles and five interceptions (one touchdown) as a junior, as well as 950 yards rushing, 800 yards passing and 620 yards receiving.

Personal

Full name is Morgan Mark Burnett . . . Born January 13, 1989 . . . Parents are Cap and Ellary Burnett.

 
Latest News
04/25/2010 - COULD SURPRISE: Safety Morgan Burnett -- General manager Ted Thompson made a rare trade up to get the ball-hawking standout from Georgia Tech early in the third round. Burnett had 14 interceptions in three years. Next up could be taking a starting spot away from injury-prone Atari Bigby.

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