The Green Bay Packers did something sensible in the third round of the NFL Draft and traded up to pick No. 71 to nab Georgia Tech safety Morgan Burnett.
The pick was acquired from the Philadelphia Eagles for the Packers’ third (No. 86) and fourth-round (No. 122) picks. The Packers next pick is in round five (No. 154).
Burnett fills one of the Packers’ major needs, unlike their second-round pick, defensive lineman Mike Neal. The Packers are unhappy with strong safety Atari Bigby, whose play tailed off over the course of the 2009 season. Beyond that, Bigby hasn’t ever been able to consistently stay healthy. Even if Burnett doesn’t start right away, he provides valuable depth at a position the Packers had next to none last season.
Burnett, who is 6-2, 209, entered the draft after his junior season and CBS Sports had him graded as a second-round prospect. He has ideal size and speed for a strong safety and put up some nice numbers during his career at Georgia Tech.
Although his production dipped from his sophomore to his junior season, Burnett still managed to tally 85 tackles and four interceptions in his final season. During his sophomore year, Burnett was nothing short of outstanding, notching 93 tackles and seven interceptions, which tied him for first in the nation.
Here’s the NFL.com analysis of Burnett.
Burnett is a prospect with a really nice combination of size, strength and athleticism. Was a very productive player in the secondary for Georgia Tech. Does not have any durability questions. He plays with good intelligence. Exhibits the instincts to come up quickly against the run and jump routes in coverage. Has very good ball skills and is comfortable playing in deep coverage.
Burnett is plagued by inconsistencies with a few areas of his game. Needs to play with the same high level of aggressiveness more often. Takes inconsistent angles, can over-run plays and is susceptible to double-moves and giving up big plays in coverage. Is also inconsistent run support.
On the one hand, the strengths look very promising…but the weaknesses seem to be exactly counter to what his strengths are so, which is it? Is this guy a ball-hawking playmaker that can cover and tackle or is he a guy who will bite on the double move, disappear of the TV screen and be blamed for giving up a 56 yard touchdown from Lord Favre??
Let’s hope not the latter.
He’s not Jarrett Bush. I know keeping him off of the field is an improvement. Maybe Burnett will be pretty good, he’s played corner too. We know Bush isn’t.