Bills Eye On the Draft: Brian Burns


One of the Buffalo Bills sneaky needs for the upcoming season is defensive edge rush. Although the Bills’ defense was No. 2 in the league in 2018, they struggled with their sack total: 36, which was 26th in the league.

This should be pretty straightforward: the Bills need to add a talented defensive edge rusher.

The Bills’ best pass rusher, Jerry Hughes, is heading into the final year of his five-year contract. Hughes was the only consistent player along the line (besides now-retired lineman Kyle Williams). It is time for the Bills to look for the future at this position.

Name: Brian Burns

School: Florida State

Position: Edge


Class: Junior

Rating: 4-star

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 231 pounds


Pass rush:
With an explosive first step, Burns is able to consistently pressure the edge. He has a strong defensive IQ and has a variety of pass rush moves; speed, bull, and handle the battle. He has the ability to mix it up and keep the opposing lineman guessing on what skill he is going to use.


Burns has a strong change of direction and is fluid from sideline to sideline. He moves easily and swiftly and bends at the knees and hips, not the back.

Hand technique:
Burns utilizes his length as a strength and gain separation. He has great hand placement which helps wins his one-on-one battles.

His motor is always running and he is always around the play. Often, he is the first guy on the field for the defense. He shows desired toughness and physical game in and game out.


Run defense:
He does well to maintain outside leverage but will often shoot the gaps. When he shoots the open gaps he leaves open cutback lanes. He still needs to fill in his frame and build up mass.

After the combine and his pro day, you will start to hear Burns’ name being mentioned as a Top 10 prospect and possibly the second best pass rusher in the draft. Burns brings a rare and dynamic range of pass rush moves and counters. In the right defense, Burns can be in consideration for defensive rookie of the year.


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