Fit with the Atlanta Falcons
Brian Burns would definitely add a much-needed pass rusher to the Atlanta Falcons rotation. Most people see defensive tackle as the biggest need for the Atlanta Falcons, yet Deadrin Senat who was drafted in the third round of the 2018 draft, is expected to improve from his rookie season. This makes edge rusher is just as important of a need as any the club has. Getting another edge rusher such as Burns, would allow Takkarist McKinley to also rush from the inside at times, along side Grady Jarrett in a Nascar package.
Should the Atlanta Falcons draft Brian Burns, he would replace veteran Bruce Irvin who signed with the rival Carolina Panthers in the offseason. Speaking of the Panthers, Burns would be great at helping to contain Carolina quarterback Cam Newton inside of the pocket. His presence would also be felt against the other mobile quarterbacks on the Falcons 2019 schedule. Atlanta is scheduled to face Russell Wilson, Marcus Mariotta, Deshaun Watson, Andrew Luck and Carson Wentz, who are all known for their scrambling abilities. Matthew Tabeek of NFL gives us this article containing the 2019 opponents for Atlanta.
The problem with Brian Burns is his lack of size. The fact that he played at a lower weight in college and put on muscle just before the combine, is very similar to the path that currently Atlanta Falcons player Vic Beasley took coming into the draft. Though Burns owns the speed, flexibility and quickness to be special, he may not be an instant impact player due to the need to also add strength.
Due to his lack of weight and strength, Brian Burns may be better suited to play in a 3-4 scheme. This would allow him to stand up more often and evade blockers’ attempts to stymie him at the point of attack. Though the Atlanta Falcons certainly need pass rushers, that position has one of the hardest learning curves in the league. Should Atlanta elect to fix the rush in round 1, the team may be better served in drafting a pass rusher that can be an asset in the run game from day one, should he struggle as a pass rusher. Players such as Montez Sweat and Clelin Ferrell would fit that bill. Check out our breakdown on Ferrell here. One thing is for certain, the Atlanta Falcons can not afford to miss in the early rounds on the 2019 NFL Draft, if they plan on returning to the playoffs and The Super Bowl next season.