Treylon Burks should be a prime New York Jets target
Had they wound up there, the selection would have been easy: Kayvon Thibodeaux or Aidan Hutchinson. Done.
Fortunately or unfortunately though, that isn’t going to be the case. But seeing as they also hold the Seattle Seahawks’ first-rounder, which is likely to be a later top-ten pick itself, they’re still in a great position to land premier talent — it just likely won’t be KT or Hutch.
It’s been a popular take in recent weeks (especially with the injuries that the Jets have endured at the position) that drafting a wide receiver would be a prudent first-round move. We’re once again faced with a supremely talented receiver class, and considering how beautifully loading up at the position has worked for the Cincinnati Bengals, the Jets might be smart to capitalize on it.
There is not yet a consensus top wide receiver in the bunch, but one prospect Jets fans should certainly keep an eye on is Arkansas’ Treylon Burks.
A four-star recruit and the number one high school football player coming out of the state of Arkansas, Burks received offers from LSU, Ole Miss, Tennessee, Clemson, and Florida State, among others during the 2019 recruiting cycle. Despite the pedigree of these programs, he decided to bypass all of them and stay local, opting instead to play for the University of Arkansas.
Burks has been a starter all three of his years in Fayetteville, and in early December, he officially declared for the 2022 NFL Draft.
The fact that Burks turned down offers from the likes of LSU and Clemson to remain loyal to his home state should quietly speak volumes to Douglas and Saleh, who have proven on multiple occasions to heavily value loyalty and high-character prospects.
It also doesn’t hurt that the former Razorback is 6-foot-3, 225 pounds — a perfect compliment to Jets rookie sensation Elijah Moore, who is on the smaller side. Burks is not only fast in his own right (he’s projected to run in the 4.4 range) but he’s also fantastic in contested situations and is dangerous after the catch.
While a player like USC’s Drake London is also great in 50/50 situations and after the catch, Burks has shown a much better ability to create separation with his routes.
Bleacher Report’s Lead NFL Draft Analyst, Connor Rogers, spoke glowingly about the former Arkansas receiver.
“This guy has been moved all over the field. He’s tough as nails, he was a big-time recruit who decided to stay home and rebuild Arkansas, he’s all about football, he’s a weight room monster, he blocks, he catches everything,” Rogers said.
“He’s got some of the biggest hands I’ve ever seen in a draft class for a wide receiver,” Rogers continued. “He’s got 10 and a quarter-inch hands… that’s like 93rd percentile hands.”
For reference, Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins, who is known for his freakishly large hands, has 10.08-inch hands — slightly smaller than Burks’. Having huge hands has certainly helped Hopkins throughout his career; it’s safe to say they’ll help Burks too.
“He can play above the rim, he can run by people… He’s a demon after the catch, basically a tight end with the ball in his hands,” Rogers went on. “I think for the Jets, they need to get bigger, faster and stronger, and I look at Treylon Burks, and think that’s a top ten pick every single day of the week.”
Treylon Burks is THAT dude 🔥 pic.twitter.com/KrryL2K79Q
— Ray G 🏁 (@RayGQue) October 16, 2021
Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave and Jameson Williams are all fantastic in their own rights, and would both be great picks as well, but Burks is simply a better fit for what the Jets need at the position.
Expect Burks to fly up draft boards as April draws closer, especially with the recent success of young big-bodied receivers like D.K. Metcalf, Courtland Sutton and Tee Higgins. He’s a little smaller than Metcalf — most people are — but not by much, and his 40 time is likely to blow Sutton’s and Higgins’ out of the water.
Although a lot can change from now until the draft, Burks almost certainly won’t be available by the time the Jets go on the clock in the second round. If Joe Douglas is serious about putting Zach Wilson in the best possible position to succeed, he’ll be taking a long, hard look at Burks in round one.
Whether Douglas would want to take Burks in the back half of the top ten, or trade back to get him in the teens, the Jets receiver room would gain an instant injection of size, speed and talent on top of the already solid foundation of Moore and Corey Davis.