Analysis (Taylor O’Neill): At 6’3 and 233 lbs, Burks has been labeled as a little bit of a tweener at linebacker. He played multiple positions while at Vanderbilt including safety. Accordingly, Burks’ best traits are his speed and his ability to drop back into coverage. He is adept at dropping back and blanketing tight ends or running backs on passing downs.
Team fit (Jacob Westendorf): Burks is a former safety that transitioned to linebacker after his freshman season at Vanderbilt. He was athletic enough to play there but asked to play linebacker. He adds another impressive athlete to a Packers’ defense that is beginning to pile up those type of players.
At this point, he slots in as the third inside linebacker behind Jake Ryan and Blake Martinez.
NFL Player Comp (Mike Wendlandt) – Su’a Cravens, Broncos: When looking at Oren Burks, his athleticism is what really stands out, and he compared to a guy like Su’a Cravens, of the Denver Broncos. As a guy who is going to use his speed to fly around the field, he’ll be put in positions to make plenty of tackles. Cravens was an every-down linebacker early but was occasionally bullied around by bigger linemen. Burks isn’t that by any means, but he will see plenty of time in coverage and on special teams.
While Cravens went from linebacker to safety, Burks is the opposite and will move up closer to the line of scrimmage to use his speed. He is at his best in space and could carve out a Craven’s like impact early on in his career.
Packers Big Board Rank: 110
Cheesehead TV Draft Guide Positional Rank: 9
Mike Johrendt has been an avid fan of the Packers ever since he can remember. He is now a writer at PackersTalk and you can follow him on Twitter at @MJohrendt23