We are just over a month away from the NFL Draft and the Packers are in a perfect spot to snag some key players early, currently holding the 12th and 30th overall pick. The NFL Combine gave Brian Gutenkunst a lot to think about regarding which position to look at first and who will make the biggest impact in Green Bay. Everybody knows by now this is the year of the Edge Rushers, and Green Bay has always struggled at getting quick guys on that defense. There will be plenty of options for the Packers at 12, but the smartest pick here would be Florida State standout Edge Rusher Brian Burns.
12th Pick- Brian Burns (Edge/FSU)
Brian Burns is arguably one of the fastest Edge Rushers in this draft. He ran a 4.53 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine, placing him as the second fastest Edge Rusher in this class. The Packers need a player that can get to the Quarterback and make an impact right away. Brian Burns has improved substantially in his three years at Florida State. In 2018, he recorded 31 solo tackles and 10 sacks on the season. He was also named 4th Team All-American and 1st Team All ACC. Mike Pettine needs another playmaker on that defense and Brian Burns is that guy. He has great versatility and is excellent at reading the Quarterback. Clay Matthews has been disappointing for the past few years and it is looking like he will be on the free agent market when the new league year approaches on March 13th. The Packers need another aggressive player off the edge, seeing as they allowed an average of 25 points per game, placing 22nd in the league. 2018 was the first year Mike Pettine’s defense was not in the top 10, but Brian Burns could be the guy to turn that around.
Brian Burns does not have a whole lot of weaknesses. He has it all and will definitely make a name for himself in the NFL. The only player that is no doubt more talented than Burns and will most likely go top 5 is Josh Allen. Josh Allen is a do-it-all type player like Burns, but is arguably the best pass rusher in this draft. Burns did not participate in the bench press at the combine, but that should not concern anyone since we know just how strong the animal is. Brian Burns could fall anywhere in the first round. Some mocks have him falling to the Rams at 31, others have him falling to the Packers at 12. It really depends on who the best guy available is for each team when they are on the clock.
NFL Comparison: Leonard Floyd
This comparison has been flying around for a while now and it makes a lot of sense. Floyd ran a 4.6 40 yard dash at the combine, slightly slower than Burns, but the Georgia product still made a name for himself in Chicago, developing into a fast blitzing linebacker off the edge. If Brian Burns can develop into a rapid playmaker, he will be a force to be reckoned with in the NFL.
Mike Pettine needs another speedy player that can get to the Quarterback? Welcome to Green Bay Brian Burns. It is hard to tell at this point where exactly he will get drafted since mocks have him varied anywhere throughout the First round. Brian Burns is the type of player we will be talking about in five years down the road. If he is available at 12, the Packers need to strongly consider selecting him because if they do not, the Green Bay offense will have another key menace to worry about.