The first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft saw a few surprises, including, the Steelers taking a CB in round 1 for the first time since 1997.
Well, how about that first-round Steelers Nation?
It’s no question that the Steelers secondary needed some help. They addressed this problem Thursday night. In the first-round of the 2016 NFL Draft, the Steelers selected CB Artie Burns out of Miami (FL).
Honestly, I didn’t know who Artie Burns was when the pick was announced. But I know who he is now.
Burns has been the starter for the last two seasons at Miami. He has the ideal height for his position. Burns is an excellent blitzer, which is an ideal fit for what the Steelers do defensively. He has the knack to adjust in mid-air to make plays on the ball. His hands are strong, which makes him excellent at jamming receivers and forcing them to re-route. He simply refuses to let any receiver get comfortable, which he needs to do when he eventually faces A.J. Green. Burns accumulated six interceptions in 2015, he’s an all-around ballhawk.
While Burns is a relentless tackler, his attempts could use some work. Burns likes to play physical, so bulking up should be a priority. Worry consumes him if he makes a mistake in coverage, which leads to him getting grabby and drawing penalties. One of his weaknesses is reacting quickly to a comeback route.
Burns is a tough kid, that has excellent ball awareness, and play speed. He’ll be joining a secondary in transition, and a pass defense that ranked 30th last season.
Don’t expect Burns to be starting Week 1. He’s a raw player that will see most, if not all, of his playing time on special teams. But don’t let that discourage you, Steelers Nation. Burns has tremendous upside, he has the potential to be one of the top corners in the league. I’m thankful that he has the likes of William Gay to learn from.
Before I end this, here are some highlights of our new corner.