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2018 Pre-Scouting Combine Profile: A Look at USC Receiver Deontay Burnett

We dive into one of USC’s top playmakers in the 2017 season to evaluate his draft standing

NCAA Football: Southern California at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

After three seasons with the Trojans, wide receiver Deontay Burnett has decided to forego his senior season and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. After having his best season by far, fans and scouts alike are wondering if Burnett’s success will translate to the next level.

Height & Weight: 6 Foot, 170 lbs. (School measurements)

Position Rank: 17th

Strengths:

· Route Running

· Stretching the field

· Elusiveness

Possible Weaknesses:

· Size

· Consistency

· Speed

NCAA Football: Southern California at Notre Dame Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Burnett’s biggest question mark in the upcoming draft is his size. Depending on what he measures in at, he might have to play more of a slot-receiver role. Even with a smaller frame, Burnett was a heavy contributor on the field and in the locker room.

Burnett thrived this past season, hauling in over 80 receptions, for over 1,000 yards. Burnett has also showed exceptional growth over his time at USC. With minimal playing time his freshman year, Burnett only caught ten passes for 160 yards.

Fast forward two seasons, he’s Sam Darnold’s favorite target and had five games over 100 receiving yards. Darnold had a lot to say about Burnett’s playing ability and work ethic. “”He’s matured so much over the past couple of years, just in terms of route running and his knowledge for the game. He’s always doing the little things right and leading by example.”

There were a few games where Burnett was quiet on the stat sheet, but he has definitely shown that he can perform at a high level. His durability might also be in question, as he will go up against larger and more physical defensive backs in the NFL. Luckily one of Burnett’s best qualities is his ability to make guys miss.

As the quintessential slot receiver, Burnett’s solid route running in combination with his elusiveness reminds of NFL slot WRs like Cole Beasley and Jamison Crowder. Averaging 13 yards-per-catch, Burnett proved that he can be versatile as an over the middle and over the top receiver. Burnett is projected to be a mid-round pick, unless he shows something spectacular in Indianapolis.

Only time will tell, but Burnett can definitely make an immediate impact and add depth to any NFL roster.