Run Defense - Outstanding contain player and does well to maintain outside leverage and force runs back inside. Does well to set the edge and squeeze gaps. Highly effective at using his length to keep blockers away from his frame. Finds success slashing through gaps by getting skinny and dashing through.
Pass Rush - High variance with how he beats blocks and is a refined rusher. Understands all components of rushing the passer and how to attack the pocket. Explosive out of his stance and eats up turf with his stride length. Knows how to use his footwork to set up his rush while reading the blockers set to attack them in the most effective way. Has the flexibility to corner the edge and rushes with good tilt. Features an endless array of counters and knows how to string moves together with precise timing. Well-prepared rusher that understands tendencies of the blocker and offense to deploy the most effective rush plans. Very effective at using his length and hand technique to keep blockers from landing their punch.
Burst - First step quickness is good but it's the depth and speed he gains in step two and three that enables him to win with speed. Closing speed is exceptional as is the velocity he can carry speed through tight turns. Effective in lateral pursuit and has a natural bounce in his step.
Effort - Motor always runs consistently hot. Battles throughout every rep, deploying endless counters and is never content staying blocked. Aggressive to get his hands into throwing lanes and will chase in pursuit. Won't find him taking a play off or not competing through the whistle.
Hand Technique - Extremely sound with his hand usage. Timing and execution of pass rush moves are precise. Is very deliberate about clearing his pads and not allowing blockers to get their hands on his frame. Strikes are efficient, sudden and well-placed. Has endless counters and effectively strings them together.
Flexibility - Has easy movement skills in his upper and lower half. Does well to reduce his surface area and is twitched up. Ankle flexion is unbelievable. Change of direction skills are fluid. Springs laterally towards the sideline and can cut off angles to the perimeter. Has no issues working his hips around the outside edge track.
Processing - High football IQ and is well prepared based on opponents which is apparent in how he attacks blocks. Diagnoses play designs quickly and maintains his assignments. Understands timing and is refined with his overall technique.
Play Strength - Exchanges power in the trenches just fine despite a leaner frame. Does well to leverage his hips and anchor when setting the edge. Powerful hitter that generates good power from his lower body. Technical refinement makes it difficult for blockers to get their hands fit on him.
Versatility - Endless possibilities to how he can be used and make plays. Can rush the passer from a three-point stance or stand up position. Versatile run defender, as well. Has the fluidity to reach his landmarks when sinking into zone coverage. Flashes the ability to win in space.
BEST TRAIT - Pass Rush
WORST TRAIT - Mass
RED FLAGS - None
Burns is a refined pass rusher that dominated power five competition throughout his college career. While it's easy to love his high-variance, technically refined and gifted pass rushing skill set, Burns is a more versatile defender than he is often credited for. He can win from a three-point or stand-up position with playmaking ability against the run, in coverage and attacking the quarterback. His blend of length, flexibility, technical refinement, football IQ and burst serve as a strong foundation for him to become a dynamic playmaking defender in the NFL.