Getty Wide receiver Treylon Burks performs a drill during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 3, 2022 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
The 2022 NFL draft begins on April 28 and it can’t come soon enough for the Chicago Bears, who have a multitude of needs to address.
At the top of that list are offensive line and wide receiver. The problem is that the Bears have more needs than draft picks. As it stands, Chicago has six picks in the upcoming draft: two second-round picks (39th and 48th overall), one third-round pick (No. 71), two fifth-round picks (No. 148 and No. 150) and one sixth round pick (No. 186 overall).
Bears general manager Ryan Poles has suggested he may trade, using one of his two second-round picks to acquire an additional third or fourth round. Regardless of whether or not he swings lower, one analyst is warning the Poles and Bears to stay away from a specific wide receiver in particular.
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Bears warned to avoid WR Treylon Burks in Draft
Bleacher Report’s Jake Rill urges the Bears to stay away from former Arkansas Razorbacks wide receiver Treylon Burks.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if Chicago comes out with a wide receiver on Day 2 of the draft, using either of their two second-round picks or their third-round pick,” Rill wrote on April 11. “But he needs to make sure he makes the right decision on which offensive playmaker to take.”
Pro Football Network draft expert Tony Pauline has stated that he thinks Burks could go into the second round, but Rill thinks Chicago should avoid Burks at all costs, even if he fails.
“The 22-year-old had a disappointing performance at the NFL Combine earlier this year. And while that doesn’t always mean a player won’t succeed, he didn’t help his draft stock. Even if he’s still on the board when the Bears are first on the clock, they might want to look at receivers other than Burks.”
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Burks’ combined performance hurt his draft stock
The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Burks had a breakout season in 2021, passing 66 times for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns. In his 32 games with the Razorbacks, he finished with 146 receptions for 2,399 yards (16.4 receiving yards) and 18 touchdowns. He also averaged an impressive 9.3 yards after receiving last year.
However, their combined performance raised concerns.
He had a 4.55-second 40-yard dash in the scouting mix, which raised some eyebrows, and the rest of his numbers were also on the lower end of the spectrum. He had a vertical jump of 33 inches, a long jump of 122 and a three-cone exercise of 7.28 seconds. Those numbers may seem insignificant, but they could also be eye-opening.
According to Pro Football Reference, only 39 wide receivers in combined history have had a vertical of 34 inches or less and a three-cone drilling time of 7.25 seconds or more like Burks did. Of those 39, only former wide receivers Anquan Boldin and Chad Johnson had long and successful NFL careers. The other 37 wide receivers? Not so much.
Considering the draft has a myriad of other talented receivers who should be available to the Bears on Day 2, including Alec Pierce and David Bell, the Bears shouldn’t be looking at Burks. If he falls in the later rounds, maybe, but given their questionable combined results, Chicago might be better served by heeding Rill’s advice.
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