by J.T. Toth
Photo courtesy of Alabama Athletics.
The NFL Draft talk never ends and we here at Draft 412 will keep you ready for the next set of gridiron stars. From today until draft night 2024 we will bring you mocks, profiles, team needs, and everything else related to the 2024 NFL Draft.
Today’s Spotlight - Alabama, Wide Receiver, Jermaine Burton
Name- Jermaine Burton
HT/WT- 6’0” 194 lbs.
Home – Calabasas, CA
Burton attended Calabasas High School in California and was a four-star recruit who was selected to play in the 2020 Under Armour All-America Game. 247Sports had him ranked as the Number 15 wide receiver in the nation and during his senior season, he committed to the University of Georgia over several other Division one offers.
During his freshman season at Georgia, Burton saw his playing time increase as the year went on. He finished the season playing in 10 games and hauling in 27 receptions for 404 yards and 3 touchdowns. In 2021, he once again had a productive season, playing in 14 games and catching 26 passes for 497 yards and 5 touchdowns. After the season, he decided to enter the transfer portal and elected to play football at Alabama for the 2022 season.
Last season for Alabama he started 12 games, playing in 13 games total and became a favorite target of Bryce Young. Burton caught 40 passes for 677 yards and 7 touchdowns and became the go-to receiver for the Crimson Tide down the stretch.
So far this season, Burton has picked up where he left off last season and has helped the transition to Jalen Milroe at quarterback. Burton has 19 receptions for 446 yards and 4 touchdowns. He is averaging 23.5 yards per catch to lead the SEC.
Burton is explosive off the line, getting separation quickly on defenders. He runs routes without losing his speed and comes in and out of cuts fluidly, making it difficult to mirror his movements. He sells his routes well and uses his hips to turn on a dime while using good head fakes to beat man-to-man coverage. He has been used in all kinds of different wide receiver sets and finds ways to get open no matter where he starts—in the slot or out wide. He can contort his body and make circus catches, and does a good job of finding soft spots in zones to make plays.
On the downside, he can have balance issues at times and easily gets knocked off his routes. After making a catch, he tends to have trouble beating the first defender and is brought down with arm tackles. He’s got quality “off the line” speed but does not have the elite speed of some other prospects. At times, he will try making a move before he’s secured the ball and has had some drop issues in the past. He gets swallowed up when trying to block and does not do a good job of breaking down to square up on an opponent. In fact, he lunges, trying to get in the way more than putting a clean block on defenders.
Watching how fast Jermaine Burton gets off the ball, reminded Draft 412 of 2021 first round pick Kadarius Toney of Florida. Toney, like Burton, was used all over the field in different sets and he ran precise and quick routes to cause separation. Toney also has suffered from concentration drops that have carried over into his NFL career.
Explosion off line
Different pace on routes
Burton’s ceiling may be as a second day draft pick. In a very talented wide receiver class, Burton brings a lot to the table, but he’s just not elite in any one thing that he does.
Draft 412 Draft Prediction - 3rd or 4th round