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Prospect Profiles: Safety Morgan Burnett (GA Tech)

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With the Giants signing Safety Antrel Rolle it kind of took some of the air out of the sails of the New York Giants Safety draft talk. While it’s not impossible that the New York Giants will select another Safety in the draft, especially one that represents great value the talk seems to be that they will not.

I told you guys that I loved Earl Thomas, and this is another player I really like from the Safety position and was targeting for the Giants with their second round pick (or perhaps even later).

The other thing is are people still reading this or did they lose interest after the first Round prospects because I don’t think any of the last five or six have received comments.

Let me know what you guys think…or let me know who you guys want to see profiled. And if you get a chance to look over the past few profiles and comment on them that’d be great! that’s what they are there for I want to know what the Giants fans think!

Without further ado…Morgan Burnett

Video Highlights

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Born January 3rd 1989. 6’1 210 pounds. Junior.

40 Yard Dash 4.42 16 reps of 225. 39.5 inch vertical

Morgan Burnett has pretty good size for a safety and displayed great athletic ability at his Pro Day top that with his big time production (as you’ll see in a minute) and you’ll see why I like him as a player so much.


Career: 277 tackles, 1 FF, 14 INT.

2009: 77 tackles, 4 INT.

Big Games: @ Miami 8 tackles

Vs North Carolina 6 tackles, 2 INT

Vs Mississippi State 7 tackles 1 pass defensed

@ Florida State 6 tackles

vs Wake Forest 9 tackles

VS Georiga 16 tackles

Morgan Burnett was a super productive College Football player.

Scouting Reports

CBS NFL Draft Scout

Burnett had a breakout season as a sophomore. He tied for the national lead with seven interceptions, led the Yellow Jackets in total tackles (93) and solo tackles (62) and earned All-American honors.Burnett wasn’t inexperienced, even though he started just one game as a freshman. He played in every game and led the Yellow Jackets with three interceptions in 2007.His 2009 production (85 tackles, 48 solos and four interceptions) was solid, and the playmaking Burnett proved that his sophomore season was no fluke. His 14 career interceptions rank second in Georgia Tech history.Blessed with protoytpical size, Burnett’s final grade might be determined by his time in the 40-yard dash. NFL teams have plenty of options on draft day at safety, considering the influx of underclassmen, but don’t expect them to wait long to nab a natural playmaker like Burnett. A top-75 grade and quick ascension into an NFL lineup appears likely.
Read & React: Reliable instincts for the position. Diagnoses the play and accelerates quickly to the ball, showing little wasted motion. Understands his role as the last line of defense and takes good angles to limit the damage.Man Coverage: A bit high in his backpedal, but can flip his hips to turn and run with receivers. Changes direction quickly enough that he was often asked to drop down as a nickel cornerback and appears to have the fluidity and break on the ball to do so at the next level. Good hand strength to press at the line of scrimmage. Keeps his hands on the receiver at the start of his route to disrupt timing with the quarterback. Quick, active hands to fight with the receiver as the ball arrives. Good ball skills (14 career INTs).Zone Coverage: An alert zone defender, Burnett understands his role and the role of his teammates. Recognizes holes in the zone and is quick to react. Sneaks a peek back at the quarterback and breaks on the ball quickly. Has the straight-line speed and agility to change direction necessary in being a true centerfielder in three-deep coverage and the range for two-deep.Closing/Recovery: Sneaks a peek into the backfield to read the quarterback’s eyes. Generates speed quickly out of his breaks and shows a late burt to close. Locates the ball quickly and competes for the jump ball. Highpoints the ball and has the body control and strength in his hands to come down with the contested interception.Run Support: Willing and active in run support. Attacks the line of scrimmage, but will take questionable angles to the ball and is too often forced to re-direct at the last moment and latch on for a drag-down tackle, rather than applying a forceful pop. Willing to take on blockers, but prefers to elude and make the tackle himself.Tackling: Flashes some pop as a hitter. Can be an intimidating presence over the middle. Often leads with his shoulder rather than wrapping up. Generally a reliable wrap-up open-field tackler. Takes questionable angles when coming down in run support, forcing himself to lunge and latch on to the ballcarrier attempting to cut back against him. Has the strong, accurate hands to grab hold for the pull-down tackler, but this is an area in which he could improve. Stronger NFL runners will be able to break away from his arm tackles.Intangibles: Elected to leave early despite what some characterized as a “disappointing” 2009 season. Signed with Georgie Tech as a highly touted prep prospect. Received offers from Alabama, Florida and Georgia. First career touchdown came on an INT return against 2009 No. 1 draft pick Matthew Stafford in 2008.

Big Board Rankings

Draft Board 88 62

ESPN’s Scouts INC 18th best Safety Prospect (out of their minds)

CBS Draft Scout 72

Where the Mocks Have Him Falling 2nd round pick #54 Cincinnati Bengals Round 3 pick #67 Tampa Bay Bucaneers Round 3 pick #75 Chicago Bears

Bartolis Summary and Final Verdict

Morgan Burnett is pretty big, a good athlete and he was very productive. Morgan Burnett is a player that also has little to no character concerns and is just a solid all around football player.

Bartolis Final Verdict

I would have absolutely no problem with the giants selecting Morgan Burnett in the draft, especially if they can get him from the third round on.

Burnett is very talented and it would not hurt to have a good athlete who is also a productive football player on the New York Giants.

This year’s draft class is very deep on safeties. Eric Berry and Earl Thomas are first round locks. Taylor Mays and Nate Allen might slip into the first round.

In the second round: Darrel Stuckey, Larry Asante, Morgan Burnett, Chad Jones, ReShad Jones, Major Wright and Myron Rolle are all players I’ve seen mocked into the second round somewhere.

This is a deep safety class filled with good athletes and good play makers. Burnett and Nate Allen to me are players the Giants should be more interested in as far as second round possibilites go because they are good football players. Chad Jones has the most upside of the second round picks (other than Taylor Mays) and Larry Asante and Darrel Stuckey, to me, are better suited for the Strong Safety positions and the Giants have a few of those guys already so they don’t really interest me all that much.

I’m a fan of Morgan Burnett even in the second round, and even though the Giants signed Antrell Rolle already, but I think there might be a better option in round two (Lamarr Houston, Brandon Spikes in some sort of dream scenario? Daryl Washington? Dekoda Watson? Jahvid Best? an OL….? The possibilites are endless.

Previous Profiles

DT Cam Thomas

LB Navorro Bowman

Athlete Dexter McCluster

CB Joe Haden

S Nate Allen

Jason Pierre Paul

DT Geno Atkins

DT Lamarr Houston

RB Jahvid Best

OT Trent Williams

Derrick Morgan

OL Mike Iupati

S Chad Jones

OLB/DE Sergio Kindle

Sean Weatherspoon

ILB Sean Lee

S Eric Berry

OT Bruce Campbell

ILB Daryl Washington

DT/NT Dan Williams (Updated with K.C. Joyner’s Draft Lab 2/7)

CB Kyle Wilson

DT Jared Odrick

DE Carlos Dunlap

ILB Micah Johnson

DT Arthur Jones

OT Bryan Baluga

OT Anthony Davis (UPDATED 2/5/10)

DT Brian Price

ILB Brandon Spikes

S Earl Thomas

ILB Rolando McClain

RB C.J. Spiller

S Taylor Mays

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8 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Safety Morgan Burnett (GA Tech)”

  1. dennism says:

    Great rundown on Morgan Burnett. Like they say about GMs, you earn your money on rounds 2-4. Profiling Eric Berry or McClain is a no brainer, but featuring a possible gem like Burnett is good digging. I was just wondering yesterday why no one was talking about this guy. I think he represents very solid value at #76.

  2. MIAGMAN says:

    I agree with the third round sentiment on Burnett. I would have been happy with him in the second actually but with Rolle and there being so many darn good players in this draft Burnett may get over looked.

    Jesse, I made a post earlier pumping Sean Weatherspoon and I still think he would be a terrific pick but honestly I can’t see the Gmen taking a LB that early even if a MLB indeed represents the straw that stirs the cover 2 drink, so to speak.

    However, with the draft still over a month away, I would love to see some profiles on the really good and fast 2/3 rd round MLB prospects. Some names off the top of my head who are all really interesting include: Jamar Chaney -MLB- MSU/ Dekoda Watson -MLB-FSU/Donald Butler -MLB- Washington. Love these guys. If you already profiled any of them just ignore this but I think the 2nd or 3rd round will be where we get our LB’s including perhaps another strong side guy.

  3. Andrew says:

    These are great Jesse. I love reading about prospects, particularly the ones the Giants may have interest in so definitely keep it up. These posts are great content.

    Curious to know your thoughts on who might slip to the 3rd or 4th round that the Giants might be able to steal, a la Mario Manningham, although I am not just thinking about prospects with attitude questions. While I’d still like to see a safety picked in this draft, given our acquisition of Rolle I’d hope for a 4th round pick or so. Who do you think might be there that would be interesting?

  4. Dan says:

    Burnett is great with the ball in the air, but I agree that he may be off their radar until the third round. I think we are all enthralled by film of good coverage safeties after the 2009 season…

    I also agree with the post above that mentioned Weatherspoon. Your profile of him was well done, and I doubt McClain is still there at 15, so I’d be happy to see any moves that land the Giants a fast guy who’s good in coverage, two traits I think Weatherspoon brings to the table.

  5. dennism says:

    And I agree with MIAGMAN. Witherspoon, Chaney, Watson, Butler are all interesting prospects. Stock up: LB has not been a draft strength for a long time. But here’s the question: do you do Kirk Morrison for #76?

  6. Shai says:

    Dan – haha. I know I was like “damnn he was actually NEXT TO the receiver and actually made a play on THE BALL!

    I would not mind this guy in round 2. I think we still need a safety. I’m not so comfortable on Johnson being our 3rd safety, the whole KP deal.

    This is why the Giants will like him:
    “Final word: Playing at rover at Georgia Tech, Burnett showed he has the all-around skills to play either safety position. He’s athletic enough to play free safety and cover a lot of field. But he’s also strong enough to handle the strong side.”

  7. Jason says:


    Just wanted to let you know that I read the profiles. I just really dont post in response that often. Keep up good work

  8. Sam W says:

    I was wondering if you could profile Maurkie Pouncey, the center from Florida

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