20/20: Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas

David Wright

Welcome to the 20/20 series. As part of our continued Dynasty Scouts coverage and in preparation for the NFL Combine, we profile 20 of the top incoming rookies of the class of 2022 by giving you 20 facts you must know.

1. Player Name: Treylon Burks

2. College: Arkansas

3. Height/Weight: 6’3”, 225 pounds

4. Birthdate: 3/23/2000 (age-22 rookie season)

5. Class: Junior

6. Basic college stats: Burks held his own as a freshman in the SEC, accruing 29 receptions for 475 yards and zero touchdowns in 11 games. As a sophomore, he put his name on the map, hauling in 51 receptions for 820 yards and seven touchdowns in only nine games.

He cemented himself as one of the top wide receivers in the 2022 NFL Draft class, going 66-1,104-11 in 12 games during his final season as a junior. Burks flashed another element to his game, totaling 38 rush attempts for 222 yards and a touchdown across his three seasons at Arkansas.

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Statistics from Sports Reference.

7. NFL draft round projection: Burks is a favorite amongst the dynasty community but mock drafts are slightly lower on him. He’s the consensus WR2 on the Mock Draft Database (behind Garrett Wilson) but is the fourth wide receiver selected on average from 285 mock drafts. He’s locked in as a first-round wide receiver in the upcoming NFL Draft.

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Statistics from NFL Mock Draft Database.

8. Current NFL comp: I do my player comparisons from a pure boxscore perspective but Burks is a unique case. I decided to watch his tape and several other potential comps film as well (please don’t tell anyone, I don’t want to lose my nerd card). I settled on Brandon Marshall as a player comp.

They are both at least 6’3” and 225 pounds entering the NFL. Most remember Marshall as the refined PPR monster in the second half of his career but both were considered raw prospects entering the NFL. More experienced film analysts criticize Burks’ route running and route tree while many coaches believed Marshall would need to switch to H-Back in the NFL. Plus, Marshall converted from safety to wide receiver while at UCF which contributed to the perception he was a raw prospect.

In their final collegiate seasons, their per-game stats, market share percentages, and touchdowns were almost identical. Both produced gaudy numbers after the catch and high point the ball well in contested catch situations. Ultimately, there are a few differences like projected draft capital and the position change for Marshall but this comp made more sense from a box score perspective and stylistically than many popular comps.

9. Best possible destination: The Chargers and Eagles make a lot of sense. He’d be a perfect complement to Keenan Allen and having a young ascending quarterback in Justin Herbert would solidify him as one of the top fantasy receivers in this class. Meanwhile, Burks out of the slot is the ideal counterpart to DeVonta Smith and his impressive route-running ability.

10. Worst possible destination: New Orleans or Miami. The Saints need receiver help but with a new head coach in Dennis Allen, questions at quarterback, and a miserable salary cap situation, fantasy managers do not want to see Burks on Bourbon Street. Miami must add weapons around Tua Tagovailoa but Jaylen Waddle ran 60 percent of his routes in the slot as a rookie per Pro Football Focus. There are much better situations than a first-year head coach trying to develop Burks as an outside receiver for a team that also desperately needs help on the offensive line.

11. Best current skill: yards after the catch. Head coach Sam Pittman and offensive coordinator Kendal Briles excelled at manufacturing touches for Burks at Arkansas. He’s a dynamic playmaker with the ball in his hands and was sixth in the country in YAC/Rec in 2021 per PFF.


12. Skill that needs to be improved: route-running and release at the line of scrimmage. There’s a lengthy list of highly-drafted wide receivers who can’t separate in the NFL who have ended up being busts. Burks has relied on the offense manufacturing him touches with clean releases out of the slot while using his superior size and strength to win against SEC defenders. He will be able to do this to an extent in the NFL but to be the difference-maker fantasy managers want him to be he’ll need to refine his route running and release.

13. Current rookie value: Per DLF’s Rookie ADP, Burks is the WR1 in February ADP and the 1.01 overall in single quarterback leagues. He’s also the 1.01 overall in rookie superflex ADP. This is the first time since N’Keal Harry in 2019 a wide receiver is 1.01 overall in DLF’s February superflex rookie ADP. Unless something unexpected happens in the pre-draft process, I don’t see Burks falling past the WR3 in dynasty rookie drafts.

14. Projected dynasty value: Burks is going as the WR21 in DLF’s February ADP and in the middle of the fourth round on average in single-quarterback mocks. This translates roughly to the six/seven turn in superflex drafts. Historically, rookie ADP climbs throughout the off-season. I’d expect Burks to be in the late teens among wide receivers by May and going in the late late-fifth to the middle of the sixth-round in superflex drafts.

15. As a recruit: He was a four-star recruit according to ESPN, 247 Sports, and Rivals. He ranged from the WR11 to WR21 coming out of high school depending on the recruiting service.

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Courtesy of 247  Sports.

16. Breakout Age: Burks passed the 30 percent receiving dominator (percentage of his team receiving yards and touchdowns) threshold at age 20. He had 34.57 percent of Arkansas receiving offense in his second season out of high school. If you approach breakout age from strictly an age standpoint then 20 years old meets the threshold for successful NFL wide receivers. If you prefer to approach breakouts from a “years out of high school” method, he broke out two years out of high school which also compares favorably to productive NFL receivers.

17. Yards Per Team Pass Attempt: During his three seasons playing for the Razorbacks, Burks averaged 2.52 receiving yards per team pass attempt. He averaged 0.43 more receiving yards per team pass attempt than the career average for NFL receivers with a top-24 PPR season drafted from 2003-2019.

18. More advanced metrics: Per Pro Football Focus, Burks averaged 2.87 yards per route ran and averaged a jaw-dropping 7.6 yards after the catch per reception during his career. His quarterbacks averaged a 128.6 QB rating when targeting him on an aDOT of 11.7 yards.

19. Slot usage: Burks played out of the slot on a staggering 77 percent of his routes per Pro Football Focus. This is significantly more than AJ Brown at Ole Miss (a popular player comp) and many wondered about his ability to win on the outside in the NFL. Playing out of the slot allows players to get a better release against corners enabling them to get into their route quicker. This is why many believe it’s essential he is used heavily out of the slot to start his NFL career. Burks is confident he can play both inside and outside in the NFL and he discusses it extensively in this interview on the Pick 6 Podcast.

20. Arkansas Legacy: When Burks arrived in Fayetteville, Arkansas was coming off a 2-10 season and hadn’t had a winning season since 2016. Burks and his teammates quickly turned the program around. In 2021, the Razorbacks had their first nine-win season since 2011 and were invited to their first bowl game since 2016. Burks leaves Arkansas sixth in career receptions (146), sixth in receiving yards (2399), and tied for fifth in receiving touchdowns (18) after only three seasons.

david wright
20/20: Treylon Burks, WR Arkansas