Terrell Burgess Makes Sense for Raiders in 3rd Round

Everybody knows about the Las Vegas Raiders’ two first-round picks, and there’s been plenty of discussion regarding those selections. Nevertheless, this year’s draft is deep, and there are lots of players in the later rounds who can make the same kind of an impact. Terrell Burgess is one of them, and he’s somebody who should get strong consideration in the third round.

Raiders: Who is Terrell Burgess?

Burgess is a 5’11”, 202-pound senior from the University of Utah. He took a while to turn it on in college, and he only started three games in his first three years with the Utes, but was able to break out in his senior year. In the 14 college games he started, he had 81 tackles, with an impressive 7.5 for a loss to go along with an interception and five passes defensed. He wasn’t a weekly starter throughout his collegiate career, but when he played, he made an impact and was given a 90.4 coverage grade last year. Moreover, he was an honorable mention for the PAC-12 All-Conference awards.

Related: Possible trade scenario with Raiders landing Simmons or Okudah

Burgess’s Strengths

Burgess is a great athlete, proven by his 4.46 40-time, 33.5″ vertical jump, and 20 bench press reps. He’s just as good off the field too, as he’s been commended by scouts and coaches for his preparedness. He has tremendous awareness that should smoothly translate to the NFL. He’s smart, disciplined, and rarely gets fooled by quarterbacks. He’s quick and agile enough to evade downfield blockers, and he’s able to change directions easily. He takes good angles when pursuing the ball-carrier, something the Raiders have been lacking for a long time. He’s a well-rounded player who switched from cornerback to safety in college, can cover the slot very well and is an efficient tackler.

Burgess’s Weaknesses

Burgess has a lot of tools, but he’s still a bit of a project since he was only a full-time starter for one year at Utah. He’s a bit small for safety at 5’11” and pretty thin in general, something that can be fixed by hitting the weight room. While he has great technique, his size doesn’t pose him as a hard-hitting threat to ball carriers, and he won’t be winning many jump balls.

Why Should The Raiders Select Burgess?

Burgess is certainly a project. He doesn’t have a lot of experience since he only started one season in college, and his size will put him at a disadvantage early in his pro career. With that being said, he has all the tools to become a starting-caliber safety. His skill gives him a high floor, and at the very least, he’ll be a good backup who can develop into a competent starter. He probably won’t be getting any taller, but he can easily put on muscle to become a more physical threat.

Burgess is tremendous at defending against the pass, and his tackling technique is very good. If he can add some strength in the coming years, I believe he can become one of the best tacklers in the league at his position. If the Raiders draft him, Burgess could take the slot-corner job away from LaMarcus Joyner, who struggled in that position last year. He could immediately form a good coverage duo with Trayvon Mullen, and it would allow LaMarcus Joyner to move back to safety, where he’s much more valuable to this defense.

Burgess has a high ceiling, and he could make an immediate impact for the Raiders.

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