Burrell Updates Status, Plus Scouting Report

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- Here is an interview and scouting report of McDonogh 2016 safety Eric Burrell.

OWINGS MILLS, Md. -- McDonogh (Owings Mills, Md.) took on St. Joseph's Montvale (Montvale, N.J.) Sept. 5, and the New Jersey power knocked off the Eagles, 31-18.

Terrapin Times was on hand to scout and interview McDonogh's Terps targets, including class of 2016 safety Eric Burrell, who had eight tackles, three unassisted, an interception and three pass breakups. Check out his interview and scouting report below:

Scouting Report

Burrell is your classic center-field safety, the last line of defense who roams the secondary and looks for crossing tight ends or receivers over the middle. What I really like about Burrell’s game is how cerebral, instinctive and heady he is. He sees the field exceptionally well and seems to have a knack for route recognition and where help is needed. He positions himself well, and that allows him to play faster and pick up receivers quicker.

Moreover, Burrell has that hawkish quality to him where he plays safety like he’s the intended target. He’s very good in the air, high-pointing the ball and using his above-average vertical leap to rise above the wideout. He has active hands to dislodge the ball from a receiver’s grasp. Speaking of his hands, they’re pretty soft for a defensive back, and when the ball’s near him he’s going to pick it off more often than not.

And while Burrell plays more of a free safety role, he does not shy away from delivering a hit. He’s a steady tackler who drives through his man and allows little leaky yardage. It helps that he usually takes tight closing angle, bee-lining through traffic in order to cut down a back/receiver in space.

However, Burrell does need to work on his closing speed, as there were a couple routes he could have jumped if he had an extra step to half-step. He does not possess elite recovery wheels, either, though his interception did come on a play where he tracked a wideout stride-for-stridre deep downfield. But Burrell was also beaten on a couple plays, so if he does let a receiver get behind him, or if he gets caught flatfooted, he could be in trouble. And while Burrell has decent range, adding more burst and speed will allow him to expand his coverage area. He also has to be a more consistent tackler, as once in awhile he’ll strike too high or use his arms instead of driving from his lower half.

Interview


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