Colts Looking At Another Wide Receiver

Last week, we told you about the Colts' interest in Virginia Tech speedster Eddie Royal. But the Colts have been in contact with another dynamic kick returner that could boost the team's return game.

The Colts had an interview with Kentucky wide receiver Keenan Burton at the NFL Combine last month, and were on hand at UK's Pro Day last week.

Although Indianapolis has expressed interest in Wildcat tight end Jacob Tamme, the team could also be looking to upgrade its receiving corps and return game with Burton, who led the Wildcats in receiving for two straight seasons. He had a banner year as a junior in 2006, with 77 receptions for 1,036 yards and 12 touchdowns.

In 2007, Burton collected 66 catches for 741 yards and nine touchdowns. Burton also handled kickoff returns for UK the last two seasons and averaged over 24 yards per return.

Burton is an athletic, muscular player — he has just 4.4 percent body fat — with good size for a wide receiver at 6 feet, 1 inch and 200 pounds.


Burton hauls in a touchdown pass for the Wildcats in the 2007
AP Photo/Jim Lytle

He had the best vertical leap of any wide receiver at the Combine, leaping 38.5 inches — which was actually tied for the second-best leap of any athlete at the event.

Burton was also impressive in the 60-yard shuttle, with his time of 11.36 ranking third-best among wide receivers.

Scout.com has Burton ranked as the 14th-best wide receiver prospect in the latest Draft rankings and the 104th-ranked prospect overall, which would place Burton in the early fourth round of the Draft.

Burton, at 23 years old, was involved with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes while in college and appears to be a solid citizen.

"... when I was growing up I would have loved to have had an athlete who was positive and who was respected talking to me," Burton said in an interview with Scout.com's Ed Thompson last month. "So I really take advantage of going out and reading to kids, talking to them and speaking at banquets, whatever I can do to help them and show them that not everybody who's an athlete is disrespectful and cocky — and show them somebody who is positive."

Burton also cited Marvin Harrison as a receiver he admired, so he would likely be thrilled to end up in Indianapolis, learning alongside the future Hall of Famer.

However, it could end up being Harrison's status that determines whether the Colts take Burton in the Draft. If the Colts feel like his knee is going to be able to hold up for the course of the season, the team may not feel it needs to add another WR at this time — especially with young receivers Anthony Gonzalez, Devin Aromashodu and Roy Hall already on the roster.

But if the Colts feel like Harrison's career is close to over, then they could consider Burton if he is still on the board later in the draft. And, his returning skills can't hurt his stock, either.

While Burton is a bit bigger and a touch slower than Virginia Tech's Eddie Royal (ranked No. 11 in the latest WR rankings), Burton may actually make more sense for the Colts, because he's likely to be available into the fourth round of the draft, which would enable the team to address more pressing needs — at, say, running back, tight end or defensive line — with its second- and third-round picks. And, Burton's size and fitness could make him a more attractive long-term prospect at receiver than Royal.

It is looking more and more likely that the Colts will look to take a receiver or two with what should be an abundance of picks in the draft's second day. But will that receiver be Royal, Burton, or a yet unknown player?

To read the rest of Thompson's interview with Burton, click here.


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