On Tuesday, Joe Burnett participated in many of the NFL Combine workouts and was very impressive, as he ran a 4.49 second 40-yard dash in his first effort, benched 225 lbs. 22 times, and had near flawless turns in the cornerback drills. Burnett showed great hands which allowed him to stand out amongst some of the very best corners in the nation and certainly raised his stock.
NFL Network Draft Analyst Mike Mayock, a former defensive back for the Pittsburgh Steelers, gushed about the UCF corner.
"Joe Burnett is a very good player," Mayock said glowingly. "He's off the radar a little bit, but I like him, he's a valued guy. He's quicker than fast, can cover slot receivers, and has great amount of toughness."
Burnett's fine play earned him Mayock's "Best Value at DB" award.
Joe was not only busy working out on the field, but he had a few formal interviews with a pair of AFC South teams, including the local Jacksonville Jaguars and the Indianapolis Colts. Both teams are cover two types of defenses which appears to be a perfect match for Burnett's skills. With the Jaguars entering a rebuilding phase, Burnett can likely start right away at nickel corner and unseat Brian Witherspoon for the main job of kickoff and punt returner.
The Colts signed cornerback Kelvin Hayden to a very rich deal last week, but there is room for Burnett at the nickel spot, opposite Hayden and former first-round pick Marlin Jackson. Indy hardly has "world beaters" at their return positions, as Pierre Garcon and Chad Simpson are little more than average. Burnett would have an excellent chance at unseating either or both for immediate return opportunities.
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