Full scouting report: CB Brandon Burton

The Vikings' fifth-round draft choice was rated much higher, but there are some holes in his game that may have caused him to drop. See what the scouting report that teams get had to say about Burton in all aspects of cornerback play.

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Year Entered


BURTON, Brandon







Time (40)

Time (20)

Time (10)






20-yd Shuttle

60-yd Shuttle

Three-cone Drill

Vertical Jump

Broad Jump






Bench Press



Wing Span

Position Pro Rank


31 ½"

8 ½"

74 1/8"

Left Cornerback

2010 Best Games

Nevada-Las Vegas, San Jose State, Iowa State, Wyoming,  San Diego State, Texas Christian

2010 Worst Games

Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Boise State

2009 Best Games

San Jose State, New Mexico, Colorado State, Nevada-Las Vegas, California

2009 Worst Games

Air Force, Wyoming, Brigham Young

Body Structure

Burton has a short frame with adequate muscle tone, but possesses good arm length and large, natural hands that he has used successfully to secure the interception. He has a tight waist and hips, but lacks lower body thickness (skinny ankles and calves).

Athletic Ability


Burton has above-average foot speed and ability to change direction. He lacks good strength and can even get washed out by a small receiver's block. He is very smooth and fluid in his movements and displays outstanding hands for the interception, but even with his good leaping ability, he will get "out-bigged" by the taller receivers during jump ball battles. He does a nice job of flipping his hips and mirroring a receiver on deep routes, but is better suited for the slot or zone positions, as he lacks any sort of physicality to produce impact hits or try and reroute or jam the receivers at the line. He has very good body control elevating to come down with the pass when uncontested and displays the burst to close on plays in front of him and the second gear to recover when a receiver gets behind him.

Football Sense


Burton has good eyes for the action in front of him, showing good timing trying to disrupt the bubble screens. He has no problem digesting complicated plays, but does get a bit reckless in his play (seems to be caught up more in going for the interception rather than covering the receiver). He will get soft and back away from a confrontation and, while durable, he is not the type that could play with pain at the next level. He thinks well on his feet and has no problem handling different assignments.



Burton is an engaging person who presents himself well off the field. He takes well to hard coaching and is a scrappy type in the locker room who won't hesitate to order his teammates to "get on the line" if he has to.



Burton plays with good aggression. He does show good mental toughness when he doesn't let his emotions get the best of him. He could play nickel back or zone corner due to size issues, but he is never going to be confused for an impact-type of hitter.

Key and Diagnostic Skills


Despite his short stature, Burton shows the vision, instincts and awareness to always get to the ball. He lacks the strength to prevent from getting bounced around, but at least he provides the effort to make the play. He does a good job of anticipating the quarterback when playing in the zone and generally makes good reads and adjustments to flow to the ball. He will try to reroute receivers with a press, but he lacks the strength to be too effective there. His ability to quickly identify his keys and react to the play makes him "look" taller" than his size really is. He has the ability to distinguish between pass and run plays, so there is no concern that he will be fooled by play action. His timing and feel for the ball in flight gets him most of his success when making plays on the ball.

Man Coverage Ability


Burton is not a natural ball thief, but he does have outstanding feet and ability to mirror and adjust to the receiver's movements. He can stick his hands in the face of his man to impede his opponent's vision of the ball in flight and does a very nice job of planting, redirecting and flipping his hips. He is equally efficient playing the trail, cover or cushion, and rarely allows cushion on the route.

Zone Coverage Ability


Burton has very loose hips, but he will open then too early, especially when challenged with double moves. He lacks the upper-body strength or solid hand placement skills to reroute receivers too much. He does show good comprehension of zone concepts, though. He has the range and suddenness (too sudden at times) in his movements and shows good awareness to attack plays in front of him or switch off on his assignment in the deep part of the secondary. He can play in off coverage, but is still better in man-to-man action.

Backpedal Skills


Burton shows the ability to suddenly change direction and is usually in good control coming out of his backpedal. He has the natural feet to be continuous in his movements and even though his speed will let him get away with it, he is never sloppy nor takes extra steps coming out of his breaks.

Ball Reaction Skills


Burton has the vision and timing to get an excellent break on the ball. He shows good courage going for the ball at its high point, but will get a little soft vs. the more physical receivers. He compensates for a lack of strength with his timing and foot quickness to step in front of the receiver. With his excellent hand/eye coordination, he reminds me of Ronde Barber for the way he breaks on the ball.



Burton has good recovery speed and the range, along with the ability to cover ground while the ball is in the air (see 2010 Iowa State and San Diego State  games). He takes good angles to the ball and has no problems when trailing or running on the hip of his coverage assignment. He can cover up for his mistakes with his recovery speed and looks just as fast in pads as he does without them (carries his equipment well).

Jumping Ability


Burton gets good elevation in his jumps, but can get beaten to the ball by the taller receivers. He has outstanding ability to track the ball in flight, but is not a great ball thief. Still, he knows how to shut out his surrounding to concentrate on the path of the pass. He has no problems sacrificing his body to compete for the high-point throws, but won't win too many battles there vs. the more physical and bigger receiver. He has exceptional body control through his elevation, exciting the crowd with his ability to adjust in the air, thanks to the way he times the ball in flight.



Burton is not a natural hands catcher with big "mitts" (hands measured just 8 ½-inches). He is not the type that has to rely on his body to catch the ball and looks very natural extending and plucking the pigskin away from his frame, but his hands are not that of a receiver's quality, evident by his conference record eight PBUs that could have been interceptions, if he just concentrated on securing the ball better than aggressively attacking it.

Run Defense


The effort might be there, until he gets bounced around, but he is just an adequate tackler who offers little in run force. He lacks good tackling technique and does not always get himself in position to make the play. He needs to use his hands better to keep blockers off his body, but even if his hands were active, he still lacks the strength to wrap and secure (more of a grab or drag-down type).

Tackling Ability


Burton is just an adequate tackler who will go low and wrestle down receivers, but ball carriers are simply going to run through him. He can hope to knock the outside runner out of bounds, but he hits with such little thud.

Compares To

Carlos Rogers-Washington…Like Rogers, Burton has good timing and recovery speed, but you would like to see him go after the ball with better concentration to secure the interception. He plays taller than his size indicates, but is not strong enough to challenge the more physical receivers, especially in press coverage. He is best served as a zone corner or in the slot, as he will get soft on you if bounced around by bigger blockers.

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