Scouting Report: Nate Burleson

Tony Pauline of TFY Draft Preview gives his analysis on the Vikings' third-round draft pick, wide receiver Nate Burleson.

Name: Nate Burleson School: Nevada Year: 4Sr

Ht: 6-0.5 Wt: 190 40: 4.54 Pos: WR

Bio: Partial qualifier who leaves school a year early after amassing 138 receptions for 1,629 yards and 12 scores last season, winning both All-Conference and All-America honors. Junior totals were 53/737/2 in nine starts. Played with the first team during every contest of the 2000 season, posting 57/921/8.

Pos: One of the nation's most prolific pass catchers the past three years. Natural receiver with terrific innate skills. Fluid releasing off the line of scrimmage, quick in all aspects of his game and an excellent route runner that gets separation from defenders. Times his receptions nicely, adjusts well to the errant throw and gets up vertically to make the grab in contorted positions. Comes back to the ball, extends and looks the pass in, catching the throw away from his frame. Works to make himself an available target for the quarterback and stays with the play. Displays focus, concentration and efficiently makes the reception running full tilt downfield.

Neg: Not big or strong and has difficulty with large, physical defensive backs. Does not time well in the forty and lacks the deep speed.

Analysis: Technically sound and fundamentally very good, showing a feel for the game as the go-to guy who opponents cannot stop. Size/speed numbers dictate a third wide out or slot receiver at the next level. The main concern is ultra-productive receivers coming from this program have amounted to nothing in the NFL.

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