• Bison’s “Elite” Tier Rookie WR: Treylon Burks

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    With the 2022 NFL Draft in the books, rookie wide receivers were graded, and one from this class separated himself above the rest — Treylon Burks.

    Without diving too far into the specifics my prospect grading model looks into, 16 factors are weighted and applied differently based on their correlation to fantasy success.

    Each factor is a mere piece to the prospect puzzle — no one single metric is the "secret sauce" for finding wide receivers. With this in mind, the metrics' weighting is done so that just one metric will not make or break a prospect.

    Some of the main factors/metrics:

    • Draft Capital - what round?
    • Dominator - do they clear my minimum threshold?
    • Yards Dominator - do they clear my minimum threshold?
    • Measurables - height/weight/BMI
    • Film score - outsourced from Lance Zierlein NFL.com
    • Y/RR - yards per route run
    • YAC/R  - yards after catch per reception

    What Does the Grade Mean?

    The numeric grade for the prospects is used to designate their prospect tier (Elite, Great, Toss-Up, or Diamond Diving).

    Once placed into a tier, the specific "grade" number becomes irrelevant — I do not recommend using it to rank within tiers. By this, I mean that an example of prospect A scoring higher than prospect B within the same tier does not necessarily mean A > B.

    By comparing across multiple prospect classes we can get a better idea of what the odds of a new prospect's success are vs just looking at this one class.

    As shown above, there is a pretty significant hit rate difference between the tiers which is helpful for drafting future wideouts.

    Elite Rookie Wide Receiver Prospects

    The prospects that have landed in this tier historically DO NOT MISS!

    These folks have near-perfect profiles exceeding my success parameters across nearly all metrics and Burks is the next in line. Each of these wideouts was considered a top-12 dynasty WR by consensus per KeepTradeCut.com (March 2022).

    Do not pass up on Treylon Burks in your drafts!!!

    Not selected first in his Class?!

    Do not fret that Burks was not the first WR taken in the NFL draft — neither were A.J Brown, Jaylen Waddle, or CeeDee Lamb! On top, he was also picked with a higher draft pick than D.J. Moore despite Moore being the first to go off the board in his class! Non-issue completely.

    If you were to rely on this logic, you end up with N'Keal Harry and Henry Ruggs > A.J. Brown and CeeDee Lamb! Burks's draft position relative to the other WRs in the class does not matter for grading purposes. He got his first-round draft capital, and that IS what matters.

    Minimum Threshold Metrics

    • Dominator - 45.9% (29+ min)
    • Yards Dominator - 39.57% (20+ min)
    • Y/RR - Peak: 3.57 (2.5+ min)
      • Career: 2.87 (2.5+ min)

    As expected, most of the top prospects will clear the minimum thresholds for success and Treylon Burks is no exception, passing with flying colors. Punching in an over 90% dominator season at Arkansas, that offense clearly moved through Burks in '21.

    What was also nice to see was the efficiency. Occasionally players will rack up high yardage totals simply from being part of a high-volume attack. That is where Y/RR (yards per route run) comes into play, not only did Burks gain a lot of yards but it was done on an efficient per route run basis.

    What sets Treylon Burks apart?

    • Measurables - 6'2" / 225 lbs / 28.89 BMI
    • YAC/R (yards after catch per reception) - 9.3

    Much like of many fans/analysts' favorite comparison — A.J. Brown — Burks measured in like a bell-cow running back at 6'2" 225 pounds.

    With this size, combined with hitting game speeds measured above 22mph, it's easy to figure out how he became a YAC god at Arkansas. Burks averaged a stunning 9.3 yards after catch per reception in 2021 across 65 catches!!

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    He is a gadget guy — the film isn't there!

    I do not claim to have an eye for film grading myself, but I do think there is excellent value in film evaluation! Instead of trusting my untrained eye, I outsourced this part to Lance Zierlein over at NFL.com. Zierlein has been doing this for many years with a solid track record of success.

    Zierlein graded Burks a 6.5 prospect, tied for best in class! Starting his overview with:

    Big, smooth and natural, Burks possesses the versatility to operate from wherever you want and get to wherever you need no matter the competition."

    Arkansas DID find creative ways to get the ball to Burks. This is not a knock like many want to make it. Play calls were schemed to get Burks touches because he was their best player.

    Unlike true "gadget" players who we have seen struggle in traditional WR roles, Burks wins in many other ways. Zierlein goes on to note strengths such as:

    • Quick and urgent in slipping past press attempts
    • Suddenness to turn and present to passer underneath
    • Releases into the route with forward lean and hard push to threaten
    • A former all-state outfielder with the skill to track and snag deep balls
    • Runs routes with proper leverage and turn acceleration

    Landing Spot

    The landing spot is among the least of my worries at wide receiver. When negative, I will ALWAYS still draft talent over situation at the WR position.

    Tennessee is no negative in the first place though! In fact, the Titans are a gold mine for Treylon Burks specifically. The team willingly traded away their WR1 with an eerily similar build and skillset: A.J. Brown. This makes the path to a clear-cut role in the offense obvious.

    Ryan Tannehill is a competent quarterback that can support WR1 finishes and, so long as Derrick Henry is still the focal point, defenses will need to focus their attention there.

    There is no need for the Titans to figure out "how to use" their new toy. Burks fills an existing fantasy-friendly role in their offensive scheme as soon as he is up to speed.

    Where do I pick Treylon Burks?

    I have seen Burks' ADP fluctuating quite a bit throughout this off-season. Coming out of the college season, MANY had Burks as the clear-cut WR1 of the class, possibly even the 1.01 overall given the "weak" class.

    However, come NFL combine, Burks did not live up to the "physical freak" standards many had expected, running just a 4.55s 40 time. *Eye roll*

    While Breece Hall locked himself in as the clear 1.01, Burks fell down boards a bit. After the NFL draft, I am now seeing Burks go anywhere from 1.02 behind Hall to as low as 1.06 behind some of the WRs and Kenneth Walker!

    I believe Treylon Burks to be as close to a sure-fire star prospect as can be. He is my WR1 in this class, and I will take him 1.02 after Breece Hall.

    In a start-up, I would start considering Treylon Burks around the same time as vets like Terry McLaurin and Chris Godwin start coming off the board.

    If Burks is sliding to you in the mid-first round of rookie drafts, do not get cute or overthink it — SMASH THAT! It will be a STEAL a year from now. Barring injury, he will never be cheaper.

    Thank you for the read! You can find all of my articles on my IDP Guys author pageDon't forget to follow me on Twitter at @DynastyBison and follow @IDPGuys to keep up to date!

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