Over 13 games last season, Arkansas threw the ball a mere 314 times for 2,781 yards—with 66 catches for 1,104 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns coming from Treylon Burks. The Razorbacks were ranked 85th in the country in passes thrown/per game, making what the 6’2”, and 225-pound receiver accomplished in 2021 that much more impressive. Arkansas even ran Burks, who averaged 8 yards a carry, picking up 112 yards on 14 rushes.
He was a three-sport star at Warren High School, in Warren, Arkansas, where he played basketball, baseball and football. There’s a special part of his backstory that involves breaking his right hand his sophomore year of high school. As a rare four-year starter on the football team, Burks still played with a cast on. He supposed to be used as a decoy in the game and wound up making 12 catches for 282 yards and three touchdowns. He also played sparingly as a senior due to a knee injury, though by then he had committed to Arkansas.
Strengths: Burks fills the boxes for big and strong. In big games, he played big. He made 8 catches for 179 yards and two touchdowns against Alabama. He is a size mismatch for most cornerbacks and reminds many draft experts of the Tennessee Titans’ A.J. Brown. He has a smooth gait for someone his size. If he stayed with baseball, he would have been a prime Major League prospect, but his baseball background has given him the ability to track balls thrown beyond him. He is not afraid to go over the middle to make a catch.
Weaknesses: If you’re putting stock into the NFL Combine, then you may want to balk on Burks. He did not have a great combine, running a 4.55 in the 40. With his size, it takes time to slow that inertia and break off a route. He has a penchant for trying to make the spectacular catch when it isn’t needed, especially when it comes to one-handed catch attempts.
Will he be there for the Eagles: By all projections, Burks should be there at 15 or 18 for the Eagles. He showed his versatility since arriving at Arkansas, lining up in the slot his freshman year, and taking handoffs, returning kicks, and catching passes since then. Everyone likes his size. Burks will need work, especially with his route running. But his versatility could fit in well with what Nick Sirianni likes to do. Will the Eagles go wide receiver again in the first round after going with DeVonta Smith last year? Selecting Burks can only help Smith and Jalen Hurts, who will need as much help as he can get within the NFL’s most one-dimensional offense (a league-low 494 passing attempts in 2021). But that 4.55 number does hang there, and though that’s a dubious figure that may scare some teams away, his performance on the field—the ultimate test—produced a combined 17 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns against Alabama and Auburn, defenses designed to stop the Razorbacks’ go-to receiver.
Should the Eagles draft Treylon Burks?
Joseph Santoliquito is an award-winning sportswriter based in the Philadelphia area who has written feature stories for SI.com, ESPN.com, NFL.com, MLB.com, Deadspin and The Philadelphia Daily News. In 2006, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for a special project piece for ESPN.com called “Love at First Beep.” He is most noted for his award-winning ESPN.com feature on high school wrestler A.J. Detwiler in February 2006, which appeared on SportsCenter. In 2015, he was elected president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.