There’s seven days until Draft Day, but for those who rep Pewter Nation, it might as well be like anticipating Christmas. We’re a almost there, and there’s prospects a plenty for the Bucs to choose from. Without further adieu, let’s see who I feel will fit in at….
#2 Artie Burns, CB, Miami
The Buccaneers made a move or two in the offseason to add depth to their defensive backfield, most notably signing former Dolphins corner Brent Grimes. He had a respectable year in 2015, tallying 42 tackles, 14 passes defended, and four picks. Not bad for starting 15 out of the 16 games for the ‘Fins, who ranked 8th in total defense. Despite this, Grimes is no Darrelle Revis or Josh Norman, and Tampa Bay is going to need a lot more than Grimes’ recent stats to help restore some order to 23rd ranked defense. Luckily, there’s a guy not too far away that might fit the bill.
Per CBS Sports, Artie Burns is a track star that has won three state titles in hurdles, and has broken a 38-year old record in the 100, clocking in at 7.68 seconds. But you probably could guess the guy was fast with a 4.42 40 time. Playing at the corner or safety spot for the Hurricanes, Burns led the ACC with six interceptions. He has the skills to shed blockers in run support and has been known to blitz off the edge to get to the QB. Coverage-wise, Artie can jam just about any receiver at the line, but has the agility to adjust and run with the wideouts downfield.
Burns does have his share of baggage, though. With his father incarcerated and his mother passing away last fall, he’s retained custody of his younger siblings, as well as supporting his own child. He’s more suited for press-man coverage, and does struggle at times gaining inside position on wideouts. But the guy has the size and speed to compete at the next level, possessing great-ballhandling skills and an aggressive play style. If there were any defender the Bucs wanted to take a chance on, Artie Burns looks to be the way to go.
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