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Hog Hunter: Arkansas WR Treylon Burks to 'Attack' Combine; Falcons Draft Pick?

Treylon Burks could be an option for the Atlanta Falcons in the NFL Draft

INDIANAPOLIS -- Big is always better, right? The more size to a person's frame, the better the chance they'll win any one-on-one battle.

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Arkansas receiver Treylon Burks stands 6-3 and weighs 230 pounds. He says his desired playing weight for the Razorbacks was 225-228, but he'll be willing to slim down so long as the physical aspect of his game isn't deteriorated. 

Burks will be on the Atlanta Falcons' radar with the No. 8 selection, and for good reason. With the status of Calvin Ridley at an impasse, plus Russell Gage hitting free agency, Atlanta needs another pass-catcher to pair with tight end Kyle Pitts.

The Falcons could be the first team to draft a receiver. Does Burks believe he should be the top choice? That's for the on-field workouts to decide Thursday afternoon. 

"I really don't think about it," Burks said. "I just go there and do what I do for my team and I just let my film speak for me." 

Burks has the case to be WR1 despite the rise of Alabama standout Jameson Williams and the consistency from Ohio State receivers Garrett Wilson and Chris Olave. He's physical, a willing blocker and perhaps most of all, reliable. 

The past two years, he's been coach Sam Pittman's go-to target for the Hogs' offense. Oh, and speaking of Hogs, don't get him started on the proper way to Hog hunt. Burks knows the ins and out of how to properly kill a wild pig without getting hurt in the process.

"It depends on how you attack it," Burks said. "You have to game plan before you even go out there. Know exactly where they’re going to be. You have to put vests on the dogs to make sure they don’t get hurt."

That a similar approach Burks uses when going up against defensive backs in the SEC. Burks used those same instincts to win battles against any defensive look every Saturday against some of the game's best. 

Oh, and he wins often. All three seasons in Fayetteville, Burks averaged over 16 yards per reception. In 2020, he found the end zone for the first time in his career and tacked on seven scores. In 2021, he finished with over 1,000 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. 

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“Being in the SEC has prepared me a lot because of the physicality of the game,” Burks said. “Every Saturday that you play, you are competing against the best. It puts you in the state of the mind that you’re basically playing against a pro every Saturday.”

The NFL comparisons? Last season, Arkansas offensive coordinator Kendal Briles began implementing more jet sweeps to Burks' element, having him become a factor as runner. He averaged eight yards per carry and even found the end zone with his legs. 

The easiest comparison for Burks is Tennessee Titans receiver A.J. Brown. Both players are known for their size being a factor, but it's the speed and physicality that ascends their skills to new heights. 

 Burks, however, is into the trendy NFL topics. As of late, he continues to watch San Francisco 49ers receiver Deebo Samuel, hoping to emulate his skill sets in a similar style at the professional level. 

"The way that he plays running back, plays inside, plays outside, multi-player, person, athlete," Burks said. That's who I try to mimic my game after him."

Burks said he's met with Atlanta and other teams in Indy. The Falcons will likely meet with all the top targets in-person this week just to get a feel of who fits coach Arthur Smith's system. 

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Perhaps the one thing that will separate Burks from the others will be his 40-time. Projected to run in the mid-to-low 4.4's, anything faster should give him a nudge to strengthen his argument as WR1. 

When asked if his weight would slow him down, Burks simply smiled, exuding the confidence shown Saturdays on SEC soil. 

"We’ll just have to wait to see that," Burks said.