Terrell Burgess out of Utah is a prospect to really keep an eye on. Much like Jalen Elliott, Burgess is rather undervalued and he is someone that people are not talking much about. Yet, Burgess has the makings of a top five safety in this class for potentially a fourth or fifth round price tag. Burgess is the real deal and if he happens to slide down draft boards, he might just slide right into Bill Belichick's arms.
Let's go through his tape:
Man coverage skills
- Burgess has premier man coverage ability. He might be able to go man-to-man better than any other safety in this class, which includes Grant Delpit, who we raved about in this category. Whether Burgess lines up in the slot against smaller receivers or lines up against a big tight end, he can handle him.
- A man-heavy team like the Patriots would benefit from a guy like Burgess. He can cover tight ends better than most safeties in this class, despite his lack of height and below average vertical leap at the combine. New England needs someone to cover the tight end position as they obviously have players who can handle the receivers in man-to-man like Stephon Gilmore and J.C. Jackson. Patrick Chung has lost a step and can't really handle the task of covering TEs anymore. Burgess would be able to do this and more.
- Some even question whether Burgess could transfer over to cornerback at the next level, as he has some of the skills to do so. He could have the versatility of Jonathan Jones and the man coverage ability of a younger Patrick Chung, which would benefit the Patriots greatly and could have an impact right away.
Zone coverage skills
- Burgess does just fine here. As a safety at Utah, he was mostly asked to play Cover 2. His phenomenal instincts allowed him to make plays in zone and he certainly has the tools to play it at a high level in the pros. However, it's not his forte. Burgess is a much stronger man coverage player.
- Great awareness when the ball is in the air. Burgess can certainly make plays on the ball. He is a playmaker who register an interception and forced six incompletions last year in coverage.
- His timing and judgement is excellent on when to reach his hand in and break up the pass. Really solid with the ball in the air. Especially for someone with limited length and vertical ability.
- Really solid tackler with solid form. He missed a few tackles on the tape, which mostly came from a lack of power. Burgess could stand to bulk up a little bit.
- Added strength could especially benefit his ability to get off blocks in the run game. He got bullied a few times in the games we saw. Once someone got a hand on Burgess in the run game, he was virtually removed from the play. His tackling form will not matter if he cannot make it to the ballcarrier.
- Burgess clearly demonstrated a knowledge for the little things on the tape. His football IQ appears to be pretty high. His reaction time and awareness to his surroundings along with his steadfast ability to diagnose where the play was going is all impressive.
- He seems to always be near the ball and works well with his teammates to make plays and absorb a block to force things inside to his teammates instead of overcommitting.
- Burgess has patient feet and great speed, which allows him to get a good feel for his receiver and diagnose what route he is looking to run. Phenomenal stuff from Burgess.
- Burgess is as versatile as it gets. Just take a look at this:
- Burgess had an extremely solid combine. He demonstrated his speed by clocking in with a 4.46 40-yard dash.
- Those results are all pretty good with exception to his vertical jump. His vertical jump is a little low and could impact his ability to play the ball in the air. However, getting fixated over his vertical leap is a little too dramatic.
- Overall, his athletic ability is really impressive. His ability to tightly cover a wide range of body types at his size can attest to that.
- Burgess is not the biggest guy, as eluded to beforehand. Burgess measured in at 5-foot-11, 202 lbs at the combine, which many thought he was even smaller prior to his combine measurement. His size could limit his ability to play safety at the next level and could force him into a slot cornerback role. This is one of the concerns.
Just think of all the ways the Patriots' defensive minds could use Burgess. Bill Belichick and company could use this rookie safety as a chess piece to help in virtually shutting down opponent's passing games.
When paired with Stephon Gilmore, J.C Jackson, Jason McCourty, and Jonathan Jones, it would be really hard to pass against that group in man coverage. Not to mention, Joejuan Williams will be looking to make an impact in his second year. Terrance Brooks will also look to build off a solid year last year, and Patrick Chung could bounce back after a lackluster 2019 performance. Duron Harmon could ideally make a jump to starting free safety. Adding Burgess to this group would make this defensive secondary even scarier then it already is.
If he can be had in the fourth round, it is really a no-brainer for New England. To get a guy like Burgess who can cover tight ends for them and potentially get a crack at covering slot receivers right away on Day 3 of the draft is unreal.