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Getting excited about Artie Burns

View photos of Pittsburgh Steelers 2016 1st Round Draft Pick, DB Artie Burns.

Why you should be excited about first-round pick Artie Burns:

  • At 6-foot and 193 pounds and with a combine time of 4.46 in the 40-yard dash, Burns has the height, weight and speed to contend with the big receivers he'll see in the NFL. The term "good-sized athlete" applies, and he has the potential for growth physically as he grows his game.
  • Burns demonstrated ball skills while amassing 13 passes defensed and six interceptions as a junior in 2015. He entered the season with a combined 10 passes defensed and one interception in his first two seasons at Miami (2013, 2014).
  • Burns' six interceptions in 2015 were the most by a Miami player since Sean Taylor had 10 in 2003.
  • Draft analyst Dane Brugler doesn't believe it'll take Burns long to begin to realize his obvious upside. "Burns has the requisite play-speed, competitive toughness and budding ball-awareness to develop into a starting press-corner in the NFL _ will contribute on special teams as an NFL rookie before becoming a regular starter by year two."[

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  • ESPN.com assessed the Steelers' No. 1 pick as follows: "Burns has a long and wiry frame with above-average fluidity and top-end speed. He displays quality mirror skills with the ability to hold up both in press or off-man technique. He also shows good range. He has improved his ball-awareness throughout the course of his career. He has a chance to add immediate depth and quickly push for a starting spot as a cover-corner outside the hashes.
  • Burns bolsters a cornerback position that absorbed the free-agent departures of Antwon Blake and Brandon Boykin and the release of Cortez Allen during the offseason.
  • Burns has endured a difficult stretch off the field that included the death of his mother during last season. He responded by helping to raise his two younger brothers and his young son (Burns' father is incarcerated). "He wants it. He needs it. He has to have it," NFL Network analyst Deion Sanders said of Burns during the combine. "You can't measure his passion or his heart, It should account for much."
  • Burns also ran track at Miami and earned All-America and All-ACC honors as a hurdler, and also was a three-time state champion in the 110-meter hurdles at Miami Northwestern High School. He had the top 110-meter and 300-meter hurdles times in the nation as a junior in high school.
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