This dark-horse NFL Draft candidate for the 49ers isn’t so much one because of his position — the Niners need an edge rusher, after all — rather it would be at the spot where he’s selected.
Florida State EDGE Brian Burns isn’t among the upper echelon of this year’s pass-rushing prospects. But with a strong NFL Scouting Combine, it wouldn’t be a shock to see him climb up the ranks from the lower end of Round 1. Perhaps somewhere in the teens.
The 6-foot-5, 235-pound Burns was highly productive his junior year at Florida State, logging 10 sacks and 15.5 tackles for a loss. While he could stand to add some additional mass to his frame, there’s little denying his first-step abilities and explosiveness off the snap.
What makes Burns enticing is that he would likely be the kind of edge rusher San Francisco would pursue if it traded down from No. 2 to one of the picks in the middle of Round 1. With this year’s NFL Draft class having a premium on a small handful of starting-caliber quarterbacks, and plenty of teams in need of one, a lucrative trade-up package from the middle picks could be something John Lynch and Co. simply can’t pass up.
Remember, the Niners have only five picks in this year’s draft. So, if a trade down into the teens winds up being the route taken, don’t sleep on Burns being San Francisco’s first pick.