Hog check? Cleveland Browns could net Treylon Burks as they hunt for help at wide receiver
Try “hog check” on for size.
Burks grew up hunting and fishing in Warren, Arkansas.
Among his targets were wild hogs.
“You have to go out there with dogs, and dogs go out and find them. Then we come up behind them and tackle them,” Burks said Wednesday during the NFL Scouting Combine at the Indiana Convention Center.
Burks has tackled too many hogs to count.
“I've been doing it all my life,” he said.
Sometimes the hogs get away, but when they don't, he tries to knife them “right behind the front arm, the front shoulder” to reach the heart.
“We process them,” he added. “Give the meat away.”
Burks would also fit well with the Browns' “dawg check” cry. He has a tattoo on is left arm depicting an American Bully, the first dog he ever owned.
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The Browns need help in their receiving corps, and Burks is a candidate to become their first-round pick (No. 13 overall) in the NFL Draft the night of April 28. Burks said the Browns are among the many teams with which he has met during the combine.
“Honestly, I just want them to know I'm a team player,” Burks said. “I put the team before myself. I just go out there and play ball for the organization that I'm a part of.”
Burks said he believes his playing style differentiates him from the rest of this year's receiver class. He has studied Deebo Samuel and tried to mimic the game of the San Francisco 49ers star.
“I can play outside receiver, inside receiver, running back. It doesn't matter,” Burks said. “That just sets me apart from everybody else.”
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Burks takes pride in physical run blocking, too, noting Arkansas coach Sam Pittman has an offensive line background and tries to instill it into his players. Burks measured 6 feet, 2 inches and weighed 225 pounds at the combine, with 9⅞-inch hands. He wears custom-made 4XL gloves.
Of course, Burks' prowess as a receiver is why NFL teams will covet him in next month's draft.
He overcome a torn anterior cruciate ligament as a high school senior and went on to compile 146 catches for 2,399 yards and 18 touchdowns in three seasons at Arkansas. As a junior last season, he caught 66 passes for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns to go along with 15 carries for 112 yards (8 average) and a touchdown. He was voted first-team All-SEC by the Associated Press and the conference's coaches.
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Dane Brugler, draft analyst for The Athletic, ranks Burks as the second-best receiver in this class, trailing only Ohio State's Garrett Wilson. In Brugler's most recent mock draft, he paired Burks with the Browns at No. 13 overall.
“With his vision and acceleration, Burks has the skills to turn quick-hitters into big plays, breaking tackles with his balance, body strength and competitive toughness (led the SEC with 22 plays of 20-plus yards in 2021),” Brugler wrote. “He can also track the football downfield with his large catch radius, although his separation skills are mitigated by his undeveloped rhythm as a route runner. As long as he stays healthy, Burks has the skills to grow into an NFL team’s No. 1 receiver with some similarities to a linebacker-sized version of Deebo Samuel.”
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The Browns just watched the AFC North rival Cincinnati Bengals benefit from a tremendous rookie season by Ja'Marr Chase, who helped them reach Super Bowl LVI. The Bengals drafted Chase fifth overall last year out of Louisiana State University. He caught 81 passes on 128 targets for 1,455 yards and 13 touchdowns in 17 regular-season games and was voted the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year.
“I feel like I can [have a similar impact as a rookie],” Burks said when asked about Chase's elite production. “I have to go in to whatever team that I'm in and put the work in just like he did, master the skills that he needed to uplift and the sky's the limit.”
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Nate Ulrich can be reached at email@example.com.