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  • Rex Burkhead Scouting Report

    Brad Barr-USA TODAY Sports
    Rex Burkhead

    Official Measurements:

    Ht: 5'10 1/8"
    Wt: 214
    Hands: 9 3/4"
    Arm Length: 30 7/8"

    Combine Results:

    40-yard dash: 4.73 seconds
    Bench press: 21 reps
    Vertical jump: 39"
    Broad jump: 10' 5"
    Three cone drill: 6.85
    20-yard shuttle: 4.09
    60-yard shuttle: 11.51


    Strengths:

    Burkhead has good size for the position, although he could stand to bulk up some for the NFL. Versatile player that can help a team in a lot of different ways. Does not have to come off the field on third down due to his pass blocking ability and the fact he has very good hands out of the backfield. Although not possessing great straight-line speed, Burkhead does have deceptive quickness and the ability to make defenders miss. Nice combination of patience, cutting ability and short-area burst. Slashing, cut-back runner who finds his way through traffic. Tremendous vision and balance; knows how to use his lanes and when to hit the hole. Very good at starting with the flow of the play - then using his lateral quickness to cut back against the pursuit to find an open running lane. Tough runner with underrated strength and power who fights for every yard. Not afraid to take on defenders on inside runs; uses good body lean to run through arm tackles and shows great effort to fight through the trash. Is capable of bull-rushing unsuspecting defenders and has the agility to make tacklers miss in the open field as well. Character and leadership qualities are second to none in the 2013 Draft.

    Weaknesses:

    Burkhead is not an elite athlete and does not have break away speed. It is questionable if he can get to the edge effectively at the next level. Not the type of athlete who will make a lot of 'individual' plays. Does not possess top-shelf power and has average lower-body strength for the NFL. Questionable if he has the frame to handle a full load at the next level. Has durability questions after missing most of his senior year and five games of his freshman campaign. Despite being effective at blitz pick-up on the college level, his pass protection form is inconsistent and will need work.

    Overview:

    Burkhead is a high-effort, high-character, jack-of-all-trades running back who will do everything coaches ask of him at the next level. Burkhead finished his career among the top five all-time rushers in Nebraska history and was very productive in both the B1G and Big-12 conferences. My biggest concern with Burkhead is his lack of a 5th gear. I question his ability to run away from defenders at the next level. After running a pedestrian 4.73 40-yard dash at the combine in February, he only slightly improved on that time with runs of 4.66 and 4.68 at Nebraska's pro day March 7, where he reportedly had a very strong overall workout. Despite the slow 40-time, Burkhead also reportedly had a strong combine performance as well. Burkhead has a nice burst and quickness for the college game, but may not be quick enough to be a starter in the NFL. Nevertheless, I believe that Burkhead will be a nice addition to a NFL backfield as a situational player. Burkhead has the kind of lunch pail mentality that coaches and fans appreciate; he brings a tough-running mentality and underrated receiving ability. Fundamentally, his biggest deficiency is blitz protection, which should not be a problem for him long-term. It's unfortunate Burkhead only had one season as the primary ball-carrier. Had Burkhead followed his 1,400 yard, 15 touchdown junior campaign with a similar senior season, he would likely be a candidate for the 2nd round. As it is, I think he can expect his name to be called around the 4th round. One thing is for sure, whoever drafts Rex Burkhead is getting a versatile - if not flashy - running back who can fill a role in a committee of backs and can do just about everything well at the position.

    Prior to contributing to HuskerMax, Jeremy Pernell co-founded the all football website N2FL.com. He served as the editor in chief of the college football portion of the website which focused heavily on recruitment and talent analysis, including the NFL Draft. You can email him at N2FL@hotmail.com.
    Comments 4 Comments
    1. FLA4NEB's Avatar
      FLA4NEB -
      "
      Character and leadership qualities are second to none in the 2013 Draft.
      "

    1. 4NUnTX's Avatar
      4NUnTX -
      Does not possess top-shelf power and has average lower-body strength for the NFL.- ****** Did you even read your own article? Because you said this in the beginning - "Not afraid to take on defenders on inside runs; uses good body lean to run through arm tackles and shows great effort to fight through the trash. Is capable of bull-rushing unsuspecting defenders and has the agility to make tacklers miss in the open field as well." This is call lower leg strength.
    1. FCHusker's Avatar
      FCHusker -
      New England Patriots.
    1. statman29's Avatar
      statman29 -
      St Louis Rams
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