PFF scouting report: Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State

Gordon McGuinness and the PFF draft analysts break down the play of MSU's Aaron Burbridge Reed ahead of the 2016 NFL draft.

| 6 months ago
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)

(AP Photo/Al Goldis)

PFF scouting report: Aaron Burbridge, WR, Michigan State


Below is the PFF draft profile for MSU’s Aaron Burbridge which incorporates PFF’s college grades and scouting intel from our team of analysts. To see all of PFF’s 2016 scouting reports, click here.

Position fit: Outside wide receiver. Spent 759 of his 886 snaps at either left or right wide receiver in 2015.

Stats to know: 10th highest overall grade amongst wide receivers in this draft class.

What he does best:
• Focal point of the Michigan State passing game in 2015, seeing a big increase in production from 2014 to 2015, with his receiving yards jumping from 358 to 1,258 and pulling in seven touchdowns. PFF grade increased from -0.2 in 2014 to +21.7
• Well-rounded in terms of usage, picking up a reception on 12 different types of route in 2015
• Considering he’s not a huge target, or a massive burner speed wise, had a lot of success on go routes. Caught 48 percent of the passes thrown his way, racking up 437 yards and pulling in five touchdowns
• Had one of his best games against the best competition. Graded at +4.3 as a receiver and pulled in nine catches for 132 yards against Michigan, lining up against PFF’s highest-graded cornerback in Jourdan Lewis for most of the game.

Biggest concerns:
• Inconsistent hands. Dropped 10 of the 97 catchable passes thrown his way in 2015, and five of 34 in 2014, with some really poor drops shown on film
• Not the most athletically gifted wide receiver. 40-yard dash, vertical, broad jump, 3-cone drill all ranked in the bottom 29 percent of wide receivers at the scouting combine. Shows on film and he averaged just 3.4 yards after the catch and forced only seven missed tackles in 2015
• With limited athletic ability, will have to rely on using frame to shield defenders in the NFL. Not encouraging that he caught just 64 percent of the passes thrown his way on slant routes
• One-year wonder in college. Never managed more than 364 yards from 29 catches before his final season
• Owes more than half (+9.5) of his 2015 receiving grade (+18.9) to games against Air Force and Michigan State

Bottom line: Burbridge started 2015 off with a bang, but faded in his final five games at Michigan State. The team who drafts him will be getting a player who has never shown a lot of consistency, but has flashed, sometimes in big moments. That matchup with Jourdan Lewis was one of the most interesting individual battles of the past year, but Burbridge’s full body of work isn’t consistent enough to live up to that.

 

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