Treylon Burks Fantasy Football Outlook: Titans Rookie Has Best Landing Spot of All First-Round WRs
Justin Casterline/Getty Images. Pictured: Titans rookie WR Treylon Burks
The Tennessee Titans traded their WR1 in exchange for two picks, one of which they used to acquire A.J. Brown’s likely replacement, Treylon Burks.
Although Burks was the last of the six wide receivers selected in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft at 18th overall, our fantasy football expert believes Burks found himself in the best landing spot of the bunch. Find her take on Burks’ fantasy football outlook in 2022 and beyond, followed by one former NFL GM’s pre-draft evaluation of the rookie.
Treylon Burks Fantasy Football Outlook
by Samantha Previte, fantasy football analyst for Action
Landing Spot Grade: A+
The hype around Burks has less to do with his scouting report and much more to do with the Titans’ perceived endorsement and subsequent favorable landing spot.
Burks was arguably a reach at No. 18 (his draft position over/under was 23.5 with the over set at -120 odds), and the fact that the Titans were willing to part with their Pro Bowl receiver to select Burks speaks to how highly the franchise views him.
The landing spot is ideal.
I still expect running back Derrick Henry, who recorded 937 rushing yards in the span of just eight games last season, to be the focal point of this run-heavy offense. And while Ryan Tannehill cannot offer the same fantasy upside to his receivers as a quarterback like Aaron Rodgers can, Tannehill is serviceable, which frankly makes Burks’ situation more favorable than most of the receivers taken in the first round.
With Brown off the depth chart, Burks’ main competition for targets will come from Robert Woods and Nick Westbrook-Ikhine and newly-acquired tight end Austin Hooper.
Woods, 30, was dealt to the Titans in March and is coming off of a season-ending ACL tear, which is certainly worrisome at his age. Westbrook-Ikhine, 25, was an undrafted free agent in 2020 and recorded 38 catches for 476 yards and four touchdowns last season. Hooper, 27, was grossly underutilized during his tenure in Cleveland and tallied just 38 catches for 345 yards and three touchdowns last season.
The paucity of pass-catching depth creates a clear path for Burks to eventually lay claim to the WR1 slot vacated by Brown, making this one of the best receiver landing spots for 2022 and beyond.
2022 Fantasy Potential: WR2 upside.
Burks has a high ceiling as a blue-chip prospect in a solid system, as well as a high floor given his lack of competition. I expect him to make an immediate impact for redraft and dynasty, as I expect his role and production to grow in years to come.
Treylon Burks Pre-Draft Evaluation
by Randy Mueller, former NFL general manager and team executive
With his combination of size (6-foot-2, 220 pounds) and play speed — which is faster than his timed 40 would give you reason to think (4.55) — Burks will probably become a better pro receiver than we saw at Arkansas, where he ran a limited route tree and was used in some different ways. (He had 66 catches for 1,104 yards and 11 touchdowns his senior season.)
What excited me the most when watching Burks’ tape was his fundamentals in catching the ball. His hand placement and ability to adjust and actually attack balls thrown outside his frame are fun to watch. He makes contested catches, and his physically imposing frame allows him to play through contact both as a route runner and in securing the ball in a crowd. He makes acrobatic catches outside his frame. He has long arms (33.5 inches), and the fact that he is a natural hands catcher make him similar to an A.J. Brown or Mike Evans in play style.
Burks aligned in multiple spots in the Razorback offense and has been a kickoff returner at different points in his career. His versatility is a big plus and can even be counted on for bubble screens, reverses and maybe even some Debo Samuel-type usage out of the backfield because Burks is tough to bring down with the ball in his hands. He will run through arm tackles and uses that 220-pound frame vs. contact and in traffic very well.
What places him below Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson in my rookie wide receiver rankings is explosiveness and consistency in and out of breaks as a route runner, as Burks still has details to work on. He is a big man, and getting in and out of confined areas or tight coverage spots will be a work in progress at the next level. I don’t see the sudden gear changes while underway, but that’s just not necessarily his game. His game will be playing through contact to the ball.
Burks can work his way into becoming a solid No. 2 WR in the NFL.