ESPN: Playmaker Score 2022

Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
Arkansas WR Treylon Burks
Photo: USA Today Sports Images

NFL Offseason - Here's the ESPN+ version of our Playmaker Score projections for college wide receivers in 2022, led by Treylon Burks of Arkansas. The full list will run on Football Outsiders later this week.

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10 comments, Last at 05 Apr 2022, 1:03pm

1 Even after FA and combine

I think ATL should take Treylo at 8 if it's not a QB. They're still bereft WR even if you consider Cordless Phone one. Way too versatile imo. I'll accept your tomatoes and make ketchup or salsa.

3 Not at #8

Interesting to see Burks top the Playmaker score, given that his combine numbers were abysmal. As we know, combine numbers are not particularly useful for predicting how good a player will be, but they do define some minimum thresholds. Burks' 3-cone was in the 8th percentile, and historically players like that have hit very rarely. But even ignoring that, #8 is high for a guy who only tops Playmaker because it sees a weak WR class this year.

4 9th* on mockdraftable

In reply to by Dave from DC

DK had 3rd percentile. There's a reason people like AJ Brown and Josh Gordon (overall comparisons) skipped out on them. They too wouldn't have done great. 

But a savy team will know they it's not near the end all be all and put the SEC YAC guy in good position. 

Not weak but down year. It's still good just not as good as the last two years. 

5 Except that doesn't disprove the point

Sure, some guys with those scores hit. The majority do not. And those who did typically blew it away in other combine drills--Burks didn't. He might end up being great, but just look at the comps you pointed to on MockDraftable: Josh Gordon (nice) and then a slew of guys you wouldn't take near #8, plus some busts (Treadwell). Too much downside at the top of the draft. I'd take him in the 20s.

Edit: you're right on one thing--"weak" was a poor characterization of the WR class. I'll instead use what the article uses: "good but not great."

6 I mean

Most peoples comps are a slew of guys you wouldn't take. Garrett Wilsons best is a rookie Rashod Bateman who's just not as proven as Gordon was. Olaves is Kenny Stills? Jamarr Chase was...Chris Chambers? 

And others (mixed with production) comps give him Jordy Nelson. Ate up yards and targets. Took catches far. Broke out dead average but with no name QBs in the supposedly toughest conference. 4.55 is great at his size. 

Some others with poor 3 cones (a drill many WRs just straight avoid, it's the whole reason DK went from top 11 overall to literal WR9) include Jarvis Landry and Anquan Boldin. Then there's guys that were slightly higher like Dez at the 12th percentile. Megatron and Nuk avoided theirs too. 

Some random PFF stats for ya

  • Highest 2021 passer rating while targeted among Draft WRs
  • Best receiving grade on 20+ targets since 2019
  • Second highest YAC/Rec in 2021, min 50 recs among FBS WRs
  • Highest graded on screens and in the slot
  • Second highest graded vs zone 

There's enough tape out there for me. I wouldn't blink at 8. I don't see anyone else available that's flawless at that point.  Their next pick isnt til 43 and if no one wants to trade back...go ahead and chase that variance I say.

7 You keep making the same flawed point

In reply to by ImNewAroundThe…

The fact that some guys with his 3-cone hit does not change the underlying sample. Any sample looks good if you only select the hits. The overall sample is what matters, and it's a red flag. Secondly, even if you give him a mental bump to account for the guys who skipped the drill--questionable, since we can't know their reasons for skipping--Burks didn't light it up in any of the drills. Jordy at least had an elite 10 yard split. DK crushed everything but 3-cone. AJ Brown and Josh Gordon were solid, if unspectacular, across the board. There isn't a single guy on that list with two rankings as bad as Burks' 9th and 21st percentile in the 3-cone and vert. Doesn't mean he won't be a good player, or even a great one. Just means there is reason to worry, and at #8 in the draft I'm not looking for guys who give me reason to worry.

8 You said threshold

The threshold is Jarvis Landrys 7.55 now and Treylon passed that by multiple percentiles. And so did others that still didn't do great at it. Adding another one in Cole Beasley clockin in at the 16th percentile at a muuuuuuch lighter weight (4th percentile). 

The reason others skipped is because...of this entire conversation! It's bumping him down. It literally bumped DK down quite a bit not too long ago (another current player that passed the threshold, and was still worse then Treylo btw). Not sure why that'd be questionable. I said it's quite clear why. Probably not Landry bad but still enough to make you question their insane speed at their DK (whos best comp there was Kenny Brit). I don't that's a stretch whatsoever. I would to hear the "other" reasons why they would skip it but not the others. 

Jordy (best comp Dwayne Bowe) was also 8lbs lighter and Treylos 10y split was still 65th %tile. And he had straight higher vert (again at multiple pounds heavier). And a better target share (and college ypr and burst score).

Treylo had a better broad than AJ Brown (a comp in the skill tab, also given by some before the combine anyway) and Gordon. There's ways to utilize them to overcome their weaknesses. And Treylo had a bunch. Took multiple of both types of returns. Took stuff/lined up from the backfield. Was lethal in the screen and out game. Was great deep. Great vs press. Plenty for me. 

Worry all you want on a couple tests and I'll take the guy was clocked at 22.6 MPH (Tyreek best was 21.9). Shoot for the moon like Cincy did last year instead of picking the "safe" option. Good luck finding someone that won't make you "worry" at least in this class lol would love to hear the other options that could impact ATL as much otherwise though (again, outside of QB). 

9 Smh

You continue to pick particular examples instead of looking at the entire sample. If you refuse to acknowledge the straightforward claim that looking at the entire sample is more predictive than picking a subset that happens to make your point, then there's nothing to talk about. Who would I take at #8? Not someone projected to go in the late teens/20s, simply as a question of value, and not someone for whom I have an objective reason to worry. From this very website: "On the downside, Burks lacks sudden quickness and rarely gets separation against SEC-caliber defenders in man coverage. ... Despite the high projected Playmaker Score and all the buzz, Burks has high boom-bust potential. His upside is a cross between a Deebo-like slot weapon and Mike Evans-like big boundary target. His downside could be a second-tier gadget specialist who needs to be schemed open. But that sweet upside makes Burks a likely first-round pick." Yeah, all draft picks are lottery tickets, but that's not the description of a 1.08 pick.

10 But

In reply to by Dave from DC

You literally just said threshold and looked at 3 cone though?

"minimum thresholds. Burks' 3-cone"

I did look at it altogether lol that's why there's good comps. No one said he was perfect. Gordon, Brown, etc wouldn't have great 3 cones either but they're still good. They just smartly opted out to not hurt themselves like DK and now Burks. You can tell that by the way they win on tape. And this year they were running them really late anyway. There weren't many good ones in general by anybody as they were happening at like 11pm.

So you can't even name someone else? Not one? Sounds like you haven't watched much...of anyone if you cant name even one. I'll take Jamarr/potential all pro/perennial pro bowler at 8 over the "safe" Sewell/whoever you didn't watch from this class (sans QB again) that you are just going off ADP to form your opinion on (biased heavily by the combine as this conversation shows). 

Would love for you to look up a few better options for an Arthur Smith offense/team and comeback to me because Deboo and Mike Evans go top 8 in their redrafts (Evans went 7 irl). Treylon can have the biggest impact as there'd be no one in front of him. There's a path for him to the field and a leader that (should) know how to use an AJ Brown comp effectively. I certainly can see a draft going a way where he's the biggest non QB impact available at 8 for ATL specifically.