Burnett Runs Hard at NFL Combine
Joe Burnett (John Raoux/AP)
Joe Burnett (John Raoux/AP)
Posted Feb 24, 2009
Charlie Bernstein

Joe Burnett was the only UCF Knight invited to the NFL Combine, and on a slow day for defensive backs, Burnett certainly didn’t hurt himself.

“Smokin’ Joe,” the Conference USA Special Teams Player of the Year, ran a 4.49 on his first 40-yard dash, and then a 4.54 on his second try. Burnett put up 22 reps on the bench, and although neither number was eye-popping, it likely allowed him to raise his draft stock from a late second-day pick to an early second-day pick.

Burnett’s former college teammate, Denver Broncos Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall spoke highly of Joe when he was discussed at the Pro Bowl.

Joe Burnett is a great player,” Marshall said. “He will surprise some people on the next level.”

Marshall also told NFL Network Draft Analyst Mike Mayock that Burnett was a “sleeper,” and he should watch his film. After watching the film, Mayock had this to say—

“Joe Burnett is a very good player.”

Those who watched Burnett play know that he’s much better than the workout numbers will show, as he has a tendency to make big plays when his team needs them. Burnett is said to be a solid fit for a cover two system, as he has great ball skills and is compared to former UCF, current Pro Bowler Asante Samuel.

With teams such as the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns showing special interest in Burnett, his wait on draft weekend may be shorter than many believe.

Related Stories
NFL Scouts Impressed with Smokin' Joe
 -by JagsInsider.com  Feb 25, 2009
Smokin’ Joe Gets a Visitor
 -by KnightsDaily.com  Mar 19, 2009
NFL Draft Notebook: Mack's Making Some Moves
 -by ScoutNFLNetwork.com  Mar 22, 2009

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