Juston Burris could be key to secondary of the Jets in 2017
By Paul Newbold
The New York Jets need some serious help in their defensive secondary heading into next season. Cornerback Juston Burris could easily be what they need and more through continued development.
Cornerback Juston Burris could be key to the secondary of the New York Jets in 2017. Burris is general manager Mike Maccagnan’s fourth round pick from last year. He came to the Jets as a four-year starter out of North Carolina State. He measures in with good size for an NFL corner, standing 6’0″ and tipping the scales at 212 pounds.
Burris played both press and off coverage while at North Carolina State. There he played in 28 straight games, showing the durability one needs to play in the NFL. While at North Carolina, he developed a reputation as a physical, aggressive corner. Something that would fit a Todd Bowles system nicely.
At the 2016 NFL Combine, Burris caught the NFL scouting world’s attention once again. He ran the forty at 4.50 sec. He posted a 36.5-inch vertical jump to go along with a 10’2″ broad jump. He ran the three-cone drill in 7.10 sec while posting a 4.40 sec short shuttle. His sixty-yard shuttle was good for an 11.65 second time. His measurements at the combine include an arm length of 31 1/2 inches and hands measuring 8 7/8″.
The Jets brought Burris into rookie camp last season, and he immediately began to impress the coaching staff. Burris came with an aggressive reputation and showed why through the spring. Training camp was a learning experience for Burris, but he showed the skills and ability to pick up Bowles system. He won a spot on the final 53-man roster at the end of camp and was active for every game in 2016.
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Due to injuries and sporadic play in the secondary last season, Burris was forced into action. He appeared in all 16 games, mostly in a backup role, earning one start, and impressing more than a few fans. He played at a high level for a rookie fourth-round pick, posting 16 tackles, 5 pass defenses, and an interception. He was seen by many fans as the bright spot in an otherwise dismal secondary.
Heading into 2017, the Jets will be looking to Burris to take the next step. The team cut Darrelle Revis in the offseason, leaving a starting spot up for grabs in 2017. Morris Claiborne was brought in via free agency from the Dallas Cowboys to shore up the secondary and to help the Jets young corner group.
It’s likely the team drafts another corner high this year, with some speculating that the No. 6 pick might be used to draft Marshon Lattimore out of Ohio State. Regardless of who they draft, or when, the team is certainly looking to fix the secondary woes of 2016.
If Burris can take the next step and develop under new defensive back coach Dennard Wilson, it would be a huge boost for a beleaguered group. He’s shown he can play press man coverage, and can aggressively contest a football in the air. He used position along the sidelines well and covered some fairly good receivers last season. Of course, he has work to do, but with two training camps and some NFL experience under his belt, 2017 promises to be an exciting year for the young corner.
As Jet fans, we can only hope his development continues. If he can be matched with an early round pick and can learn from Claiborne, the team could have corners for years to come. Burris is showing development, making him one to watch for through camp this summer. Keep your eye on him.