GREEN BAY, Wis. — Treylon Burks is as violent as he is caring.
As fast as it is, well, not fast.
First, the speed.
After a fabulous final season at Arkansas, Burks was considered a top receiver prospect in the 2022 NFL Draft. Then came the Scouting Combine. He posted a mediocre 40-yard time of 4.55 seconds. A bad 20-yard shuttle of 4.4 seconds. A vertical jump of 33 inches below average. His relative athletic score of 5.83a 0-10 measure of a player’s height/weight/athleticism, spoke of a ho-hum athletic profile not really fitting a first-round pick.
“All I can say is go watch a movie and see if I got caught with that 40 time,” Burks said on the pro day.
Burks’ story backs up that bold statement, which is why his draft stock wasn’t really affected by training at Indianapolis. He had season averages exceeding 16.0 yards in each of his three seasons. In 2021, according to Pro Football Focus, he ranked fourth among receivers with 9.3 yards after catch-and-take and 25th with 12 catches on passes thrown 20+ yards down the field.
“They like my film. They like the way I communicate,” Burks said on pro day when he improved his vertical jump to 35.5 inches. “I’m very respectful and I’m a man about my business. I conduct my business in the right way. It’s me. I’m not a flashy gamer. I go to work every day, finish my job, go home with my fiancée and my dogs and continue to do this process.
His violence isn’t about the run-after-catch ability contained within his 225-pound frame, though that certainly applies. It’s more like one of his hobbies.
Boar hunting. It’s something he’s been doing since he was 9 years old.
It’s not for the faint of heart. A wild pig can tip the scales at 200 pounds, a combination of muscle and sharp tusks. They can run up to 35 mph.
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“You have to go out with dogs and the dogs find them and we come up behind them, attack them and take them out,” he told the Scouting Combine.
It’s muscle against muscle. Knife versus tusks.
“We don’t use guns” he recently told ESPN.com. “Using a gun takes the fun out of it. Having a knife is more of a thrill than riding a boar that might kill you. Honestly, it’s just fun to be out there with your friends and family and have a good time.
Dangerous? Sure. But if Burks can tackle a pig and put it on the dinner table, then he can break up a tackle attempt from Harrison Smith and take it home.
Unsurprisingly, this has been a hot topic of conversation in meetings with the teams. Surely, when he meets the Green Bay Packers on Friday, general manager Brian Gutekunst or one of the team’s scouts or coaches will talk about it.
“Literally everyone was there,” he said of a meeting with the Giants. “They were thrilled that someone was doing this. They had never heard of it. It was amazing for them.
Burks, who went deer hunting for 30 minutes of sleep after beating LSU, is a product of his great-grandparents. His great-grandfather was a longtime employee of the Warren, Ark. school district. He taught Burks to have a selfless attitude.
“It’s an honor to have my name on the back of a helmet,” Burks wrote as part of a photo montage marking his first practice in Arkansas. “My family always pushed me and my (great)-grandfather kept telling me when I was younger that I was going to be something in life. My (great)-grandmother took this role after my grandfather died and always pushed me to be better. For me to have the name ‘Burks’ on my back is truly an honor. I want to represent my grandfather’s name and his legacy .
When her great-grandfather died while Burks was in high school, her great-grandmother fell into the void. Freda Burks is the driving force as he moves on to the next phase of life.
“It’s really important because I think back to when she would always hold me and sacrifice time for me when she didn’t have to,” Burks said on the pro day. “She could have given me to my mother. It just means a lot, just because she’s a woman who sat there every day, changed my Pampers, gave me milk, did everything for me, and she wasn’t even my mother. Just…words can’t explain.
All-Packers Mock Draft 6.0
First Round – No. 22: Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
With the first-round trade pick of Davante Adams, the Packers grab Devonte Wyatt. When it was pointed out that his group lacked numbers, defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery said Tuesday he would like someone with contractions. Well, at 304 pounds, Wyatt ran his 40 in 4.77 seconds. Although somewhat lost in the draft shadow of fellow Mountaineer Jordan Davis, Wyatt is the better player and will be a three-way sidekick with Kenny Clark. In this year’s defensive tackle class, he ranked second in passing success rate, according to Pro Football Focus.
First round – No. 28: George Pickens, WR, Georgia
In this simulation, the receiver was hit hard: Jameson Williams went to No. 15, Chris Olave went to No. 16, Drake London went to No. 17, and Treylon Burks went to No. 21. So I rolled the dice on Pickens in this location. And, with just 90 career catches, that’s a roll of the dice. He looked like the next big thing as a rookie in 2019, wasn’t as productive in 2020 and missed most of 2021 with a torn ACL. He’s big and fast and has made big plays in a high-profile conference. “I watch Davante Adams a lot,” Pickens said. “I am taller than Davante Adams. It’s the kind of path I want to go because with my size, a guy who can move is almost impossible to watch.
Second round – No. 59: Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
Lucas has started 42 games at right tackle over the past four seasons. He was a freshman All-American in 2018, a second-team conference in 2019 and 2020, and a first-team conference in 2021. He didn’t give up any sacks as a senior, according to Pro Football Focus, and he passed pre-draft testing with the type of athleticism the Packers covet for their program. As was the case with Pickens, he had a pre-draft visit with Green Bay.
Second round – No. 53: Cameron Thomas, OLB, San Diego State
I thought about inside linebacker Quay Walker there, which would have made Georgia three straight, but the edge group had been hit hard and I was afraid I’d run out of my best groups of guys. Thomas was a wrecking ball, earning second-team All-American honors in 2021 with his 11.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss. At 6-foot-4 and 267 pounds, he’s the size the Packers have wanted in this position. He lined up here, there and everywhere for the Aztecs, much like Za’Darius Smith did for Green Bay.
Third round – No. 92: Kerby Joseph, S, Illinois
Looking to the future, security is Green Bay’s greatest need. As it stands, Adrian Amos and Darnell Savage will be free agents next offseason. The team’s No. 3 safety from last year, Henry Black, wasn’t even introduced as an exclusive-rights free agent, so there’s no obvious young talent waiting in the wings. Participating for the first time in 2021, Joseph intercepted five passes. It has reach from sideline to sideline. If the Packers want to try Savage in the slot, they need a safety capable of getting into the lineup. In addition, he played a lot in special teams.
Fourth round – No. 132: Charlie Kolar, TE, Iowa State
Kolar won’t impress anyone sportingly. An Austin Hooper type is just a big guy (6ft 6 1/2) who knows how to open up and catch what’s thrown at him. He was a four-time Big 12 draft pick with 51 receptions and seven touchdowns in 2019, 44 receptions and seven touchdowns in 2020, and 62 receptions and six touchdowns in 2021. He had only one fall as a senior, according to Sports Info Solutions. . He won the Campbell (aka Academic Heisman) Trophy in 2021. He’s just not a big-play threat or a big blocker.
Fourth round – No. 140: DeAngelo Malone, OLB, Western Kentucky
New outside linebackers coach Jason Rebrovich doesn’t seem to mind having a counter-puncher among his passing throwers. Preston Smith and Rashan Gary are big, physical guys. Malone is smaller but explosive. At 6-foot-3 and 243 pounds, he ran his 40 in 4.54. He’s led with 32.5 sacks, 58.5 tackles for a loss and nine forced fumbles over the past four seasons. He could start his career as a Designated Pass Rusher.
Round five – No. 171: Erik Ezukanma, WR, Texas Tech
I really needed another receiver, so it was a good score after narrowly missing Nevada receiver/returner Romeo Doubs in the fourth. Ezukanma has had at least 42 receptions and four touchdowns each of the past three seasons. He’s good in hard-fought situations, can block and is an excellent yardage-after-take producer. At 6ft 2in and with a speed of 4.54, he had three falls in 2021.
Seventh round – No. 228: Aaron Hansford, LB, Texas A&M
Hansford caught three passes as a redshirt freshman receiver in 2017 before switching to defense in 2019. In 2021, he led the team with 89 tackles and was third with 8.5 tackles for losses . At 6-foot-2 and 239 pounds, he has decent speed (4.64 in the 40) and strength (24 reps off the bench). If his vision improves with experience, he could become a quality starter.
Seventh round – No. 249: Ryan Van Demark, OT, Connecticut
I wanted an inside blocker but getting Van Demark was too good to pass up. Van Demark was one of the Combine snubs. He supported him during the pro day. At 6-foot-6 1/2 and 307 pounds and with 35 3/4-inch arms, he ran a high-quality 4.54 in the shuttle. He started at right tackle as a rookie and left tackle his last three seasons.
Seventh round – No. 258: Dallis Flowers, CB, Pittsburg State
In his lone season for the Division II Gorillas, Flowers averaged 33.7 yards per kickoff return with two touchdowns while intercepting four passes. This was Flowers’ fourth school; he averaged 38.1 yards per kickoff return and 11.1 yards per punt return in 2019 with Grand View, where he was a two-time NAIA All-American. At 6-foot-1, he ran his 40 in 4.40 seconds.