Pros and cons of Las Vegas Raiders taking Florida football’s Amari Burney in 2023 NFL Draft
Florida linebacker Amari Burney was selected in the sixth round by the Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday in the NFL Draft.
Burney was the 203rd overall player taken. He was the second Florida linebacker selected in the NFL Draft on Saturday, as Ventrell Miller was picked in the fourth round by the Jacksonville Jaguars earlier in the afternoon.
Here's what Burney brings to the NFL:
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A safety coming out of high school, Burney transitioned from defensive back to linebacker during his Florida career. He has above-average speed and cover skills at the position. Burney made one of Florida's biggest plays of the 2022 season when he intercepted a Cameron Rising pass in the closing seconds against Utah, preserving a season-opening 29-26 win at The Swamp.
Burney finished his Florida career with 4 interceptions. In 2022, Burney had a career-high 79 tackles, including 9 tackles for loss and four sacks. He posted a 4.53 time in the 40-yard dash at UF's Pro Day.
Physicality is an issue for Burney, who at times missed tackles playing against SEC teams. He played last season at 6-foot-2 and 228 pounds and struggled making tackles in space. He's a better pass defender in zone coverage than in man coverage, where he sometimes got beat by opposing tight ends.
Burney could transition back to defensive back in the NFL based on his size and speed. He would be valuable on special teams because of his athletic ability.