On Saturday afternoon the Seattle Seahawks made a surprise move by trading a sixth round 2015 pick to the Indianapolis Colts for cornerback Marcus Burley. Here’s what you need to know about Burley:
Where he comes from:
Burley played college ball at Delaware, which is in a region that produces an inordinate number of obscenely good football players. Don’t believe me? Take a look at this NFL team that could be fielded using just players from the D.C. and Baltimore area:
That sound you just heard was my football ovaries bursting.
Burley played three seasons at Delaware and totaled four interceptions. He also put in some work at punt and kick returner. He was originally picked up by Jacksonville Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley as an undrafted free agent in 2013 – that is likely where the Seahawks got their intel on him. Burley was released by the Jags in October and then spent time on several practice squads, including the Eagles, Rams and Colts.
Burley checks in at 5’10” and 189 pounds, making him somewhat undersized for Seattle’s secondary, but on the flip side he is freakishly fast. At the draft combine he recorded a low 4.34 40 yard dash time.
Where he will fit in:
Richard “Ad Man” Sherman has the left cornerback spot locked down and Byron Maxwell has the right side settled. Burley will most likely back up Jeremy Lane at the slot corner position when the Seahawks go to their nickel defense, which is pretty often, so if anything happens to Lane we could be seeing a lot of Burley.
In this highleet reel you’ll see Burley exhibiting his skill set: great ball skills, breakaway speed, excellent timing for hits, and good tackling ability for a defensive back:
It’s extremely rare for Pete Carroll and John Schneider to trade a draft pick to another team when they’re so adept at finding gems in the later rounds. Usually this means they see an insanely talented athlete who could become a Pro Bowl (or hall of fame) talent if he’s developed correctly. Previous examples of assets they’ve brought in doing this are Percy Harvin and Terrelle Pryor.
My guess is we won’t see Burley in the regular season until garbage time when a game is already decided. That means Week 5 at Washington is probably the due date for his Seahawks debut.