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  1. #1
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    #4b 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    OVERVIEW

    When Keenan Burton was out of the lineup with assorted injuries -- knee, foot and ankle -- during his career, the Wildcats were a different team.

    Back from injury, Burton had a banner junior season. Burton became just the third player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards receiving in a season (1,036) in 2006 and is also the third Wildcat to ever amass over 2,000 receiving yards in a career. His 12 touchdown receptions in 2006 rank second on the school's single-season record list. He also set another Kentucky record by catching at least two touchdown passes in four consecutive games (Mississippi State, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Monroe).

    At DuPont Manual High School, Burton excelled as a quarterback and safety. He earned first-team All-State from the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal and was named to the Lexington Herald-Leader "Class of the Commonwealth" listing of the top-22 seniors in the state during his senior year. He was the sixth-ranked prospect in Kentucky by Super Prep, ranking fifth in the state and among the nation's top fifty defensive backs, according to Rivals.com and Prep Star. He also added All-County and All-District honors as a junior and senior.

    The MVP of the Kentucky/Tennessee HS All-Star Game in the summer of 2003, Burton helped his school reach the Class AAAA state playoffs four consecutive seasons. He started the last three of his four seasons with the team, lining up mostly at quarterback on offense, although he did see some action as a receiver, running back, and kick returner.

    Burton carried the ball 274 times for 1,634 yards (6.0-yard average) and 25 touchdowns during his career. He completed 81 of 226 passes (35.8%) for 1,605 yards and 17 scores. He also recorded 98 tackles, along with 30 pass deflections and 10 interceptions, returning two of those picks for touchdowns, adding another score on a punt return. "Keenan has the quickest first step I've seen in a long time," said Manual High coach Joe Nichols. "He has really deceptive speed and great hands."

    Burton also lettered in track, competing in the 400- and 800-meter dashes, 4x200-, 4x400-, and 4x800-meter relays, the long jump, and the triple-jump. He competed in the state meet in all three relays and both jumps. He was a member of the school's student council and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

    Burton enrolled at Kentucky in 2003, turning down scholarship offers from Northwestern, Indiana, Marshall, Louisville, Miami (Ohio) and Boston College. The son of former Morehead State football and track participant, Ed Burton, Keenan Burton earned Knoxville News-Sentinel Freshman All-Southeastern Conference honors that season. In 12 games, he made five starts at split end. He ranked fifth on the team with 20 receptions for 221 yards (11.1-yard average) and a pair of touchdowns, with 11 catches for first downs.

    Prior to the 2004 season opener, Burton suffered a left wrist fracture. He appeared in the team's first two games before the coaching staff applied for a medical hardship. He had just two catches for 13 yards, adding 88 yards on three kickoff returns (29.3-yard average) before spending the rest of the season on the sidelines.

    Injuries continued to plague Burton in 2005, as he appeared in only seven games while twice undergoing right foot surgery (in September, 2005, and again in January, 2006) to repair a broken bone. He still finished third on the team with 24 catches for 365 yards (15.2-yard average) and a pair of touchdowns and 15 grabs produced first downs, converting four third-down grabs and one on fourth down. He returned five kickoffs for 183 yards (36.6 avg) with a long of 93 yards and also had a 30-yard punt return.

    Injury-free for the first time since 2003, Burton had a banner junior season. He earned All-Southeastern Conference first-team honors as an all-purpose back and second-team accolades as a receiver. Named one of the team's captains, he also took over kickoff-return duties, ranking second in the SEC with 765 yards and a touchdown on 31 attempts (24.7-yard average) and gained 51 yards on four punt returns (12.8 avg).

    As a receiver, Burton became the third player in school history to gain over 1,000 yards in a season, as he caught 77 passes for 1,036 yards (13.5-yard average). His 12 touchdowns rank tied for second on the single-season chart. His average of 5.92 receptions per game ranked 14th nationally while his 79.69 yards receiving per game placed him 21st in the NCAA Division 1-A ranks.

    His average of 141.92 all-purpose yards per game ranked ninth in the nation and second in the conference. Of his 77 grabs, 49 produced first downs, as six of those catches came on third-down plays and another on fourth down. Of his catch total, 14 were for at least 20 yards. He had big plays that set up 20 touchdown drives and five other series that ended with field goals.

    Burton continued his torrid pace in the early stages of the 2007 season, but flu-like symptoms and right knee and ankle sprains limited his playing time over the second half of the year. He still managed to lead the team with 59 receptions for 685 yards (11.6-yard average) and nine touchdowns. He ranked sixth in the Southeastern Conference with a 24.25-yard average on 28 kickoff returns for 679 yards, adding nine yards on a punt return. He ranked sixth in the league with an average of 124.82 all-purpose yards per game.

    In 45 games at Kentucky, Burton started 31 games. He ranks fourth in school history with 182 receptions and third with 2,320 yards (12.7-yard average). His 25 touchdown grabs rank second on the Kentucky all-time list. He rushed eight times for 18 yards (2.3-yard average) and gained 90 yards on six punt returns (15.0 avg). He totaled 1,715 yards with a touchdown on 67 kickoff returns (25.6 avg). He also became the fifth player in school history to amass over 4,000 all-purpose yards in his career, ranking third on the UK all-time list with 4.143 yards. He added two solo tackles and recovered two fumbles.

    Career Notes

    Burton ranks fourth in school annals with 182 receptions, topped by 208 Craig Yeast (208, 1995-98), Derek Abney (197, 2000-03) and Anthony White (194, 1996-99)...Became just the third player in school history to gain over 2,000 yards receiving (2,320) in a career, as those yards are surpassed only by Craig Yeast (2,899) and Derek Abney (2,339) on the UK all-time list...Only Yeast (28) has more touchdown receptions that Burton's 25 in Kentucky history...Ranks third in school history with 4,143 all-purpose yards, topped by Derek Abney (5,856 yards) and Craq Yeast (4,280 yards)...His average of 15.75 all-purpose yards per play is the best figure in school and Southeastern Conference annals, topping the old record of 14.83 yards per touch by Derek Abney (2000-03) and is the best mark of any player in NCAA Division 1-A history with at least 200 plays. That figure is the second-best overall in NCAA Division 1-A annals behind Anthony Carter, Michigan, 1979-82 (17.44 avg, 5,197 on 298 plays)...Burton's kickoff-return average of 25.59 yards rank second on the school list behind Calvin Bird (27.05-yard average, 1958-60)...Gained 1,715 yards on his kickoff returns, as only Derrick Abney (2,315 yards, 2000-03) gained more yards for the Wildcats...Registered 26 total touchdowns during his career, ranking fifth in school history behind Craig Yeast (32, 1995-98), Moe Williams (27, 1993-95), George Adams (27, 1981-84) and Rodger Bird (27, 1963-65)...His 77 receptions in 2006 rank fourth on the school list behind James Whalen (90 in 1999, Craig Yeast (85 in 1998) and Anthony White (78 in 1998)...Only Craig Yeast (1,311 yards in 1998) gained more yards receiving in a season for the Wildcats than Burton's 1,036 in 2006...His 12 touchdown catches in 2006 rank second in school history behind Yeast's 14 in 1998...His 1,845 all-purpose yards in 2006 rank fourth on Kentucky's single-season list, topped by Rafael Little (1,982 yards in 2005), Derek Abney (1,922 in 2002) and Craig Yeast (1,841 in 1998)...Burton's 31 kickoff returns in 2006 placed fourth on the school list behind Kendrick Shanklin (34 in 2000), Kio Sanford (33 in 1994) and Derek Abney (33 in 2001)...His 765 yards gained on kickoff returns in 2006 was the third-best season total in Kentucky annals, surpassed only by Kio Sanford (820 in 1994) and Derek Abney (804 in 2002)...Became the fifth player in school history to amass over 4,000 all-purpose yards in a career...Burton's 171 yards receiving vs. Vanderbilt in 2006 was the fourth-best game total by a Wildcat, topped only by Craig Yeast (269 vs. Vanderbilt in 1998 and 206 vs. Florida in 1998) and Rick Kestner (185 vs. Mississippi in 1964)...His three touchdown receptions vs. Louisiana-Monroe in 2006 are surpassed only by the four scoring receptions registered by Al Bruno (vs. North Dakota, 1950), Craig Yeast (vs. Indiana, 1997) and James Whalen (vs. Georgia, 1999)...His 185 yards on kickoff returns in the 2006 Louisville contest set a school record, breaking the previous mark of 166 yards by Roger Gann vs. Indiana in 1969...His 100-yard kickoff return for a touchdown vs. Louisville in 2006 tied Derek Abney (vs. Florida, 2002), Craig Yeast (vs. Florida, 1998) and Kurt Johnson (vs. Georgia, 1989) for the longest return in school history.

    High School

    Attended DuPont Manual (Louisville, Ky.) High School, playing football for head coach Joe Nichols...Excelled as a quarterback and safety. He earned first-team All-State from the Associated Press and the Louisville Courier-Journal and was named to the Lexington Herald-Leader "Class of the Commonwealth" listing of the top 22 seniors in the state during his senior year...Was the sixth-ranked prospect in Kentucky by Super Prep, ranking fifth in the state and among the nation's top 50 defensive backs, according to Rivals.com and Prep Star...Added All-County and All-District honors as a junior and senior...The MVP of the Kentucky/Tennessee HS All-Star Game in the summer of 2003, Burton helped his school reach the Class AAAA state playoffs four consecutive seasons...Started the last three of his four seasons with the team, lining up mostly at quarterback on offense, although he did see some action as a receiver, running back and kick returner...Carried the ball 274 times for 1,634 yards (6.0-yard average) and 25 touchdowns during his career...Also completed 81 of 226 passes (35.8%) for 1,605 yards and 17 scores...Recorded 98 tackles, along with 30 pass deflections and 10 interceptions, returning two for touchdowns and adding another score on a punt return..."Keenan has the quickest first step I've seen in a long time," said Manual High coach Joe Nichols. "He has really deceptive speed and great hands."...Also lettered in track, competing in the 400- and 800-meter dashes, 4x200-, 4x400-, and 4x800-meter relays, the long jump, and the triple jump...Competed in the state meet in all three relays and both jumps...Member of the school's student council and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.




    ANALYSIS

    Positives: Has the ideal frame you look for in a receiver, with a muscular upper body, very low body fat (4.4%), well-defined midsection, long arms and tapered thighs and calves...Demonstrates the change-of-direction agility and low pads to slip under tackles in attempts to gain separation after the catch...Has the timed speed to threaten the deep areas of the secondary, but with his strength and ability to shield the ball from defenders, he has been very effective as a possession receiver...Uses his hands well to defeat the jam at the line of scrimmage and has the loose hips and crisp cutting ability to make the initial tackler miss...Will power through the "chuck" and knows how to use his change-of-direction agility and swim moves to get a clean release...Very good at settling underneath, showing the balance and body control to make shoestring grabs or extend to catch outside his frame...Will push and shove off the defenders with his strong hands in attempts to gain separation and builds to top speed nicely heading down field...Very flexible in his route progression, showing the stop-and-go action to instantly redirect, along with good thrust to be competitive taking on defenders in attempts to get into his route...Has the burst to get on top of the defense and shows nice body control adjusting to the deep ball in flight...Alert to coverage and easily locates the soft areas in a zone...Able to adjust on his routes when on the move and is aware of the sidelines, but it is his ability to set up defenders downfield that sets him apart from others...Has the ability to adjust in his route and get open if the quarterback is forced to scramble, showing good awareness to the sidelines and down marker...It is very rare to see any hesitation in his play, especially when going over the middle to compete for the ball, as he can take a hit and hang on in close quarters...Efficient in-line blocker with the balance and hand technique to provide solid crack blocks for the ground game...Hunts for blockers downfield and will not hesitate to lay an opponent out...Has a true playmaker's mentality, as he will not hesitate to sacrifice his body...One of those "first to enter, last to leave" types in the training room and spends countless hours breaking down opposing game film...Too strong to jam at the line of scrimmage and uses his hip swerve efficiently to avoid defenders to get into his route progression...Used a lot on shallow and wheel routes, as he has the strength to power his way to the ball in the crowd...Has the long reach to get under the fade and bubble screen and, when utilized on crossing patterns, he can turn upfield in an instant after the catch...Made steady improvement extending for the ball with defenders all over him, and is effective at dropping his hips and separating out of his cuts...Has outstanding hand-eye coordination, seeing the ball as it arrives while generating the moves needed to uncover...When he keeps his pads down instead of getting erect in his stance, he is much more effective at gaining and eating up the defensive back's cushion...In the early stages of 2007, he did a better job of planting and cutting out of his breaks...Does a good job running at a proper pad level and coming out of his breaks cleanly when working underneath...Uses his size well to shade the defender and demonstrates the balance and body control to catch the ball and turn upfield without having to break stride...Always alert to coverage and where to locate defenders...Keeps his feet when catching along the sidelines and plays with uncanny instincts to find the zone's soft areas...His ability to adjust to the thrown ball underneath stands out on film...Has the speed to get open when working in a crowd and blocks out all activity around him to concentrate on the ball in flight, knowing how to use his long reach and hands to extend and catch the pass at its highest point...His long reach lets him catch the wheel and crossing routes without having to break stride...Looks natural extending for the ball in flight and has the body control to get into position and make plays over his outside shoulder...H 43 1/2-inch vertical is one of the best figures in college football and along with his 6-foot frame and long arm reach (34 1/8-inches), he is an inviting target for quarterbacks when working over the middle...Has good hand strength to gain position as a blocker and uses his upper-body power to defeat the jam and get into his route. He is a strong runner who can power through defenders who fail to properly wrap up...Also has that stop-and-go action that makes defenders miss...Natural hands catcher with the ball skills to make plays on it outside of his frame...Will more often power through the initial tackle to gain yardage after the catch rather than attempt to execute a fake or a juke to elude...More effective stalking or executing the cut blocks along the perimeter or in the second level than blocking in-line...Competes to stay on his blocks and takes good angles to neutralize linebackers when playing in space.

    Negatives: Might get a little bit erect in his stance coming off the snap, but he has that ability to get into his routes instantly, using his hands with force to push off the press...On deep routes, could utilize his second gear more effectively and he will drift at times when going long distances...Has good turning motion to catch the ball over his outside shoulder, but does not turn as quick when having to look the ball in over his inside shoulder on deep throws...Has the loose hips and acceleration to ride up on a defender, but could be more sudden when trying to separate on deep throws...Continues to improve as a route-runner, but despite his speed, he does not always run with a smooth stride, especially at the top of the route...Because he is used so often on short-to-intermediate routes than in the deep-area game, it is difficult to get a true feel for his separation ability...Has great jumping ability, but needs to time his leaps better in the deep zone (had 35 passes to him deflected by the opposition during his career), but once he elevates, he has the strength and reach to get to balls at their highest point...Will cradle to catch, but when he extends for the pass, he will generally get to most throws...Can play with pain, but has had a high number of injuries the last few years that could lead to concerns about his durability.

    Compares To: ARNAZ BATTLE-San Francisco...Burton is much faster than Battle, but both take great pride in playing with physicality, as they have had great success powering their way through press coverage to come up with the clutch catch underneath. Burton has outstanding timed speed and an impressive reach, but is utilized more as a possession receiver because of his ability to move the chains and get a tough first down. He needs to refine his route-running, especially on deep patterns and most of his drops come when trying to catch over his inside shoulder. However, he is a smart, savvy player who knows how to settle into the soft areas on the field and use his frame to shade defenders from the ball. Much like Battle, T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Cincinnati) and Hines Ward (Pittsburgh), Burton will make a nice living going over the middle at the next level.

    Injury Report

    2004: Suffered a left wrist bone fracture in preseason drills and missed the final nine games. Was granted a medical hardship.

    2005: Suffered a broken bone (fifth metatarsal) in his right foot vs. Idaho State (9/10), missing the next four games vs. Indiana, Florida, South Carolina and Mississippi before returning to the lineup. Had surgery on the foot in September and again in January, 2006.

    2007: Was limited in practices prior to the Louisville game (9/15) and re-injured the ankle late in that contest.



    QUESTION AND ANSWER

    Growing up, who was your favorite NFL player and why?
    Emmitt Smith. He played running back and I thought he was the best.

    In college, what player hit you the hardest? Who was the recipient of your best hit?
    Craig Davis

    What TV-show marathon will keep you on the couch all day?
    My Wife and Kids

    What are the five most-played songs in your iPod? What's the one song you hope nobody ever finds out is in your iPod?
    "Closer to my dream"; "Lose yourself"; "Go DJ"; "Many Men"; "1000 degrees"; I hope no one sees "Game over."

    What celebrity would play you in the movie version of your life and why?
    Mekhi Phifer, because he's good.

    What is one thing your teammates don't know about you?
    What I've been through and how hard I worked to get to where I am.

    What's your proudest moment in football? Proudest moment off the field?
    Getting back to bowls at Kentucky; Graduating from college

    When you play Madden, what team do you use? Do you put yourself on the team?
    Patriots.

    Who has been the biggest influence on your football career and how?
    Dad, granny and mom because of the support and love they showed me.
    Last edited by Nick; -04-27-2008 at 02:22 PM.


  2. #2
    chipperjones Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    I LOOOVE this pick

  3. #3
    STLunatic Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    never heard of him but is this a good pick with Barrett and Henderson still on the board?

  4. #4
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Good size (6'0" 200lbs), good speed (4.44 @ combine), great vertical (38.5"). Rather productive (182 receptions and 2,320 yards in college). If he can stay healthy, he has some intriguing skills. Could be a guy that can go over the middle. I like Draft Scout's comparison write-up for him!
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  5. #5
    npow81 Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Nick, what did we give up here to get this pick?...I like it, he has a knack for coming down with the ball
    Last edited by npow81; -04-27-2008 at 02:36 PM.

  6. #6
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    Last edited by Rambos; -04-27-2008 at 02:38 PM.

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    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Yeah this pick is great. The guy gets YAC. He doesnt fall down or go out of bounds. Him and Avery are looking like good picks.

  8. #8
    STLunatic Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    we gave up our 5th and a 7th i heard

  9. #9
    smitheRAM's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Chipper we trade up for a guy who has been hurt every year he has played and you looove it. The beer must be flowing.

  10. #10
    RAMS08 Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Now were seeing the Curtis/Mcdonald replacements.

  11. #11
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    It sounds like we gave up our fifth and one of our seventh rounders. Haven't confirmed that yet but that's what RamWraith reported in the chat.
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  12. #12
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    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    I like the pick hopefully he pushes some of the garbage we have like Hagans and maybe caldwell of the roster. He and Avery will be a good duo in the future

  13. #13
    chipperjones Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Quote Originally Posted by smitheRAM View Post
    Chipper we trade up for a guy who has been hurt every year he has played and you looove it. The beer must be flowing.
    No its not flowing...well not too much, but if he can stay healthy, he will be a very good NFL player.

  14. #14
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    Sporting News on Burton...

    Strengths: Is a smooth and fluid athlete who gets open and makes tough catches. Has good size. Shows good hands to reach out and pluck passes. Is smart and tough. Goes across the middle confidently and does not peek or flinch; absorbs hard hits and holds on to balls. Runs good routes and turns around cornerbacks to gain separation. Shows a good burst out of cuts. Moves along well with quarterbacks when they are scrambling. Is a strong runner after the catch, gaining good yardage after contact and showing the agility to make would-be tacklers miss. Is a strong blocker who consistently eliminates men. Is a solid kickoff returner.

    Weaknesses: Lacks the explosiveness and elite speed to be a home run threat in the NFL. Takes false steps with back feet off the snap, struggling to get off the line.

    Bottom line: Burton considered entering the 2007 draft but made the correct decision to return to Kentucky. He is not a game-changer, but he should develop into a solid No. 2 receiver because of his sharp routes, hands, smarts, size and toughness. He will make his living catching short and medium passes.
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  15. #15
    Mooselini Guest

    Re: 2008 NFL DRAFT RAMS PICK (Round 4, 128th overall): Keenan Burton, WR, Kentucky

    YAY! Good pick. It's going to be a good year. Not only that, he's going to be Bennett's replacement when he retires or just isn't capable of starting. We're starting to form a young receiver corps. With Holt leading the way, it will be good.

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