Rams Trade Up For Burton
Sunday, April 27, 2008

By Brett Grassmuck

Staff Writer

The Rams saw something they like in Kentucky wide receiver Keenan Burton, trading their fifth- and seventh-round picks to take him at 128 overall in the fourth round.

Rams personnel man Billy Devaney said a team’s board starts to rapidly deteriorate as the draft moves along, so it made more sense to trade up and take a guy they liked rather than wait until early in the fifth and see what players remained.

“There are some guys that you may take a shot at as real projections, but there are only a few up there that we think are real viable, legitimate prospects,” Devaney said. “Burton was at the top of that list. We figured why not go get a guy that everybody has a conviction about rather that run the risk of losing him if we just stand pat.”

Burton is another of the big, speedy wideouts that Rams coach Scott Linehan likes to have on his roster. He is expected to come in and compete for a spot not only as a wide receiver, but also as a kick returner.

“He has really good hands, runs great routes and is a really smart guy,” Devaney said. “He fits the mold that we’ve been stressing. Now, we have some depth at wideout, and it’s put us in a position where there will be great competition once we get to training camp.”

Burton had his biggest year receiving in 2006, when he finished with 1.036 yards on 77 catches with 12 touchdowns. He finished his career with 2,320 yards on 182 catches and 25 touchdowns.

“The production part to me is very important,” Linehan said. “He had a great junior year. His senior year wasn’t as productive, although he played injured and played through it. So this shows this kid’s toughness. I like his ability, because he has very good hands but can also stretch the field as well.”

“Probably the reason Burton dropped to this point is that he battled some injuries in the early part of his career,” Devaney said. “He was hampered by some minor ones this year. He had a sprained ankle and a hamstring that he kind of fought through.”