The 6’0″, 193 pound Burns is coming off a junior season with the Miami Hurricanes in which he recorded 36 tackles, 5 pass breakups, and an ACC-leading 6 interceptions. The most a Miami defensive back had since the late great Sean Taylor had 10 interceptions in 2003.
The Hurricanes standout subsequently earned All-ACC Second Team honors.
At the NFL Combine, Burns recorded a 4.46 forty time and 31.5 inch vertical jump with the former showing that the Hurricanes’ two-sport track star can really fly:
Come to think of it, I bet Burns and last year’s Colts first round pick Phillip Dorsett at wideout had some amazing down the field battles at Hurricanes practice–as both players are speed demons in every sense of the word.
Currently, Burns isn’t one of the elite cornerback prospects at the position in this year’s draft class, but he’s projected to be an early round pick such as in Round 2-3 (via his NFL.com draft profile):
"SOURCES TELL US“Tape is just average. Betting on the combine with him and he’ll test off the charts. He’s got the traits, but he’s not ready yet. He’s a good kid who has so much to deal with now that his mom has passed.” — NFL personnel executive."
"NFL COMPARISONDavid AmersonBOTTOM LINEWhile his tape is average and technique can be nonexistent at times, NFL teams often draft on traits at the cornerback spot and assume that coaching will take care of the rest. Burns has length, speed, ball skills and abundant potential. Keep in mind he was limited in his growth at the position thanks to a spring track schedule. Burns will be a combine warrior and his draft stock will benefit, but he is still in the infant stages of reaching his pro potential."
"Artie Burns*, CB, Miami: 6-0, 193. Third-year junior. “He’s going to run very well (Monday),” one scout said. “Then he’ll climb.” Started 23 of 36 games, finishing with seven interceptions. “Howard is a much better player but he could slide into the top 50 because of the nature of the position, the size and the speed,” said another scout. “I don’t love him. He’s not very instinctive. More of a height-weight-speed type player that shows flashes.”"
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time that the Colts recently took a Florida cornerback, as the Colts just selected cornerback D’Joun Smith from Florida Atlantic in the 3rd round of last year’s draft.
However, the jury is still out on Smith, who missed the majority of his rookie season with a knee injury.
A cornerback such as Burns could make sense in the early rounds of the draft for the Colts, as there is an immediate need at starting cornerback.
Here’s a list of other prospects the Colts have reportedly interviewed at the NFL Combine: