Packers Post Draft Report: Oren Burks

Oren Burks, was the Packers 3rd Round pick, the 88th overall. Burks is a 6’3”, 233lbs red shirt senior linebacker out of Vanderbilt University. Going into the NFL draft and combine, Burks had a prospect grade of 5.46, according to NFL.com. This grade means that he is borderline between a starter or a backup.

During the NFL Combine, Oren posted some pretty good numbers. He posted a 4.59 40 yard dash time, he put up 18 reps on the bench press, posted a 39.5 vertical jump, and a broad jump of 131.0 inches.

Year Games Position Solo Tackles Total Tackles Sacks Interceptions
2014 8 DB 16 37 0.0 0
2015 10 S 29 52 0.0 3
2016 13 LB 19 59 3.5 1
2017 11 LB 36 80 1.0 1

Burks showed that he is a versatile player while posting his best year statistically when he played his senior season as a co defensive captain. While listed at a linebacker both seasons Burks played more of a hybrid linebacker/safety position in 2016 until moving, and starting 11 out of 12 games his senior season at inside linebacker. On top of the stats listed above for Burks, he also posted 7 tackles for loss last season. During his four years at Vanderbilt, Oren was the active leader in total tackles, solo tackles, tackles for loss, and interceptions.  Oren also has a long list of achievements throughout his collegiate career, these include:

  • 2017 Butkus Award watch list
  • 2017 Preseason Third Team All-SEC Linebacker (Media Days ballot and Athlons)
  • 2017 Senior CLASS Award nominee
  • 2016 Allstate-AFCA Good Works Team Recipient
  • 2016 Vanderbilt Outstanding Senior Award finalist
  • 2014 – 2016 Spring Fall SEC Academic Honor Roll

The Green Bay Packers currently have Black Martinez and Jake Ryan as their primary inside linebackers with players like Reggie Gilbert, Ahmad Thomas, Kyler Fackrell, CJ Johnson, and Naashon Hughes, all fighting with Burks for a backup position. With the way the Packers have been hit with injuries, you never truly know how many active linebackers the team will need to have on the roster.

Hopefully Burks can break through during mini camps and the preseason and show the Packers that he belongs on this team. His versatility could be a big factor for him, showing the Packers that he isn’t just a one trick pony, he can help the team all over the secondary, if necessary. I think Burks is going to play a key role in helping the Packers success in the future.

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