Seahawks acquire cornerback Marcus Burley
Seahawks trade 6th round pick to Colts
On a day when thousands of Seahawks fans waited impatiently to find out which players would make the teams initial 53 man roster the biggest surprise came when news broke that the Seattle Seahawks had traded their 6th round pick to the Indianapolis Colts for defensive back Marcus Burley.
Many fans were left thinking, “Marcus who?” I must admit, I was left gathering information.
So I decided to do what I do best, sit down and watch the young man play. I watched every snap he played this preseason and, to be honest, I am impressed.
Typically when you think about Seahawks’ defensive backs you think big, long and physical. Marcus Burley is only listed at 5’10” 189 pounds. Once in a while they will make an exception (Walter Thurmond, Earl Thomas.) Now I’m not saying Marcus is at either players’ level, but it looks promising that he could be a contributor on this team.
He may lack size but he plays bigger than he is. Marcus is fast and physical. What I saw on film was him sticking running backs in the hole, stopping them dead in their tracks, as well as being a sure tackler out on the perimeter. I didn’t notice him shying away from contact at any point, unless it was to avoid an illegal block in the back penalty when he was on the punt return unit.
In coverage he does a nice job staying with his receiver. He is able to run down the field with them stride for stride. Even though he in’t tall he is quick enough to reach around receivers and swat the ball away.
At times his focus is on the receiver a bit too much which can hurt his recognition of draw plays.
I’ve seen a lot throw around about him being a nickel back, which he can certainly do, but don’t let his size fool you, Burley can play on the outside as well.
Marcus can play press and off man coverage. His speed allows his to stay in the receivers hip pocket while in press coverage and his sure tackling comes in handy during short completions if he’s playing off man. Yards after catch were virtually non existent against him.
The biggest question with him is why the Colts let him go? He was their backup at the nickel as well as outside. He looked like an important part of their depth and all they got was a 6th round pick from the Seahawks. The only thing I can figure out is that maybe they want a player with more experience or he didn’t fit the team chemistry.
So, who is Marcus Burley?
A poor man’s version of Walter Thurmond, in short. With some coaching who knows how high his ceiling is.
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