Earlier I took a look at the second-best ranked receiver in the country in Kevin Coleman. Now let’s look at the receiver ahead of him, Oklahoma commit Luther Burden.
Burden is ranked as the best recruit in the state of Missouri and the fifth-best overall in the 247sports composite. He committed to the Sooners in October of 2020. Oklahoma has had some great receivers the past few years including former first-round picks Marquise Brown and CeeDee Lamb.
With the number one overall rank at the position comes pressure to perform right away. There’s even more pressure when factoring in the success Oklahoma has had with developing receivers. Burden, however, has the potential to live up to all of it.
Burden is listed on 247sports at 6’2”, 194 pounds, so he has plenty of size. He also has the speed necessary to run by defensive backs. The first play of his Junior highlights shows that. On the play, he ran by the defensive on a deep route, located the ball in the air, and caught it for a touchdown. The play after, after catching the pass, Burden outran everyone on the way to the endzone.
Burden can be hard to bring down at times as he tries to fight through tackles for extra yards. He did that multiple times on his highlight films. He can also make a defender miss and break a long run. Burden did this against St. Clair when he caught a short pass and made someone miss to break it for a long one.
Burden did this to Central, as well, as three players were surrounding him and he broke away from all of them. His concentration on deep passes is above average, as he never takes his eyes off the ball. On multiple plays, he only has his eyes on where the ball is and not on what is around him.
Burden will also help out in the return game. In his highlights against Kennett, he took a punt return back for a touchdown.
Burden does need to develop more of a route tree, as most of what he ran were screens and deep routes. There were also times when he lost yards on a play while trying to make a move. One play on his Junior highlight stands, as he lost about five of the yards gained trying to make guys miss. However, that’s something that can be helped with coaching.
At Oklahoma, Burden might not only live up to the legacy left by previous wide receivers, but he may also create his own. He should be a go-to target right away for whoever his quarterback is.