Hidden Gems: Rob Burnett
At the time, the 1990 NFL draft was considered to have one of the best and deepest defensive end classes in memory. It was led by Alabama uber-propsect Keith McCants (thought by many to be #1 overall prospect in the entire class), and had a lot of other high-profile college standouts. In retrospect, the class was a near total flop. Two of the best DE’s were snagged by Bill Belichick and the Cleveland Browns – Anthony Pleasant in the 3rd rounder and hidden gem Rob Burnett in the 5th.
Drafted 129th overall, and the 17th DE to come off the board, Burnett played in more games (202) than any DE other than Pleasant (who also played in 202). He piled up 73.5 sacks in a 14 year career and played the run as well as he rushed the QB. Even as his career neared its end, Burnett managed to have an impact – in 2000 he racked up 10.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles and 5 fumble recoveries on the Ravens’ historic Super Bowl winning defense.
Of the 35 DE’s selected in 1990, only Burnett (10) and Pleasant (11) were full time starters for more than 6 seasons. Burnett is has the 5th most sacks for a 5th rounder and was 20th in total sacks between 1990-2000.
Here’s how Burnett compares to his 1990 classmates: