EJ Burgess NFL Draft Profile


EJ Burgess Scouting Report: RB, Franklin Pierce Ravens


2023 NFL Draft Measurements

5’11” 215 lbs.

EJ Burgess 40 time: 4.5 (estimate)


EJ Burgess NFL Draft Profile

A scouting report on a player no one’s heard of? That’s right, I’m back. Evan “EJ” Burgess was a two star recruit out of Pearland, Texas. Burgess started his college career at ASA Miami. After two years he transferred to Franklin Pierce and became a Raven. In 2021, he dominated. Let’s take a look at his stats. In the entire NCAA, he was 5th in all purpose yards per game. In his conference, he was 1st in rushing attempts, 1st in all purpose yards, 1st in all purpose yards per game, 2nd in rushing yards, 3rd in yards per carry and 3rd in rushing touchdowns. Why was he so dominant? Read on and find out.




Yards After Contact

I’m frustrated that PFF doesn’t have advanced stats for EJ Burgess so I can’t give an exact number, but his yards after initial contact is a lot. His average yards gained after initial contact must be high. An opposing player always gets at least a hand on him and Burgess always goes for additional yardage. He’s excellent at breaking tackles, but even if he doesn’t completely break the tackle he’s going for a few extra yards. This jumps off film, it’s constant. Every play Burgess touches the ball he’s making additional yardage. 


Keeps Feet Moving

One of the reasons Burgess is so good at gaining additional yards, his feet are always moving. He keeps those feet going which helps him break away from tackles. His busy feet also help him keep his balance while being hit. Keep the feet moving, keep those legs churning and good things are going to happen.



Burgess is a great size for a running back. He measures in at 5’11”, 215 lbs. Historically, running backs under 6 feet tall are the most successful in the NFL. Being shorter keeps the running back’s center of gravity lower. The other benefit is that it’s easier for shorter running backs to get under the pad level of the defender, therefore they are able to fall forward. Finally, shorter legs equate to being able to change directions quicker. His weight is high enough to absorb the hits that a running back has to take, while not being high enough to impact athleticism.



Burgess always finds the correct hole to hit and he hits it at the right time. He’s patient, but not slow. That’s key to hitting holes correctly. His jump cuts inside or outside are the right decision almost every single time. He just has that vision to know whether to go inside or outside. 

Remember those constantly moving feet I talked about earlier? There’s a certain star running back that I’ve noticed is stopping their feet in the backfield more often than he used to. Not surprisingly, he’s not as dominant as he once was. He’s not hitting the holes hard, and because of this he has a lot more negative rushes than before. Burgess is a one cut running back. He moves well towards the hole, then he explodes through.  



I was really impressed with Burgess as a receiver. Sure, he’s great at taking a dump off and gaining yards. He’s still great at breaking tackles and getting yardage after contact as a receiver. What really stood out to me was Burgess’ ability as a downfield receiver. It’s rare, that’s why it always excites me. He adjusts and shows great body control on multiple downfield throws. There’s a lot an NFL offense should be able to do with a running back who’s also a downfield threat, we just haven’t really seen it yet.



I look forward to watching the boring plays of a running back, the pass plays where they don’t have a route to run. I love them because a running back has to be able to block in the NFL. Not being able to block kept Adrian Peterson off the field on clear passing downs. If the best running back since Barry Sanders has to sit out plays because he can’t block, it’s probably important. 

Burgess is good at picking up the free rusher. I wonder if his great vision helps him find the right guy, because he’s excellent at finding them. He also blocks angrily. I saw a lot of pancake blocks from a running back, that’s nuts. Burgess was also a lead blocker for a lot of quarterback runs. He opened up some nice holes for his QB as well as slowing down, or even stopping, blitzers. His blocking technique is solid. Burgess gets his pads low and is active with his hands.


Final thoughts on EJ Burgess Scouting Report

EJ Burgess is an ultra productive small school running back. He was a two star prospect, but those stars are often wrong. You certainly don’t have to be a four or five star high school prospect to play in the NFL. Remember, there were 307 high school wide receivers better than Justin Jefferson right? I know Burgess is trying to set up a pro day and I’m excited to see what his workout numbers are. I think he could be a legitimate every down back in the NFL, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is at least a third down back in his rookie season.


EJ Burgess Draft Stock

Burgess has received interest from the Commanders, Colts, 49ers and Falcons. He was also one of four players to watch at the FCS Bowl according to CBS sportswriter Emory Hunt. It’s easy to predict a Division II player goes undrafted, but I’m going out on a limb here. I think Burgess goes 6th-7th round in the 2023 NFL Draft.


Player Comparison

Watching Burgess break tackles and gain extra yards reminds me of Tony Pollard. Pollard even went downfield and caught some long passes late in the year and in the playoffs. Burgess is a very similar back to Pollard.