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2016 NFL Draft Profile: Aaron Burbridge, Wide Receiver, Michigan State

The Bengals are likely going to take multiple wide receivers in this year's NFL draft. One guy to watch out for late on Day 2 or into Day 3 is Michigan State pass-catcher Aaron Burbridge.

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Aaron Burbridge

Height/weight: 6'0", 206 lbs

Arm Length: 31 5/8"

Vertical Jump: 30.5"

Broad Jump: 115.0"

Hands: 8 1/4"

3-cone Drill: 7.22 SEC

20-yard shuttle: 4.31 SEC

40-Yard Dash: 4.56 SEC

Bench Press: 20 reps

When it comes to the NFL draft, the Bengals tend to target their wide receivers after the first round. Outside of A.J. Green the Bengals have gotten some of their best pass-catchers in the latter rounds, including Chad Johnson (Round 2), Carl Pickens (Round 2), Mohamed Sanu, (Round 3), Chris Henry (Round 3), Marvin Jones (Round 5) and T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Round 7).

A big reason why many of these guys fall is due to the fact they do a lot of things good, but don't do anything great. An example of that this year is Michigan State Spartans receiver Aaron Burbridge. After a decent showing as a junior with 29 grabs for 358 yards, Burbridge became the playmaker for MSU's offense this past season.

He finished the year with 85 catches for 1,258 yards and seven touchdowns. For his efforts, Burbridge was named the Big Ten Receiver of the Year and a First-Team All-Big Ten pick. He did most of his damage in the short and intermediate routes, but did occasionally make a big play down the field.

His game reminds me a bit of Marvin Jones in that he doesn't do any one thing great, but is a solid route-runner who can bring in contested balls over cornerbacks.

He's also hard to take down and can make guys miss after the catch like Jones could:

And by all accounts, Burbridge is a standup guy and a great leader, something the Bengals put more value in than a lot of teams. Burbridge was recently voted by his teammates as the Spartans MVP, taking home the Governor’s Award.

While's Lance Zierlein doesn't give Burbridge a high grade, he does compare him to longtime Eagles receiver Jason Avant, who has had a productive NFL career.

SOURCES TELL US "I like the competitor but I'm not crazy about the athlete. I think he'll have to move inside and be a slot but he will benefit from more accurate quarterbacking." -- NFC North scout


BOTTOM LINE Outside receiver with good height and weight but lacking the deep speed to beat NFL cornerbacks down the field. Burbridge has enough short-area quickness to be an effective target against zone coverage, but could have problems against tight, press­ man. A move inside as a big slot receiver could be in his best interest. His Senior Bowl week and NFL Scouting Combine 40 time will be huge for his draft positioning.

Burbridge is a guy I'd love to see the Bengals land in the latter rounds, even if they do take a receiver in Round 1 or 2. Most experts project him as a Day 3 prospect, and I would be happy if Cincinnati takes him in Round 3 or 4.