We continue with the free agency series as we wait for free agency to actually begin. Today we continue with the ILB position, one that likely is not first priority, but it is a need. Paris Lenon was productive but not ever meant to start. Gerald Hayes is all but gone and Quan Sturdivant could be good but has yet to see playing time as a pro. Ideally, we know that the Cardinals would land a run-stuffing ILB to complement Daryl Washington, a player many believe will be the type of player Karlos Dansby was.
Burnett played the 3-4 in San Diego and was productive. He had 95 tackles, six sacks and three interceptions. On the list of top 50 free agents, he is number 37. He had his best season last season on a team that had a great defense statistically.
Scouts, Inc. describes him in this way:
Burnett is a good-sized linebacker with athleticism, good quickness, agility and body control. He gets good depth in his pass drops and shows route recognition as well as the ability to read the quarterback's eyes. He is not as effective playing the run as he can struggle taking on blockers and tends to give ground too easily. He has a tendency to play with a narrow base, and needs to work on playing with more of a knee bend and under his pads.
He would be a solid player in Arizona and he obviously is a bit more effective in blitzing than Washington or Lenon were, based on Burnett's sack totals. However, he seems to be the exact type of player that Lenon is. He would probably have good tackle totals, but is not that "thumper" that has been discussed is the type of player needed for the Cardinals.
So would I target him? Probably not. He could be an upgrade, but not the type that the Cards would need at that position, especially with the players already there. Do you agree?
By the way, here are a couple of Burnett clips, including a huge hit on the Cardinals' Jason Wright.