2013 NFL Draft Profile: Rex Burkhead (RB)

Eric Francis

Over the last four years Rex Burkhead was Nebraska's superman. He was Bo Pelini's coach on the field but will he play that role in the NFL? The following questions might help us evaluate Rex Burkhead's NFL future.

What are this player’s strengths? In what ways does this player excel?

There might not be enough room to list all of Rex Burkhead's strengths. In his 4 years at Nebraska he amassed 3,329 yards on the ground, caught 60 passes, and accounted for a total of 35 touchdowns. Burkhead was a Bo Pelini favorite and would play the same role on a NFL roster. He fits the old first player in last player out cliche that coaches love.

As a runner Burkhead is hard to bring down. He's rarely stopped at the point of contact and never stops fighting for yards. Running inside or outside the tackles is no problem. His vision and speed hitting the hole are his biggest strength. Burkhead is not one to dance around behind the line of scrimmage. If there is a hole, he hits it quickly, if there isn't one he then tries to run through whoever is in the way.

His athleticism is almost superhuman (many Husker fans will say he is exactly that, superhuman) at the combine he was a top 5 performer in the vertical jump, broad jump, 3 cone drill, 20 yard shuttle, and 60 yard TD shuttle.

Burkhead is also willing to do anything on the football field. As a later round draft pick he will most likely be asked to play special teams. With the way Burkhead approaches the game there is little doubt he will contribute in a big was on the special teams front.

What are his weaknesses? In what ways is he prone to struggle?

His 40 yard dash time of 4.73 at the combine is the main concern. Burkhead never played slow for the Huskers, most knew he did not have 4.3 speed, but his high 40 time was a bit unexpected. His speed was never an issue in college but some worry faster NFL defenses could change that.

Burkhead struggled with a nagging knee injury this year and broke his foot in 2009. Despite the games missed this year injuries shouldn't be a major concern. Burkhead tried to play at less than 100% multiple times in order to help his team make a run at a Big Ten Title. During the season he never really got the full time needed to heal but with a full off-season he figures to head into training camp with no problems.

What's the most memorable moment from his time at your school? What is the player known for?

Burkhead had 96 fourth quarter rushing yards to help complete the biggest comeback in Nebraska history when they beat Ohio State 34-27 in 2011. While that was the most memorable on the field moment, no one will forget his involvement in 7-year-old cancer patient Jack Hoffman's life.

Team Jack, as it's known has been Burkhead's personal mission at Nebraska. His character will be an asset for any team as he truly loves being part of the community.

Are there any funny anecdotes about the player? Personality quirks that may be endearing? Or alarming?

Burkhead grew up in Plano, Texas and has made no effort to hide his Dallas Cowboys fandom. He has been know to wear Cowboys apparel to press conferences.

Below are Burkhead's highlights from the 2011 Ohio State game.

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