WR Nate Burleson, Detroit Lions
HT: 6-0, WT: 197, Born: 8-19-1981, College: Nevada-Reno, Drafted: Round 3
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Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full ADP list]Overall: I Redman (219), J Locker (220), Nate Burleson (221), J Casey (223)
Position: M Wheaton (215-WR72), B Quick (216-WR73), Nate Burleson (221 - WR74), S Moss (231-WR75), R Streater (233-WR76)
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PPR Average draft position
Current as of May 21st. [Full PPR ADP list]Overall: D Avery (271), F Jones (272), Nate Burleson (273), S Bailey (274), B Weeden (275)
Position: T Williams (270-WR87), D Avery (271-WR88), Nate Burleson (273 - WR89), S Bailey (274-WR90), H Douglas (278-WR91)
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Burleson is officially the Detroit #2 receiver, and the pile of guys behind him are chronic underachievers or completely unproven. That means Burleson will have the pleasure of consistently lining up against the weaker defensive coverage, and will almost never face double coverage while defense try their best to stop Calvin Johnson. His Yards per touch should increase again and if he can get into the end zone more than a couple times, he should be able to post WR3 numbers.
Burleson's stats have been on a steady decline since he left Seattle after the 2009 season. His six TDS in 2010 look more like an anomaly than anything else, and last season he was down more than a full yard per reception from his 2011 stats. He's definitely lost a step, and lining up on the outside will be harder than ever in his 11th season. With a stable of young receivers behind him, all looking to prove they belong, Burleson will spend the entire season looking over his shoulder. There's a good chance he's passed by one of them by the middle of the season, and he finishes with even lower stats than he had last year.
In 2011, Nate Burleson had one of his more productive seasons as an NFL receiver. He had 73 receptions on 118 targets, and 11 rushing attempts for 85 yards rushing. However, his yards per touch were some of the lowest of his career and he finished somewhere in the WR4 range for most fantasy leagues. Last season he was off to a terrible start, averaging only 8.9 yards per catch before he broke his leg and was lost for the season after just six games. This season, he'll begin as the #2 wide receiver now that the Titus Young experiment is over. However, he's entering his 11th season and there are plenty of younger guys behind him that are looking to make their mark. His upside this season will be limited.
Latest NewsLions | Nate Burleson has shed weight (Wed May 22, 11:49 PM) - Updating a previous report, Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson (leg) showed quickness during organized team activities (OTAs) Wednesday, May 22. He has also lost weight, dropping from 198 to 192 pounds to add speed. Our View: The Lions are looking to Burleson to pick up the slack in the passing game behind superstar Calvin Johnson. He could be in line for 50-60 catches this season as their WR2. His targets should decline when Ryan Broyles is fully healthy.
link to story Lions | Nate Burleson takes part in workout (Wed May 22, 02:52 PM) - Detroit Lions WR Nate Burleson (leg) fully participated during organized team activities Wednesday, May 22. link to story
|2||at Arizona Cardinals|
|3||at Washington Redskins|
|5||at Green Bay Packers|
|6||at Cleveland Browns|
|10||at Chicago Bears|
|11||at Pittsburgh Steelers|
|12||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|13||Green Bay Packers|
|14||at Philadelphia Eagles|
|16||New York Giants|
|17||at Minnesota Vikings|
2012 Game Summaries
Week 1 - Nate Burleson showed he can still be a big part of this offense and was one of the many Lions players that benefitted from 48 attempts from QB Stafford. Burleson was quiet in the game early on, attempting an end around rushing attempt for 6 yards. Burleson was a reliable target for Stafford, catching a lot of check down passes and outside passes for relief in times of pressure and showed his consistent hands with great speed. Burleson had an incredible catch down the middle of the field on a high ball, simply out leaping the defenders and hauling in the ball for the breath taking gain. Burleson also had another superb catch down the post route on the defense, getting a huge chunk of yards for his team and showing defenders he needs attention or he can beat you. Burleson was not able to haul in a touchdown as Stafford had many interceptions which hurt the entire passing game. He still got a high number of targets and produced when Stafford looked his way.
Week 2 - Nate Burleson was a non factor in this game on Sunday against the 49ers. The defense made it very hard on QB Stafford to pass the ball to any of his receivers and guys like Burleson struggled to make any contribution as a result. Burleson got his hands on two end around rushing attempts but they were bottled up for a minimal gain. Later in the game, Burleson caught a short check down pass in the flat for a first down but never made another catch for the rest of the game. Burleson was not even targeted many times as Stafford forced the ball into Calvin Johnson’s hands whenever he could get a pass off.
Week 3 - Nate Burleson turned in quite a performance Sunday. The receiver caught 10 balls for 69 yards, a touchdown and a 2 point conversion. Burleson showed he is still a reliable veteran for a high octane Detroit offense. Burleson continuously caught short passes for first downs, and kept the field balanced for Calvin Johnson and Mikel LeShoure. Burleson’s highlight was back to back plays in which he caught the go-ahead touchdown and 2 point conversion to give the Lions the lead in the 3rd quarter.
Week 4 - Burleson was a good safety net for Matt Stafford with his favorite target, Calvin Johnson, well covered. He was reliable as usual. Save for one pass where he fell down in his route in the middle of the third quarter. The ball seemed overthrown anyway, so it wasn’t a big deal, though surprising. When Johnson was covered (which was often), Burleson was there to make the hard catch for Stafford. He made up for his stumble a short time later with a beautiful leaping grab in a clear zone between two defenders. If the pass had been a little lower or led him, he would have been off to the races. It certainly showed off Burleson’s hands though and some great balance and agility as he went to the ground but held the ball. Clearly one of Stafford’s top targets, Burleson won’t always get the big numbers but is a go to guy when things go awry and one of the most reliable checkdowns in Stafford’s arsenal. More than once, Burleson bailed Stafford’s fat out of the fire, as the quarterback scrambled madly away from the rush while looking downfield for a play-and often finding it with Burleson.
Week 6 - Burleson is the guy that the Lions use on end around plays to keep the defenses guessing. Detroit opened the day with a fake to him in this way but gave it to him on the next series. Burleson was able to follow his blocker then and deliver a six yard gain. In the 4th quarter then went to the well again, but this time it paid off big time and Burleson was able to get to the edge and break it for a big 16 yard gain. Three of his four receptions were for minimal gains, the longest being just five yards. His last one was huge though – a 17 yard TD reception where Matthew Stafford threw it perfectly between two defenders to bring the Lions to within three of Philadelphia. Burleson was targeted on a quick slant near the end of regulation, but it was tipped at the line and fell incomplete.
Week 7 - Burleson had one catch for 16 yards – a deep square in where Stafford threw him a nice pass. However, his right leg appeared to lock as he was being tackled and he had to be helped off the field. He was carted into the locker room and was eventually diagnosed with a broken leg. He’s done for the year.