Burton spent most of his first two seasons on special teams, and totaled just 32 tackles during that span. As a junior in 2007 he became a starter and delivered a very good season for the Irish. He had 85 tackles, 4.5 for loss, a sack, and three interceptions on the year. As a senior this year, Bruton was even better, tallying 97 tackles, 1.5 for loss, and four picks.
Bruton brings a very nice blend of skills to the safety position. He has a nice frame with the ability to get bigger and stronger. He is very aggressive to fill lanes in run support and is not afraid to mix it up with blockers. He breaks down well and is a good open field tackler. Bruton also shows some ability to make plays in deep coverage. He is a disciplined player and reads the action well. He doesn’t bite on fakes and keeps himself in position to make plays. He seems to have a nose for the football and can locate it in the air and make a play on it.
Bruton has more experience at free safety but is better suited to play on the strong side in the NFL. He has trouble changing direction, and can give up too much ground when he is asked to. That will not be as big of an issue on the strong side in the NFL. He will need to bulk up more and get stronger to match up with tight ends and near the line of scrimmage.
Bruton has the potential to be a solid all around strong safety. He will excel at stopping the run, but his awareness should make him a solid performer in coverage at that spot as well. Bruton put on a show at the combine, testing out as one of the top safeties overall. He ran a 4.46 40, had a 41.5 inch vertical jump, and a 6.60 shuttle time. All of those numbers were either first or second for safeties at the combine. He may not quite play up to those numbers on the field, but those skills could have moved him up into the third round in April.