Las Vegas Raiders 2023 Training Camp: Amari Burney's Golden Opportunity

With a thin group at linebacker, Las Vegas Raiders rookie Amari Burney has a golden opportunity to play a big role in Year 1.

Las Vegas Raiders, Amari Burney, Linebacker, #56
Las Vegas Raiders, Amari Burney, Linebacker, #56 / Donald Page/GettyImages

The Las Vegas Raiders are entering the 2023 season with an unproven linebackers group. However, one rookie has a golden opportunity to thrive. Florida's Amari Burney was the team's sixth-round selection in this past April's draft.

The former Gator may have been the 203rd overall draft pick, but it does not tell the tale of what he brings to the table as a linebacker. Here are a few reasons why Burney may see many snaps with the Silver and Black in his first season with the team.

Speed Kills, and Raiders rookie LB Amari Burney Has It

The Raiders have struggled with team speed for many years now, with some of the worst woes being on the defensive side of the football. When a team allows a 38-year-old quarterback (who has never been known to be mobile) to rip off a 39-yard run like this last season - it makes you question many aspects of a defense.

Fear not, as Amari Burney can rectify that situation from happening again as he possesses above-average athletic ability both on the field and evidenced by his 4.54 40-yard dash.

As you can see above, Burney can make plays at any time with athletic ability, football I.Q., and ball skills. His unique journey makes him a strong candidate to be a difference-maker for the Silver and Black in 2023.

Burney's Journey

The former Florida Gator hails from St. Petersburg, Florida. He played both safety and wide receiver in high school for Calvary Christian. Burney was recruited as a four-star defensive back who received offers from Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Ohio State, Miami (FL), and Tennessee.

As a Florida freshman, he transitioned to the linebacker position. In five seasons as a Gator, he played in 58 games while starting in 22 of them. In addition, he is the cousin of now Raiders teammate Brandon Facyson. With NFL bloodlines, when Burney was a Gator, he showed many glimpses of why he is an NFL-caliber player.

With a 6-2" and 230-pound frame, Burney possesses good size to endure the physicality at the NFL level. As a blitzer and as a run defender, he is sound. With a bit of coaching up and direction, he has good potential to be a contributor not just on special teams but as a nickel linebacker in passing and third-down situations. Per The Athletic, his high school football coach, Todd Yoder, said Burney was the most impressive player he had ever coached. "He is a really rare combination of size and speed; he’s the most talented player that I ever coached in high school."

As the Las Vegas Raiders put on pads this week at training camp, Amari Burney is a name to watch for in practices as he could have a bigger role than some anticipate this upcoming season.