April 15, 2024

NC State’s DJ Burns Jr. Talks 2024 NFL Draft Rumors, Says He’s Eyeing NBA Future | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

DALLAS, TEXAS - MARCH 31: DJ Burns Jr. #30 of the North Carolina State Wolfpack smiles down the court during the Elite Eight round of the 2024 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament held at American Airlines Center on March 31, 2024 in Dallas, Texas. (Photo by Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images)

Andy Hancock/NCAA Photos/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

DJ Burns Jr. is focused on basketball.

The North Carolina State big man appeared on the Dan Patrick Show ahead of his team’s appearance in the Final Four of the 2024 NCAA men’s tournament, and he said “the plan” is to one day play in the NBA.

Patrick asked him about perhaps playing in the NFL at one point, but he said, “I’d probably explore some other options with basketball first before all that happened. I’m not a close-minded person.”

Burns also clarified that no NFL teams have reached out to him regarding a potential sport switch.

While the idea of a basketball player switching to the NFL even though he doesn’t play football may seem like a testament to the NFL draft’s gravity and ability to dominate sports talking points in March and April, the idea has reportedly been considered.

According to Peter Schrager of Fox Sports, multiple NFL scouts and general managers discussed Burns as a potential offensive tackle and would likely make appearances if he decided to hold a pro day after his team’s championship pursuit.

Schrager wasn’t the only one to report as much:

Jim Nagy @JimNagy_SB

Got texts from a GM, Ass’t GM, and college director within an hour of posting this on Friday night. NFL interest in D.J. Burns is a real thing. <a href=”https://t.co/lqk77d0Kx1″>https://t.co/lqk77d0Kx1</a>

Burns is listed at 6’9″ and 275 pounds, which is both incredibly tall for an NFL player and probably too light to be an impact offensive tackle at the highest level. He could, in theory, bulk up before a potential run at the NFL, but that could impact his lateral quickness and mobility.

Plus, things are going well on the basketball court.

He led the Wolfpack to their first Final Four since 1983 and has captured the attention of the nation as the star player on the tournament’s biggest Cinderella story. He has averaged 18.3 points, 5.0 rebounds and 3.5 assists while shooting an incredible 67.4 percent from the field through four tournament games.

Burns dropped 29 points in the Elite Eight win over Duke and also posted a double-double in the round of 32 victory over Oakland.

His combination of power and footwork on the low blocks, as well as his court vision as a passer when double teams come his way, has stood out throughout the Big Dance. Performing at such a high level on the stage the tournament provides is also an ideal way to climb NBA draft boards, although he was not listed as a pick in the latest mock draft from B/R’s Jonathan Wasserman.

Yet the dream is still to play in the NBA, even if there has been some discussion about his NFL prospects.