America’s March Madness hero DJ Burns shuts down bubbling NFL Draft rumors

NC State sensation DJ Burns has been seen as a potential offensive tackle prospect in the NFL, but he doesn't seem that interested in attempting the unlikely transition.

North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Greg Fiume/GettyImages

North Carolina State had to win five consecutive games in five days just to make it to the NCAA Tournament. Once March Madness began, the No. 11 Wolfpack won another four games to win the South Regional and crash the Final Four.

NC State star DJ Burns Jr. has captivated the nation amid the team's historic run. Equipped with a powerful post game, nimble footwork, a feathered hook shoot, and a jovial nature, Burns has dominated opponents with a big smile on his face. Even Denver Nuggets star Nikola Jokic was late for his media availability because he got caught up watching Burns bully, pivot, and drop-step his way to 29 points against Duke.

Apparently, the NFL has taken notice. Burns, who is listed as 6-foot-9 and 275-pound, has been viewed as a potential offensive line prospect, according to multiple reports.

NC State star DJ Burns discusses potential future in NFL

The NC State sensation was asked whether he would consider a future in the NFL during an appearance on the "Dan Patrick Show." Burns clarified that he has dreams of playing in the NBA, but he wouldn't be opposed to exploring a future in football.

"I'd probably explore some other options with basketball first before all of that," Burns said. "But I'm not a closed-minded person."

The statement echoes what he previously said during an interview on "The Rich Eisen Show." Burns said he played tight end and defensive end, but he hasn't played football since middle school. He reiterated that playing in the NBA was his "main goal."

During No. 11 NC State’s 67-58 upset over No. 2 Marquette to reach the Elite 8, former NFL scout Jim Nagy posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, about Burns' football potential.

Nagy posted that he was "having trouble watching NC State big man D.J. Burns and not thinking about him kick-sliding in pass [protection]." He followed up his initial post by claiming that a general manager, assistant general manager, and college director reached out to him after his post. "NFL interest in DJ Burns is a real thing," Nagy said.

Burns noted that he hasn't heard from any NFL teams directly, but FOX Sports' Peter Schrager said he spoke with multiple scouts and general managers about Burns as a potential offensive tackle prospect. Burns has "A+ footwork" and would get a "big turnout" if he chose to participate in a Pro Day workout in the week after the Final Four, according to Schrager.

There have been several basketball stars that have excelled in the NFL and even reached the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Wide receivers Randy Moss and Terrell Owens excelled in basketball. Edge rusher Julius Peppers played a key role for North Carolina's basketball team. Tight ends Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, and Jimmy Graham began their careers as basketball players as well.

There haven't been any college basketball stars that have found success as NFL offensive linemen, however, so the chances of Burns transitioning to football may be slim.

For now, Burns is focused on leading the Wolfpack to an unlikely NCAA Tournament championship. Up next, NC State will face the Purdue Boilermakers and their 7-foot-4 center Zach Edey.

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