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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Amari Burney joins Raiders as sixth round pick

Las Vegas picked Burney with 203rd overall pick

Florida linebacker Amari Burney catches a ball during Florida's 2023 Pro Day Thursday, March 30, 2023.
Florida linebacker Amari Burney catches a ball during Florida's 2023 Pro Day Thursday, March 30, 2023.

Amari Burney became the sixth Gator drafted in the 2023 National Football League Draft Saturday. The Las Vegas Raiders picked Burney with the 203rd overall pick — the 26th pick of the sixth round.

Burney spent five seasons in Gainesville and started his collegiate career as a defensive back. He made the transition to linebacker after his freshman year and became a key piece of Florida’s defense last season.

He broke out during the 2020 season when he appeared in all games and started four. The 6-foot-1-inch, 233-pound linebacker tallied 52 tackles that season — the fourth best total on the team.

Last season, he was a key player for the Gators. Burney started the season strong when he made a game-winning interception against the then-No. 7 Utah Utes in Florida’s season opener Sept. 3, 2022.

He remained a constant in UF’s defense and finished the season with 79 tackles, nine tackles for loss, four sacks, two forced fumbles and two interceptions through 13 starts.

Burney showed the ability to succeed in pass coverage, pass rush and rush defense in his five seasons on Florida’s roster.

He now steps into a light linebacker room in Las Vegas. Burney will have a real chance to earn snaps as a rookie, as he competes for snaps with Curtis Bolton, Darien Butler, Divine Deablo, Luke Masterson, Kana’i Mauga and Robert Spillane.

Contact Kyle Bumpers at kbumpers@alligator.org. Follow him on Twitter @BumpersKyle.

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Kyle Bumpers

Kyle Bumpers is a fourth-year journalism major and the sports editor of The Alligator. In his free time, he cries about Russell Wilson and writes an outrageous amount of movie reviews on Letterboxd.


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