DJ Burns NFL Speculation is the Worst March Madness Take Possible

It may shock some talking heads to learn that making less money with a shorter career in the NFL isn't everybody's dream job.
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Jayden Taylor (1) and guard DJ
Mar 31, 2024; Dallas, TX, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack guard Jayden Taylor (1) and guard DJ / Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You hear the joke about anything niche with a rabid devoted following: "How do you know someone is [a vegan/a Crossfitter/whatever else]? Don't worry, they'll tell you." But much, much worse is the NFL media that doesn't think other sports exist.

DJ Burns is having a phenomenal March Madness run and is one of the most fun players to watch in college basketball right now. There are so many interesting things to talk about with his game. But today we have people latching onto the least interesting part: speculating on whether he could or should play football.

Honestly, at first, I thought this tweet was an April Fool's joke until I saw more talking heads continuing the speculation. And even just the structure of it is ridiculous.

"Spoke to and texted multiple scouts/GMs about NC State big man DJ Burns as an NFL OT prospect over the last 24 hours." Peter Schrager conveniently leaves out what the scouts or GMs' responses were, which was presumably "no obviously he's not an NFL OT prospect."

How much tunnel vision do you need to have to think that it would be at all weird or confusing for Burns to not be on an NFL trajectory?

First of all, he plays basketball and is going to get a shot at making the NBA. He'd be a massive longshot to make an NFL roster, and suddenly shifting his attention to football would hurt his chances of playing in the NBA without guaranteeing him an NFL shot.

And apparently the football-obsessed mind struggles to comprehend why he would set his sights on a league where he would make more guaranteed money with the potential for more longevity and less physical toll on his body. Not to mention that if he failed to make it in the NBA he could still make good money playing as a pro in other countries, which is not the case if he was playing football.

Really this entire speculation seems to center around the idea that the NFL is everyone's favorite league and ultimate aspiration, and playing any other sport is just a consolation prize.

March Madness is always an incredibly fun time of year, but having college basketball suddenly at the middle of mainstream sports coverage really seems to bring out some mindnumbing takes that fans don't have to deal with for the other 11 months of the year.

Anyway, NC State fans have a lot bigger things to worry about than whether DJ Burns could play in the NFL. They're coming in as significant 9.5-point underdogs against Zach Edey and Purdue.

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