Could a dragging brake pad lead to a "burning" smell? I dont know what [my] brakes smell like when suuuper hot (dont spend much time at the track...) but usually when I drive at like 40mph for like 5mins even I can start to smell something (windows open), then when I get home there is some sort of burning smell for a minuet or two.
And after 5 mins of 40mph then 30mph driving I checked the temperature of the front disks. One was hotter than the other by about 5*F, and it was the dirtier one but a highway test for a while should be done to heat the brakes up to more than 115*F (and I had to use the brakes on a buntch of turns on the way home...)
De gustibus non est disputandum.