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ILB Vontaze Burfict Arizona State


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#1 Faust

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Posted 22 March 2012 - 06:30 PM

At one point in time this guy was drawing comparisons to LB Ray Lewis, but a disappointing 2011 season combined with a bad combine workout & poor interviews has his draft stock plummeting:

Vontaze Burfict, ILB


Latest News

02/29/2012 - 2012 NFL COMBINE FALLERS: Vontaze Burfict, ILB, Arizona State: After characterizing himself as misunderstood, Burfict raised more than few eyebrows during interviews with the media by blaming the ASU coaching staff for his erratic play in 2011. He then proved much less athletic in drills than scouts had hoped, registering a 5.09 40 that finished dead last among linebackers tested in Indianapolis this year. - Rob Rang/NFLDraftScout & Derek Harper/The Sports Xchange

Overview

Though Arizona State has been a solid Pac-10 program over the years, head coach Dennis Erickson's signing of highly-touted Burfict (ranked a top 20 prospect nationally by recruiting analysts) was a coup few expected. His intensity, strength and production was often on display, although so was his penchant for off-field issues and issues with the former coaching staff and he chose to leave the Sun Devils after his junior season.

"After thoughtful and in-depth discussions with my family, I have decided to skip my final year of eligibility at Arizona State University and make myself eligible for the 2012 NFL Draft," Burfict announced Jan. 4. "I would like to thank every one of my coaches and professors at ASU. I plan to return to ASU and get my degree and I will always support the university and its football program. I cherish the memories and great times I had as a student-athlete at ASU and I hope to make the university proud of my future accomplishments on and off the field."

Erickson and his coaches wasted no time getting the California native on the field. He appeared in every game, starting nine, in 2009 making 69 tackles, seven for loss, and two sacks. His big hits resulted in two fumbles and five pass break-ups. There was no sophomore slump for Burfict, as league coaches named him second-team all-conference and The Sporting News the conference's Defensive MVP in 2010. He was credited with 90 tackles, 8.5 TFL, two forced fumbles and three pass deflections on the year.

Burfict's junior season showed more production, but also a trouble trend of personal fouls. That included two in the regular-season finale against Cal that saw him benched for the final 24 minutes of the game, and he didn't play in the team's blowout bowl game loss to Boise State.

Burfict's hard-hitting style has drawn some comparisons to Ray Lewis, and the Ravens' star spoke to Burfict during the offseason about how to play with aggression and discipline.

"I just spoke with him about discipline and how you need to make up your mind in life and on the field," Lewis told the Arizona Republic. "Make sure that you are doing the right things to be a productive player and more importantly, a productive person."

Burfict is explosive. He can rock ballcarriers in the hole, is particularly adept rushing the quarterback and plays with a ferocity that could quickly make him a fan favorite. There are plenty of aspects about his game that translate well to the next level. However, he has been prone to immature behavior that has cost his team penalties at critical stages of games throughout his career.

He's not as instinctive as his reputation might lead you to believe, has a soft build and hasn't shown any real improvement since first stepping onto the ASU campus.

Analysis

Read & React: Brings good instincts to the middle of a defense, but his reaction time is what stands out for a player his size. Combining that reaction time with his speed results in crushing hits. A step late recognizing screens at times and can be fooled by misdirection in the offensive line because he relies on his keys.

Run defense: Between-the-tackles thumper with mike linebacker upper and lower-body builds, but also agile and quick enough to get through gaps to make plays in the backfield. Avoids lineman blocks in space with quickness, strong hands, and even a dip move, though he lines up seven yards off the line to see them coming. Also strong enough to anchor against lineman blocks; could be more consistent shedding to reach ballcarrier as he runs by.

Pass defense: Agile enough to attack throws in front of him when in zone, can make the big hit which separates the ball from his man. Taken out in nickel packages, though, as he lacks the suddenness to get a deep drop or handle jerk routes of quicker slot receivers. Must read the quarterback's eyes to jump and affect passing lanes if not getting home on the blitz.

Tackling: Explosive tackler who gets low to stop backs in their tracks. Plays like a downhill missile on most snaps, making huge hits that result in turnovers. Also brings down backs by their leg if slipping down during the tackle. Anchors quickly after inserting himself into a pile to prevent forward pushes. Capable of reaching either sideline on a given play, taking deep angles when needed to prevent the touchdown. Gets low to shoulder down college backs, but NFL ballcarriers may avoid those tackles. Misses some tackles when trying to intimidate with a lowered helmet or shoulder instead of wrapping up.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Used as a blitzer off the edge and up the middle, showing a lot of potential by pressuring quarterbacks into throws but rarely getting home (zero sacks in 2010). Explodes from his stance but lacks a variety of moves and does not use his hands to beat initial block. Athletic enough to jump over running back cut pass pro blocks, but should be able to bully them instead.

Intangibles: His utter lack of discipline is a major concern for scouts; draws too many personal foul flags for late hits and constantly talks with officials and opponents. Has reportedly matured during over the past year, becoming a vocal leader on the field and in the locker room. Removed from starting line-up for one game in 2010 for head-butting Oregon State QB Ryan Katz. Stamina could be improved.

--Chad Reuter



NFL Draft Risers and Fallers

Excerpt:


Fallers

2. ILB Vontaze Burfict Arizona State


This isn't the first time Burfict has made the "fallers" list, but his draft stock continues to tumble with every test. He produced extremely disappointing numbers and poor reviews from the interview process at the Combine, turning off NFL decision makers and coaches. And at Arizona State's pro day, he didn't do much to change the minds of his doubters. He ran a 4.65, which would be great in the 40-yard dash, but unfortunately it was his short shuttle number. At the Combine, Burfict's 40-yard dash numbers were north of 5.00 and as NFLDraftScout's Rob Rang pointed out "that's not only the slowest among all Combine linebackers, it was also slower than 36 of the 48 defensive linemen tested in Indianapolis this year." Burfict did work out on the bench press, something he didn't do at the Combine, but produced only 16 reps. With Sun Devils quarterback Brock Osweiler not working out until March 30, Burfict is expected to get one more try to salvage his draft stock.


Edited by Faust, 22 March 2012 - 06:31 PM.




#2 eric rymer

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Posted 23 March 2012 - 05:10 AM

:tfp: About the best way I can describe it. For one with such promise it's kinda sad to see.

I'll never understand the "answer mine and I'll answer yours" angle.

If you can't answer your own questions, why would I be comfortable with you answering mine?


#3 Faust

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Posted 15 April 2012 - 10:57 AM

Report: Vontaze Burfict hasn't been invited to visit any teams

Arizona State University linebacker Vontaze Burfict has not been invited for a visit with any NFL teams, his agent Charles Price told The Daily on Sunday.

In September of last year, USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin described Burfict as “unbelievable."

"He's big, fast, strong. He's got great talent. He's going to be playing on Sundays, there isn't any doubt about that," Kiffin said.

But after collecting 17 personal fouls in three seasons with the Sun Devils, and a poor performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, Burfict’s alleged attitude problems on and off the field have dropped him to becoming potentially undrafted.

"I’m not a fan at all," NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said after Burfict's combine performance.

At the NFL Combine in February, Burfict posted the worst 40 time (5.09 seconds) and also recorded the worst broad jump of any linebacker in attendance.

He did however improve his 40 time to 4.80 seconds at his pro day in Arizona in March. Burfict also did 16 reps of 225 pounds.



#4 gandalas

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 07:56 AM

Meh, i would waste a 7th rounder on him if he is still there.
Meh.

#5 a_rackowski

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Posted 16 April 2012 - 04:08 PM

Dont believe what you heard. 2nd round. Best linebacker in this draft. What do you think Ray Lewis 40 time is? London Fletcher? Someone is going to take the gamble and come away with a pro bowler.

#6 Jene Bramel

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 06:33 AM

Dont believe what you heard. 2nd round. Best linebacker in this draft. What do you think Ray Lewis 40 time is? London Fletcher? Someone is going to take the gamble and come away with a pro bowler.

The concerns with Burfict go way, way beyond his 40 time (which, I agree, is a terrible way to measure a LB's abilities). He's got major attitude issues -- manifest both on the field in the heat of the moment and off the field with his preparation for the draft and combine. And, while he's a violent hitter and (at times) a strong downhill presence with some blitz upside, his instincts are poor (nowhere close to those of Lewis or Fletcher), his range is limited and he's unlikely to be successful in coverage. I would speculate that he's also unlikely to buy in as a special teamer. If you're drafting Burfict in the second round, you're saying you trust him in the huddle and (probably) think he can play every down. There's been very little in the past four months that would make me comfortable with that determination. I think there's more than enough with Burfict to take a chance in the 6th or 7th round and not have to compete with other teams to get him as an UDFA. But this linebacker class is deep enough that I'll be shocked to see a team take a risk on him in the 3rd or 4th and it would probably be the shock of the draft to see him go in the 2nd.

#7 MAC_32

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 08:44 AM

Seems like a great candidate for one of the many comp picks at the end of round 7. If he offers a glimmer of hope then try to slip him through waivers and stash on your practice squad. If it's more of the same then oh well, move on, you didn't risk much of anything to take that shot.

#8 Faust

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Posted 17 April 2012 - 07:11 PM

Vontaze Burfict has no meetings with NFL teams

By Derek Harper | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

Vontaze Burfict's stock continues to plummet, as agent Charles Price told TheDaily.com that his client doesn't have any private meetings scheduled with teams heading into next week's draft.

It continues a rocky pre-draft circuit for Burfict, who was a semifinalist for the Butkus Award and once considered a potential first-round pick. He is now projected as a fifth- or sixth-round pick by NFLDraftScout.com, and with mounting concerns coupled with the decreased value placed on inside linebackers, Burfict might fall out of the draft completely.

Known for his hair-trigger temper at Arizona State that resulted in a locker room scuffle with a teammate and 17 personal fouls over his career, Burfict arrived at the Scouting Combine desperately needing a strong showing. But during his media session he said the Arizona State "coaches kind of messed me up" last season, and followed that with an extremely poor workout.

Burfict's 5.08-second 40-yard dash time was the slowest among linebackers at the Combine, and slower than 36 of the 48 defensive linemen at the event. He also labored through the short shuttle in 4.65 seconds.

"I blame myself, it was just immaturity," Burfict said last month of his Combine performance, saying he could have worked harder. "I'm growing up and realizing what the world is about and I've just got to work harder in everything I do."

Burfict declined to run the 40 during his first pro day in mid-March, raising even more eyebrows. He managed to improve his 40 time to 4.80 seconds at his second pro day on March 30 while bench pressing 225 pounds 16 times, but his second 4.65 timing in the short shuttle was alarming considering Burfict has dropped more than 10 pounds since the end of last season.

Burfict's lack of athleticism in pre-draft workouts has already dropped him from NFLDraftScout.com's No. 88 overall prospect heading into the Combine to No. 185, and all signs point toward a potential further fall in the 10 days leading up to the draft.



#9 Faust

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 10:10 AM

Vontaze Burfict says team that drafts him is getting a great MLB

Despite the fact that Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict hasn't received an invite to visit with any NFL teams, he still has confidence he'll have an impact on the league.

"Whoever picks me in the draft," Burfict told Sports Illustrated, "is going to have a great middle linebacker."

Burfict took time to address his critics who have pointed out his performances on the field where he collected 16 personal foul penalties in 26 games and his disappointing showing at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. In his junior year at ASU, Burfict's weight balloned as high as 259 pounds, and his total tackles dropped from 90 in 2010 to 69 in 2011.

"Man, I'm always nervous," Burfict said. "But at the combine, it was a nervous like I was going to have a nervous breakdown. Especially looking up at all those coaches. For me to be in that spotlight, it was very nerve-racking."

After his experience at the combine Burfict found a new trainer and has dropped his weight to below 250 pounds.

Burfict has also been mentored by Buffalo Bills linebacker Nick Barnett, with whom he shares the same agent, Charles Price.

"He's had some ups and downs, and knows how to take care of them because he's been in the league for multiple years," Burfict said. "So I felt like if I could contact him, he could let me know what the league is about."

Barnett has also taught Burfict that he needs to be a role model for his community and teammates.

"It was especially good for me because a lot of people think I have a bad attitude because of the personal fouls on the field, or I ran a slow 40 at the combine," Burfict said.

NFL Network analyst Michael Lombardi said that he wasn't a fan of the linebacker following Burfict's combine performance.

"I'm just real competitive, and I hate to lose. Because of the position I play ... you have to have some emotions running through your head," Burfict said. "When I'm on the field, I play with anger and aggression; just want to hit somebody. Certain people think, he's probably like that off the field. I've never been arrested, never been pulled over for anything."

"I wish that all 32 teams could just chill with me for a day and see what kind of person I am off the field. I'm soft-spoken and shy. I'm a laid-back guy."



#10 Faust

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 09:03 PM

If LB Vontaze Burfict isn't drafted Arena football may be an option

By Ryan Wilson | NFL Blogger

Before the 2011 college football season, there were plenty of scouts and NFL personnel types who considered Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict a first-round pick. But the Pac-12 Preseason Player of the Year had an indifferent junior campaign punctuated by an absolutely dreadful combine that included blaming his college coaches for his performance. He's gone from one of the top 32 players available to, in all probability, not hearing his named called during the the three-day NFL Draft that starts Thursday.

"You took a talented football player -- when he started college there, he was a highly recruited kid -- and he slowly regressed into this player that started to get cheap fouls and cheap penalties, and a player who had a horrible Combine workout," an AFC scouting coordinator told Sports Illustrated's Dennis Dillon recently. "Not only the workout but the interview portion of the Combine. This is a guy who probably went from a second-round pick to no telling where he's going to fall."

Burfict, who ran a 4.93 40 at the combine and was wholly unimpressive in team interviews, joined WNST in Baltimore to talk about the pre-draft process. When asked what NFL clubs should know about him he offered this: "Just hope that they know I'm a soft-spoken guy."

Burfict continued (via SportsRadioInterviews.com): "The guy I am on the field, I'm not the same guy off the field. When I'm off the field, I'm more sitting down, more of a chill guy, don't do too much partying, and when I'm on the field I'm just angrier, don't like to lose, have a passion for the game and love to hit. Me and off the field are just two different things and people have it mixed up. They think I'm the same people off the field and it's totally different.”

As for the chance that he may not hear his name called this weekend, Burfict has a backup plan.

"I'm truly blessed just to be in the position that I'm in right now," he said. "If I don't get drafted then I will have to go back to school, but I love football so much that I won't give up on football. But I will go back to school and finish up my schooling and stuff like that and probably go somewhere else like Arena football or something but hopefully I make it to the NFL.”



#11 houndirish

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:46 AM

Burflict seems like a guy who, if he could gain a better work ethic and improve his self discipline, could be a player in the NFL. I don't think it's unrealistic to see him drafted 5th round, maybe even 4th for a team with LB needs. His agent is smart to get him some mentoring from an established guy like Nick Barnett. Now it's just a case of whether the message sinks in. I don't think Burflict's window has closed but hopefully he recognizes that he alone is responsible for costing himself a lot of money and the dents in his reputation.
Joe Montana after getting blindsided by Leonard Marshall in the '91 NFC Championship Game:

"Everything hurts"

#12 Jene Bramel

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:03 AM

Thought it was very interesting that Burfict had a second round grade on Bill Parcells' draft board during the ESPN special last night. Don't agree with that, and there was no discussion about how they'd approach his red flag, but it's evidence that some may continue grade him highly.

#13 Jene Bramel

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 08:15 AM

Jay Glazer reporting on Twitter:

NFL teams were informed this week of 2 more players of note who have flunked drug tests: ASU LB Vontaze Burfict and Va Tech CB JayRon Hosley

Am not sure that the flag next to his name could be any more red if it was doused in fresh blood and set on fire.

#14 saintfool

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 09:03 AM

Jay Glazer reporting on Twitter:

NFL teams were informed this week of 2 more players of note who have flunked drug tests: ASU LB Vontaze Burfict and Va Tech CB JayRon Hosley

Am not sure that the flag next to his name could be any more red if it was doused in fresh blood and set on fire.

depending on the drug(s) found, it might still be burning.

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#15 BigSteelThrill

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 11:50 AM

"With the 191st selection of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select... Vontaze Bufict linebacker Arizona State." /Roger Goodell :pics:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

 

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#16 Faust

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 06:29 AM

NFL draft prospect Vontaze Burfict admits to smoking pot

Draft prospect Vontaze Burfict admitted to NFL general managers that he had smoked marijuana, he told Scout.com on Wednesday.

"I talked to some teams, and I told them I had smoked marijuana before," Burfict said. "It's not like I'm the only person that has ever done that."

Burfict said he no longer uses the drug.

NFL Network contributor and Fox Sports insider Jay Glazer reported earlier Wednesday that NFL teams were informed this week the Arizona State linebacker had failed a drug test. But Burfict said league officials haven't notified him of that.

"Nobody told me anything from the NFL," Burfict said. "I don't want to talk about it too much."

Burfict was an All-American as a sophomore, but his performance declined last season. At the NFL Scouting Combine in February, he ran a sluggish 40-yard dash -- a high 4.9- to 5.0-second clocking that he improved to 4.79 to 4.85 seconds at his March pro day. He also reportedly struggled during interviews.

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock has criticized Burfict throughout the draft process, recently predicting the linebacker might go undrafted.

"That's his job," Burfict said of Mayock's criticism. "He has to have something to talk about. Mike Mayock doesn't know me, he's never interviewed me. I have a lot of respect for Mayock. I don't know why he has no respect for me. I'm a human being. I'm not letting it get to me."

If he could talk to Mayock, Burfict said he would ask: "Why is he being so hurtful to a young man and trying to trash me? I think about what he said with every rep that I do in the weight room. I use the criticism as motivation, but I like Mayock. I have a lot of respect for him. I would just ask him to be fair."



#17 Caveman_Nick

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Posted 26 April 2012 - 11:03 AM

Sounds like a Patriots 6th round draft choice!

#18 Faust

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 04:07 PM

2012 NFL Draft: Vontaze Burfict, Gerell Robinson Go Undrafted

by Brad Denny on Apr 28, 2012 4:21 PM MST in ASU Football

When Brock Osweiler was selected with 57th overall pick by the Denver Broncos in Friday's second round of the 2012 NFL Draft, he became the highest drafted Sun Devil since 2007.

He was then joined in Denver Saturday morning by cornerback Omar Bolden, who was one of the team's fourth round picks. The duo gives Denver a pair of potential-laden playmakers for years to come.

After that, many expected that other former Sun Devils like wide receiver Gerell Robinson, center Garth Gerhart, and yes, linebacker Vontaze Burfict would then hear their names called.

However, the next 152 selections did not contain another Arizona State player.

Despite missing out on the dream of being drafted, their path to the NFL is far from closed. All three players, along with wide receiver Aaron Plfugrad and offensive lineman Dan Knapp should all receive free agent contracts. With the expansion of the offseason rosters, others such as safety Clint Floyd and linebacker Shelly Lyons could also get a camp invite.

Stay tuned as teams are able to sign player after the draft, and we'll be on top of any Sun Devils inking free agent deals.

Follow me on Twitter @BDenny29 for the latest ASU news



#19 BigSteelThrill

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Posted 28 April 2012 - 06:31 PM

"With the 191st selection of the 2012 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select... Vontaze Bufict linebacker Arizona State." /Roger Goodell :pics:

And you know it!!! Vontaze signs with Bengals as UDFA. Can't make this stuff up. :stirspot:

The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.

 

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#20 Faust

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Posted 13 May 2012 - 03:20 PM

Lewis on rookie minicamp, Burfict and receivers

Excerpt:

Besides the draft picks, one of the storylines for this weekend will be Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who was signed as an undrafted free agent. During last season, Burfict went from a guy who could have been drafted in the first two rounds to undrafted.

Lewis compared Burfict’s situation to Ahmad Brooks but noted that Brooks played better at Virginia but had more off-field issues.

“There’s no down side. What’s the down side?” Lewis said. “The positives are: Get in shape. You weren’t in shape your last season at Arizona State. Get rid of the selfishness in your play. Learn how to bend your knees. Let us coach you and let’s see if you are what people thought you could have been. Because I have no idea who you are. And so you’re starting from scratch here.”

After Arizona State’s pro day, Burfict sought Lewis out by calling him and writing him a letter. When Lewis was in Arizona last week for his daughter’s wedding, he met with Burfict for a couple hours to go through the playbook and what he needed to do this weekend.

Burfict will start out at middle linebacker.

Added Lewis: ”I struck a chord with him and maybe that’s what he needs. He’s got a lot of story. I don’t have to believe any of it. It doesn’t matter one way or another to me now. What he does now from this point forward is going to determine whether or not he can be a NFL player. I think he has some ability. When you watch the tape there are a lot of things he didn’t do very well. But he does some things I can’t coach that he can do.

“We will continue to get him in shape. He’s a better conditioned athlete now than he was at the combine and at ASU in March. If he continues to go down that path, he seems bright enough to learn. He seems willing to want change this image people have of him.”



#21 Warpig

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Posted 14 May 2012 - 05:23 AM

Just FYI...this is the final year of Maualuga's rookie contract. Just sayin. :ph34r:

#22 Faust

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Posted 20 October 2012 - 01:21 PM

Vontaze Burfict saving his career with breakout rookie season

Chris Burke on the NFL

I think you’re looking at Vontaze Burfict as a guy that has probably dropped as much in this draft, in terms of ratings, as probably any prospect in recent times. — ESPN’s Mel Kiper

Heading into the 2011 college football season, Arizona State’s Vontaze Burfict was on just about every NFL team’s radar. Amid what looked like a shaky 2012 linebacker draft class, Burfict stood out as a possible star.

And then, everything changed.

Burfict had 69 tackles and a career-high five sacks as a junior at Arizona State, but also suffered through a rash of personal-foul penalties that brought into question his discipline levels. Given a chance to redeem himself at the NFL combine, Burfict passed the buck on that issue, failed a drug test, then posted a 40 time of more than five seconds — slowest of the inside linebackers.

His stock plummeted. “He needs constant direction on and off the field and will need a lot of hand-holding and one-on-one coaching to be successful,” SI.com’s draft profile read. “You would be hard-pressed to find a player whose draft status was more negatively affected by discipline issues,” wrote NFL.com.

Burfict went from a near-lock first-round pick to a possible late-round reach to out of the draft completely.

So, how did we get from there to here? Over the past three weeks, Burfict has started for the Cincinnati Bengals and, more than that, has played all but four snaps on defense. He was on the field for all 66 Dolphins plays in Week 5 and may have been the Bengals’ best defender in a disappointing Week 6 loss to Cleveland.

Well, Burfict’s turnaround starts with Marvin Lewis.

Lewis’ Bengals — a team familiar with red-flagged players — rolled the dice by signing Burfict as an undrafted free agent in April, after he slipped through the draft without hearing his name called. By the time training camp opened in August, Lewis knew he had found a gem.

“Oh yeah, unquestionably,” Lewis told ESPN.com when he was asked if Burfict could be an NFL starter.

Less than two months later, Lewis’ words proved prophetic. And it’s that relation with Lewis that might be driving Burfict’s rise back from the depths more than anything.

Burfict notably clashed with ex-Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson during his collegiate playing days — “I let Coach Erickson’s coaching mess with me on the field and it totally messed with my head, especially on the field,” Burfict told Sports Radio 910 in Phoenix. Burfict’s relationship with Lewis, though, has, thus far, been a complete 180.

“It’s been a good journey, since I’ve been under Marvin Lewis’ wing,” Burfict said during that same interview. “He took me in, and he coaches me how I need to be coached. If I mess up twice on one play that he already told me about, he gets to me. He starts yelling at me.

“But that’s what I need. … I love being under his wing because he talks to me like I’m a grown man and he understands you’re not supposed to always yell at a player, (but) sometimes I need to be yelled at.”

Still, Lewis’ tutelage could take Burfict only so far during the offseason. Which brings us to the second factor in Burfict’s resurgence: opportunity.

Burfict stumbled into extra playing time in the preseason when Rey Maualuga was sidelined by an injury, and he performed well enough given that shot to make the Bengals’ final 53-man roster. Then, the door swung open again for Burfict in Week 2, as Thomas Howard suffered a season-ending knee injury.

The Bengals plugged Burfict into Howard’s role at WILL linebacker, requiring him to transition from his normal inside spot to the outside. He made his first start the next week and recorded seven tackles in Week 4.

“He’s getting settled. He’s getting more comfortable,” Cincinnati linebackers coach Paul Guenther told Bengals.com. “He does everything I ask and he’s playing more and more. The thing about him is that he studies and prepares away from the building.”

That scouting report from Guenther probably would be music to Burfict’s ears — and it’s a world away from the vibe on Burfict heading into April’s draft. It’s been just a few months, but Burfict deserves credit for flipping his reputation on its head.

Burfict’s early immaturity and lack of discipline have vanished for the time being, revealing what was there all along: an exceptionally talented football player. Now, the challenge for Burfict is to leaves those problems in the past.



#23 Badm

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:03 AM

I don't get to see too many Bengal games. Excited about seeing him play tonight.

#24 Bucky86

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:13 PM

He's been everywhere.

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#25 johnnyboy8102

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 07:23 PM

He does look really good tonight. I have been thoroughly impressed.

#26 CataclysmicThunder

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:06 PM

He looked fantastic tonight, instinctively always around the ball and making sure tackles. Just imagine how dominantly productive he'd be on a consistent basis if he were manning the middle in a 3-down capacity. :excited:

Edited by CataclysmicThunder, 21 October 2012 - 08:07 PM.


#27 KellysHeroes

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 10:57 PM

best IDP pick up I made in yrs

My Dynasty Rosters

 

 

From every post I ever see who make, you seriously have to be the most "win now" owner of anyone one here.

 

You are the exact opposite of Peso. 

 

I can just see you trading Gronk for Steven jackson, Crabtree for Reggie Wayne, Blackmon for Boldin, and a couple future 1sts for Gore. 

 


#28 RushHour

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:29 AM

The Bengals score keepers decided to hand out plenty of solos today too.

#29 Hoss Style

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:04 AM

Well, I came to start a thread on him but I see it's already here. I stumbled upon Burfict a few weeks ago as a Bye week fill in. I didn't get to to see the game today. What the heck happened? Is this only a product of them playing the Steelers or has the light turned on for him in this defense? I've been holding Lavonte David and seeing him as my future/next year LB starter but is Vontaze the real gem I've got on my bench? Heck of a game today and I'll be excited to watch it later this week. Any one who saw the game have any insight as to how good this kid really is? His future role on the team?

Edited by Hoss Style, 22 October 2012 - 03:06 AM.

[ITS] keeps calling me "passive-aggressive"... I've called him a doosh many times. How is that passive?

 

 

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#30 treat88

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 06:52 AM

Well, I came to start a thread on him but I see it's already here. I stumbled upon Burfict a few weeks ago as a Bye week fill in. I didn't get to to see the game today. What the heck happened? Is this only a product of them playing the Steelers or has the light turned on for him in this defense? I've been holding Lavonte David and seeing him as my future/next year LB starter but is Vontaze the real gem I've got on my bench? Heck of a game today and I'll be excited to watch it later this week. Any one who saw the game have any insight as to how good this kid really is? His future role on the team?

With Maualuga's contract up this off season, I've got to think Burfict has the inside track to a 3 down MLB role in 2013. Obviously could change depending on the incoming draft class, but he's in a sweet spot as of now. He looked great last night. Flowed to the ball, shed blockers easily, filled hard downhill in his run fits, sure and violent tackles....looked like a first round talent the last 3 weeks.

#31 Bucky86

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:20 AM

I'm definitely not an expert, but it really seemed liked he diagnosed plays very well. On more than a few occasions he shot past the line of scrimmage and tackled the ball carrier for legit solo tackles.

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#32 GeauxTigers

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 09:54 AM

Picked him up in 2 leagues about a month ago. :thumbup: He was considered by many to be the best LB in college football last year but his attitude caused him to fall in the draft and got him in trouble last year at ASU. If he can keep his attitude in check, he should be a beast.

Edited by GeauxTigers, 22 October 2012 - 09:57 AM.

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SEC!!! SEC!!! SEC!!!

#33 Jbear

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 02:50 PM

He's available in my league. Tackle heavy scoring, can only roster 3 linebackers and start 2 (one lb slot and one dp). I have mason foster, bobby Wagner and Colin McCarthy. Would you drop any of these for burfict? Thinking of dropping McCarthy since who knows when he'll produce and him and Wagner share a bye week anyways...




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