Assessing Vontaze Burfict

I just got to get this out there. If you think Burfict is a good pick in round 1 or 2 then you just don't understand the guy. His mental um processes make him barely able to survive in college and he is totally unable to handle the subtleties of being a pro football player.

I just can't think of another player who is so extreme at both ends. He has a Grade A+ body and a Grade F mind. And it is not a mind that will just learn from Lewis how to be a pro as various writers are saying. This isn't a Jimmy Smith or even a Pacman Jones type of problem. This is more of a there's-not-any-wattage-upstairs type of deal. He's just not smart enough. Just look at some of the "expert" mockers out there you can see that some of them are beginning to see this. They are getting past that wonderous body and seeing that his cheap shots are both not easily correctable and that there's more to it than simply misguided passion. Soon all the mockers wil see this. But let's look at a couple of quotes:

<a href="" target="new">From Draft Insider</a> while discussing the Senior Bowl:

<blockquote>Before the practices even started the conversation turned to Arizona State junior linebacker Vontaz Burfict. Separate sources, including one close to the program, told me Burfict’s decision to turn pro was likely centered around the fact he was looking at potential eligibility problems in 2012. Everyone I spoke with said Burfict’s struggles in 2011 are directly related to the fact teammate Brandon Magee never took the field during the season after tearing his Achilles in August. I was told Magee, a leader on the ASU defense, was the one who made sure Burfict was properly positioned on the field and made him aware of assignments. This further confirms my report from the Shrine Game last week where different sources told me, “It’s a matter of Burfict not diagnosing plays correctly if put to the test, amongst other things.”</blockquote>

Or better, this is from <a href="" target="new">Rob Rang a couple weeks ago</a>:

<blockquote>Outgoing head coach Dennis Erickson characterized Burfict's junior season as "average." There may not be a more accurate way of putting it.

While Burfict certainly has the hype and talent to warrant leaving school early, quite frankly he's been a disappointment over the past two seasons.

For a player nationally known as an intimidator, Burfict only registered 69 tackles (including seven for loss) in 2011, along with one interception and one fumble recovery. He was not recognized by Pac-12 coaches as a first, second or even honorable mention player following his junior season. This is quite a drop from Burfict's 2010 season in which he led the team with 90 tackles and earned Second Team accolades. It is an even bigger disappointment considering that in 2009 he was named the Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of the Year.

Burfict is explosive. He can rock ball-carriers in the hole, is particularly adept rushing the quarterback and plays with a ferocity that could quickly make him a fan favorite. As you'll read in our official profile for Burfict, 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.

As such, he's currently ranked third in our rankings of inside linebacker prospects.

Quite frankly, I think he's as overrated a prospect as there is in the country. He may prove me wrong. He certainly has talent to do so. However, Burfict won't soon get added to my ranking of the top 32 prospects in the draft. Burfict, in fact, wouldn't make my list if the Big Board contained twice as many players. </blockquote>

What happened with Burflict's year with Az St is that the opposing Pac-12 offenses learned that they could simply scheme him out of the game because he's simply not smart enough. That's what the two people I've quoted are saying. Burflict doesn't have a problem like someone who smokes too much dope or got arrested with a DUI. He just doesn't have the ability to understand the subtleties of the game. He is easily confused and that was the reason why his coach benched him. Just wait for the combine and his interviews. Us Pac-12 fans know that he is an awful interview: Ryan Mallet on a real bad day awful. We may pick up a LB in round 1 or 2 but once the Raven's get to talking with him, they will know that he's radioactive. I wouldn't pick him before round 6.

The opinions posted here are those of the administrator of this blog and his loyal readers. They are in no way official comments from the team, and should not be misconstued as such, even though he thinks he could do just as well or even a better job!

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