Vontaze Burfict

Marvin Lewis pulls no punches describing Vontaze Burfict’s play in college

When the Cincinnati Bengals signed Vontaze Burfict as an undrafted free agent everyone knew they were taking a gamble. And apparently no one knew that more than Marvin Lewis.

Lewis met with Burfict after the draft and shared his comments with the Cincinnati Enquirer:

“You weren’t in shape your last season at Arizona State. Get rid of the selfishness in your play. Learn how to bend you knees. Let us coach you and let’s see if you are what people thought you could have been.”

Lewis also stated that he’s excited about having Burfict in camp, but it’s clear he knows what he’s working with. Burfict is a headcase, and the Bengals are going to keep a close eye on his performance in training camp. There’s no denying his potential, but he has a long way to go and Lewis made sure Burfict was aware of his deficiencies.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals Comments Off

5 Players with the most at stake at Combine

1. Alshon Jeffery – WR – South Carolina
Jeffery has been battled weight issues throughout his career and, as a result, some believe he lacks the explosion to separate from coverage at the next level. He’s had plenty of time to get into shape since the season ended, so if he fails to demonstrate adequate athleticism and agility at the combine, it will raise some red flags which could send him tumbling down draft boards.

2. Janoris Jenkins – CB – North Alabama
We know Jenkins can play – we saw that at the Senior Bowl – but can will anyone be willing to take a chance on his character? He’ll be high on the list of guys teams are most interested in speaking with at the combine and he will need to be prepared to answer some difficult questions about the issues which led to his dismissal from Florida.

Floyd's injury history and alcohol issues will be under scrutiny in Indy

3. Michael Floyd – WR – Notre Dame
While Floyd is coming off a strong senior year, he has a long history of both character and injury concerns. He missed time in 2008 (knee injury) and 2009 (collarbone) and was involved in multiple alcohol-related run-ins with the law during his collegiate career. As a result, his medical check-up and his interviews will be crucial in determining his place on draft boards.

4. Quentin Coples – DE – North Carolina
From the standpoint of pure athleticism, Coples may be the most talented player in this year’s draft class. But his production on the field rarely showed that ability, especially during his senior year. Teams will be interested to hear his explanation for his disappearing act. Does he take responsibility for his failures? Or does he blame it on others?

5. Vontaze Burfict – LB – Arizona State
Like Coples, Burfict clearly has the raw talent to play at the next level. However, he consistently found himself struggling to handle the mental side of the game. Burfict should be prepared for some difficult questions during the interview process. Teams may try to rile him up to see just how he reacts under pressure. Teams will also be interested to hear him explain away his numerous unsportsmanlike conduct penalties over the  years, and will be hoping to hear him take responsibility for his actions.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

All-Overrated “Team”

Here is my pre-Senior Bowl all-overrated “team.” It’s not exactly a full team because certain positions don’t have a truly overrated prospect… yet. Depending on the media’s reaction to the Senior Bowl and/or Combine, players could drop off the list, or earn their way onto the roster in the coming months.

QB Ryan Tannehill Texas A&M
Every year a quarterback or two see their stock inflated due to team needs. Tannehill is this year’s victim.
RB LaMichael James Oregon
James is an impressive athlete with speed to burn, but he isn’t an every-down back.
RB Chris Rainey Florida
Much like James, Rainey is heralded for his speed, but he will be limited to special teams duty in the NFL.
WR Alshon Jeffery South Carolina
There’s no denying Jeffery’s raw ability, but his inconsistency raises a big red flag.
WR Nick Toon Wisconsin
Toon was a productive college receiver who benefitted from Russell Wilson’s prescence in 2011. He’s a 3rd or 4th option in the NFL at best.
TE Coby Fleener Stanford
Fleener is my top rated tight end, but that’s exactly why he’s being overrated. He’s just the best of a mediocre class.
OT Jonathan Martin Stanford
Martin will be a fine pro, but not at left tackle. Anyone who falls for the hype will be moving him to the right side, or to guard, within three years.
OT Mike Adams Ohio State
Adams certainly looks the part, but he’s terribly soft and not especially quickon his feet.
DE Quinton Coples North Carolina
You can put together a highlight real that makes Coples look like a top-five pick… but you can’t find a single game where he shows it from start to finish.
DE Jack Crawford Penn State
Crawford never lived up to expectations at Penn State despite his impressive athleticism.
DT Alameda Ta’amu Washington
Ta’amu has the size to play nose tackle, which boosts his stock significantly, but he may not have the stamina to be a three-down lineman.
LB Zach Brown North Carolina
Brown is an athlete, but he’s undersized and will get pushed around by NFL linemen.
LB Bruce Irvin West Virginia
Irvin flashes elite athleticism at times, but he had to fight for playing time throughout his career due to inconsistent performances.
LB Vontaze Burfict Arizona State
Top-10 talent, undraftable character. Not worth the trouble.
CB Janoris Jenkins North Alabama
See above.
CB Alfonzo Dennard Nebraska
I have a hard time understanding where the 1st-round love for Dennard comes from. He’s a physical corner and his injury prone – a bad combo.
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2012 NFL Draft Comments Off

Vontaze Burfict scouting report

Vontaze Burfict ILB Arizona State #7
Ht: 6’3″Wt: 250  
Prototypical size and strength. Strong, fundamentally sound tackler. Has the ability to deliver the big hit and knock the ball loose. Impressive speed and athleticism for his size; when he takes the correct angle, he can close on the ball carrier in a flash and deliver a big hit. Tons of upside if he can harness his aggression and improve his awareness and discipline on the field.
Extremely overaggressive to the point where it became a major issue; routinely flagged for late hits. Football intelligence is lacking; struggles to diagnose misdirection plays and frequently over-commits in the wrong direction. Does a poor job keeping his eyes in the backfield and adjusting to the play when blitzing. Struggles dropping into coverage; taken off the field in many obvious passing situations when not being used to blitz. Headbutted Oregon State quarterback Ryan Katz in 2010. Failed drug test at combine.
Burfict has been a big-time playmaker since arriving on campus in 2009. Unfortunately, he has shown little improvement in that span. When casually watching Arizona State, Burfict immediately jumps out because he’s all over the field and always around the football. A close look, however, reveals his poor instincts and complete lack of discipline. His reputations as a dirty player is well know and, even if his late hits don’t come with ill-intentions, he’s still consistently putting his team in bad situations due to the penalties he racks up. At worst, he’s flat-out dirty; at best, he’s just plain stupid. Either way, Burfict is often a detriment to his team. He has the raw talent of a fringe 1st-rounder, but has yet to show the maturity on or off the field to warrant that status. Given his serious character concerns, it would be difficult to justify spending even a late round pick. Unless he grows up fast, he’ll be nothing but a headache for the coaching staff, and his play on the field won’t make it worthwhile.
2011 vs USC
2011 vs Illinois
2011 vs Oregon
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Comments Off