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Many draft outlets had Vontaze Burfict as a projected top-five or -10 pick a few months ago. Due to a combination of on-field play and off-field issues, his stock has dropped a great deal.
While I am not going to focus on his off-field issues, I will write about some parts of his game that worries me a great deal. Arizona State found it necessary to take Burfict out of the game in nickel situations, which doesn't speak well to his coverage ability.
In watching tapes, I have noticed that Burfict struggles a great deal in fluid hip motion dropping back into coverage, leaving him vulnerable to getting turned around as he doesn't get squared to the opposing player.
Of course, something like this can be learned, but his game in that regard is way too raw. Burfict might do a great job prowling and flying around the field—his speed is amazing. That said, he isn't great outside of space, rather Burfict does tend to struggle a bit shedding blockers.
Luke Kuechly, who recently declared for the draft, is my unquestioned No. 1 inside linebacker in an extremely weak class. Teams such as Buffalo, Carolina, Philadelphia and Seattle all have needs at this position. They won't, however, draft purely for need if value is there.
Vontaze Burfict fans, don't fret too much, as he will be selected in the first round. He seems to be a perfect fit for the Baltimore Ravens, who are going to be looking for a replacement for Ray Lewis. Detroit, Pittsburgh and Green Bay are also strong possibilities.
The talent of Burfict will not slide outside of the first round, no matter the questions many have in regards to his game and character.