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The NFL combine can be cruel to prospects who don’t possess physical strengths that can be recorded with a stop watch and the people skills to impress during interviews. These shortcomings can cost a player millions of dollars.
Vontaze Burfict is about to find this out the hard way.
Heading into the combine, Burfict was considered one of the top linebackers and a sure-fire top-25 pick. With terrific size (6’3’’, 250 pounds) and incredible aggressiveness, the projections made sense. Some considered Burfict to be the hardest hitter in the entire class.
Now, the former Sun Devil might not even be a second-round selection. He ran a 4.93 and 5.10 on the 40-yard dash on Monday, registering one of the worst times of any linebacker. This comes only a day after holding horrific interviews with scouts and coaches (via ESPN).
CBS Sports’ Bruce Feldman spoke with a scout after interviewing Burfict and the sentiment is nothing short of awful:
I’m not sure any player here sparked a worse reaction than Vontaze Burfict. I wouldn’t touch him.
The guy is completely out of control. There’s no way you could trust him. I can’t believe they [ASU coaching staff] didn’t cut him loose.
He has shown awful discipline on the field, which is certainly a red flag, but it’s his mental makeup that terrifies scouts the most. With so much money on the line, nobody wants to deal with a player that isn’t willing to mold into their system and potentially cause controversy on or off the field.
Judging by the way he threw his Arizona State coaches under the bus, it sounds like this guy doesn’t have a clue (via CBS Sports):
I could've played better. That's what hurt me at times. The coaches kind of messed me up. I didn't know if I would start a game or be benched. It hurt me, but I tried to fight through it.
Comments like that are all the proof scouts need.
He is not just shooting himself in the foot, he’s blowing off his entire leg. Sure, the combine is not the only event scouts take into consideration, but nobody had a worse week than Burfict.
His ego, lack of accountability and poor 40 times have not only scared scouts at the combine, it’s made then run for the hills.
Burfict is no longer a first-round pick, and his chances of getting drafted in the second-round are now in real jeopardy.
How low can he go?