Vontaze Burfict Slipping in Draft Good for Eagles

Darren GrossmanCorrespondent IFebruary 27, 2012

burfict belongs in eagles green in 2012
burfict belongs in eagles green in 2012Christian Petersen/Getty Images

I wrote an article about a month ago that I wanted the Eagles to draft Vontaze Burfict. 

He is big, fast, and mean. Burfict has said that he believes he's the best linebacker in the draft, and I agree with him. 

He has been compared to Ray Lewis. He's an excellent tackler with good speed. The only real knock on him is character. He had a lot of personal foul penalties and made some dumb decisions on the field at times this season.

That can be explained by poor coaching. Burfict also had a poor senior season compared to his expectations. That can be explained by his poor relationship with his coaches at Arizona State as well.

The reality is the Eagles defense could use a guy who is mean. A guy who will beat you up and is not afraid to get physical. Last season, the Eagles defense seemed to lack that kind of heart and fire. They lacked toughness and meanness—two qualities that Burfict seems to have an overabundance of.

With the right coaching staff and the right locker room, I really think Burfict could become a Pro Bowl caliber linebacker for this team. He's one of the most complete players in the draft—a guy with no real holes in his game, except some character issues.

He would look great in Eagles green. That's the good news. The bad news is, at 15, the Eagles likely would not take him. However, with some drafts projecting him in the second or third round, the odds of the Eagles taking a chance on him have just increased dramatically. He's a steal in those rounds, but if he makes it to the second round, the Eagles might take a chance on him.

They have taken first-round caliber talent with character issues in the second round before, like DeSean Jackson, who was looked at as a selfish player and made some bonehead plays at Cal. That worked out well for them. This move could too.

Remember the name Vontaze Burfict and root for it on draft day to wind up on the Eagles' board.