Vontaze Burfict

Vontaze Burfict competing for starting job at strong-side linebacker

The Cincinnati Bengals gave Vontaze Burfict his first taste of NFL action on Sunday against the Browns. He was originally expected to start in place of the injured Thomas Howard, but the Bengals opened up in a nickel package so he ended up coming off the bench and playing 22 snaps at strong-side linebacker.

Despite reports prior to the game that Burfict would be the Bengals starter, actions speak louder than words. Burfict and Manny Lawson each played 22 snaps on Sunday, indicating that the job is still very much up for grabs in Howard’s absence.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Rookie Notes Leave a comment

Vontaze Burfict “on the bubble” in Cincinnati

Cincinnati Bengals undrafted free agent Vontaze Burfict is reportedly on the bubble for making the final 53-man roster according to Paul Dehner Jr., of CBS Sports. Burfict has been competing with Roddrick Muckelroy for the backup job behind Rey Maualuga.

Frankly, the fact that he’s even in the conversation is a big win for Burfict. He may be worth developing, but unless he has improved by leaps and bounds this offseason, he isn’t ready for the NFL. Since the Bengals consider themselves serious contenders in the AFC, it would come as a surprise if they used a roster spot on a rookie with significant development still needed.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Bengals, Rookie Notes 1 Comment

Vontaze Burfict scouting report

Vontaze Burfict ILB Arizona State #7
Ht: 6’3″Wt: 250  
Strengths:
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.
Weaknesses:
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.
Comments:
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.
Videos:
2011 vs USC
2011 vs Illinois
2011 vs Oregon
Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Scouting Reports - 2012 Leave a comment