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Prospect Profiles: Vontaze Burfict


TRIANGLE NUMBERS:6-3, 250, 5.09



A thick, compact linebacker with a strong frame and natural girth through both his upper and lower half. Exhibits a natural explosion to his game when asked to attack downhill and close on the run. Showcases a good first step, keeps his pad level down as a tackler and can really snap through the hips on contact. Is a violent tackler with good length for his size and has the balance and quickness to range off his frame in space and tackle consistently both in the hole and in the open field. Showcases the power and snap from his upper body to take on blocks on contact. When he stays low and extends his arms can be violent on contact when looking to shed. However, when he’s not into the game mentally gets upright and can be overwhelmed and ridden out of the play. Instincts are a bit inconsistent. Will under run plays at times trying to create in the backfield, showcasing the ability to find the ball inside, read his run keys and play off opposing linemen’s proper shoulder. However, at times just plays out of control and looks to be guessing which gap to shoot as opposed to reading his keys inside taking himself out of big plays.

Exhibits natural bend and pretty impressive fluidity for his size when asked to get out of his breaks. Can bend at the knees, but likes to pop upright in his drop and get a bit narrow in his base. This takes away initially from his burst and quickness changing directions in the pass game. However, he’s fluid when asked to open up his hips and redirect. And once he gets his feet under him showcases impressive closing burst and range into contact. Can intimidate in the secondary and will create collisions on contact. Nevertheless, lacks a great feel in zone coverage. Doesn’t get many proactive jumps on the football. Is a bit slow to recognize receivers crossing his face, doesn’t get many early jumps on the football and is more of a reactive zone player. Might be best suited to play outside at the next level where he can have more simplified reads. Exhibits some savvy as a blitzer, times up the snap count well and can drop his pad level when trying to fight under blockers. However, isn’t real sudden when trying to slip.

Has some real on the field character concerns. Plays the game with a real passion and exhibits impressive fire. However, gets out of control at times and really struggles to handle his emotions. Takes some bad penalties on personal fouls and lets the penalties effect his performance as well. Seems to lose interest at times when things aren’t going his way and it takes the edge off his game.

Impression: A talent with natural pop on contact, can hold the point of attack and for his size exhibits “plus” range and fluidity. Isn’t a guy who I could trust as a starting 43 mike as he needs to stay in control of his emotions and make the defensive calls. Needs to be put in a good locker room with a vet next to him to help him learn to be a professional.



• Has an NFL body
• Good take-on strength, body power
• Hits with explosion
• Physical, thumping tackler
• Plays with intensity
• Does not back down from a fight


• Undisciplined
• Takes bad angles
• Average eyes and instincts
• Freelances too much
• Poor on-field body language — mouthy, hot-headed, distracting
• Weight fluctuates

The Way We See It:

A very inconsistent, undisciplined, overly emotional locker-room lawyer and divisive, energy-draining field force. Has superstar-type talent and a second-tier-free-agent-level quality, coach-killing makeup that will drive down his value. Needs a strong, vet locker room.

NE Patriots Draft:

Strengths: Good size and strength – Can play some OLB and ILB in the 4-3 – May be able to play 3-4 OLB – Unreal timing on blitzes, reminds you of Troy Polamalu – Can stick with TE’s in coverage – Hits with a ferocity unmatched in college football – Has a great bull rush, but can also beat you outside with speed – A true playmaker when he wants to be.

Weaknesses: Some terrible tape in 2011, rarely showed the explosiveness he exhibited in 2010 – Was in the coach’s dog-house the majority of the year – Reportedly came off poorly in combine interviews – Low football IQ, can’t be relied on to make the pre-snap adjustments – Shows some volatile tendencies on and off the field, gets too many personal fouls – Is susceptible to the play-action pass – Will overrun plays being too aggressive at times.


GiantsGab Thoughts:

Vontaze Burfict has all the talent in the world, and based on talent, has the chance to make it as a top linebacker. His character, however, is suspect. He’s a hot-head. Takes a lot of personal fouls. Has absolutely blown the pre-draft process, not working out well and not interviewing well. On talent, he has good size. He can rush. He can cover. He plays hard. He’s physical.But you have to wonder about his mental stability. Can he make all the calls inside? Or will he have to be played at SAM, so he doesn’t have to worry about the calls ? The Giants are lucky in that they have a strong locker room. They can  draft him late and bring him along slowly. He could easily go in the 7th round, maybe undrafted. I say, take a flier on a super talented guy. At worst, you end up cutting him. At best, you channel his strengths and skills and he turns into a star.



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4 Responses to “Prospect Profiles: Vontaze Burfict”

  1. CHeeKZ Money says:

    This guy is either going to be a HOFer or out of the league in 2 years playing in Canada.

  2. Big Daddy says:

    He reminds me of Micah Johnson. He was a real thumper and had a much better combine, even looking good in position drills. But Micah ran a 5.09/40, I said to myself hey like everybody always says it’s about functional speed on the football field. To that I say a linebacker must break 4.7 to play in the NFL.

    Burfict looks great on film, the reality is that he’s a terrible athlete with poor balance. His 40 yards was abysmal and put those two things together and it means he will fail in the NFL. Unless he dedicates himself to become a world class athlete he won’t make it. His attitude proved that there is no chance of him doing that so there is no chance of him ever becoming a NFL player.

    I learned a lot from the Micah Johnson situation, who I think is still on the Kansas City roster. It has everything to do with 40 yard sprints as an athlete and proving the dedication to showcase your ability by working to improve your 40. That is to show scouts that you will do what it takes to get in the NFL, it’s a mindset.

    Burfict has neither the mindset nor the athletic ability, his attitude is reminiscent of LenDale White. Micah Johnson by contrast was a hard working and intelligent man who just could not make the grade.

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