Vontaze Burfict

Arizona State Junior MLB Vontaze Burfict is an impressive player.  He might have the best highlights of any defensive player in college.  Burfict is a big time thumper.  He doesn’t just hit guys, he freight-train’s them.  Remember how Rey Maualuga was at USC?  That’s Burfict, only he might be better than Rey.

Burfict goes about 6’3, 250.  Big dude.  He is at his best when attacking downhill.  Very good blitzer.  He will absolutely destroy QBs if he gets a clean shot on them.  Burfict is very good when he has a clean line of sight on a target.  He’s almost like a heat-seeking missile that locks in and then he destroys the runner/receiver.

The problem is that he’s not nearly as good in traffic as in space.  When he’s not on the run, he’s a much more pedestrian player.  He doesn’t show great instincts.  He’s not as good at getting off blocks as you’d expect from a guy his size.  BC star Luke Kuechly is smaller, but uses his hands well and does a very good job at fighting off blockers and getting to the ball.

Burfict reminds me of a couple of guys.  He runs like Jeremiah Trotter did early in his career with the Eagles (2000-2001).  Both guys are thick, but very good downhill players.  Burfict has times when I see some Bart Scott in his game.  Burfict is a very competitive, very intense player.  Sometimes he gets too intense and that costs him.

He was involved in an incident this summer.  Burfict allegedly punched a teammate in the locker room after the two had been involved in an argument at practice.  Even worse, the other player was a WR and Burfict is said to have gone after him with a blindside attack.  Going after smaller teammate and doing it when he’s not able to defend himself?  That’s not good.  Burfict has had other temper related incidents in practice and games.

As far as stats go, Burfict in 2 years has 159 total tackles, 15.5 TFLs, 8 passes defensed, and 4 FFs.

I think 3-4 teams would love Burfict.  He has the size they like.  He doesn’t have great lateral agility, but those guys don’t have to cover as much ground.  Burfict would love to be in a blitzing scheme where he could attack upfield on a regular basis.  We need to see how he plays this year before rating him, but Burfict does have a lot of potential.

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