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Vontaze Burfict, Fletcher Cox among NFL draft entries

Missouri Tigers v Arizona State Getty Images

As the January 15 deadline approaches for players with NCAA eligibility to declare for the NFL draft, several players have announced their intentions.

Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict and Mississippi State defensive tackle Fletcher Cox, both of whom are viewed as likely first-round picks, both confirmed today that they’re leaving school and heading to the NFL.

Burfict is a huge talent with a questionable work ethic: Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson described Burfict’s 2011 season as “just average” and defensive coordinator Craig Bray made clear that he didn’t think Burfict was trying hard enough. Burfict also picked up some costly personal foul penalties. Some NFL coaches will want to steer clear of him, but he definitely has the tools to be a very good NFL player, and all it takes is one team that thinks it can get his head on straight.

Cox was a first-team All-SEC selection this season and had 14.5 tackles for loss and five sacks. Cox is a very athletic 6-foot-4, 295-pounder who should turn in a good performance at the Combine.

Other players announcing their plans to enter the 2012 NFL draft include:

Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus, who led the NCAA with 16 sacks this season.

Rutgers receiver Mohamed Sanu, who caught 115 passes for 1,206 yards this season.

North Carolina defensive end Donte Paige-Moss, whose stock took a huge hit when he suffered a torn ACL in the Independence Bowl.

Washington running back Chris Polk, who had 147 yards in the Huskies’ Alamo Bowl loss to Baylor.

Wake Forest receiver Chris Givens, who led the ACC with 1,330 receiving yards.

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13 Responses to “Vontaze Burfict, Fletcher Cox among NFL draft entries”
  1. realitypolice says: Jan 3, 2012 2:06 PM

    Very excited.

    “Vontaze Burfict”

    Best draft name since we ran out of Pouncey’s.

    Although Whitney Mercilus is pretty good too.

    “He may not be burfict, but at least he’s pouncey. And completely mercilus”.

    Good times.

  2. trbowman says: Jan 3, 2012 2:08 PM

    The Burfict I watched this year wasn’t worth a draft pick.

    He’s a headcase, too.

    Someone will reach, though, and they’ll be burned. Badly.

  3. readysethike says: Jan 3, 2012 2:11 PM

    Vontaze is a beast MLB…and he did just have an OK year. his problem i don’t think is his work ethic, its his maturity. He has a well known reputation for being a dirty player and even when he is just talking smack to the opposing team he gets a flag thrown. (check Arizona St. last bowl game)

    A players coach and family value type of organization can set him straight.

  4. usmarine75 says: Jan 3, 2012 2:18 PM

    Vontaze Burfict = draft bust

    Has James Harrison’s attitude with Barbie Carpenter’s playmaking ability.

  5. rabidbillsfan says: Jan 3, 2012 2:21 PM

    The tools are there for Burfict. He does play over the line sometimes, but some teams need atleast one guy like that. Hmm… Buffalo comes to mind. He is relentless and makes impact plays, but also takes some plays off it seems. I think Chan could help mold this guy into a human being and Wanstache can unleash his dog on the NFL. Burfict behind Dareus and Williams sounds pretty dang good to me.

  6. rudwo says: Jan 3, 2012 2:44 PM

    Paige-Moss coming out is odd.

    He lost his starting job to Kareem Martin, but with Coples leaving he might get another shot.

    I assume he must believe that with a torn ACL he might lower his draft stock even more next year – or he desperately needs the money.

  7. pleasantsurpriselefty says: Jan 3, 2012 2:44 PM

    Let’s see, Burfict: talented, work ethic issues, head case…………… The NY JETS select Vontae Burfict. A match made in heaven.

  8. thomasmcdonald says: Jan 3, 2012 2:46 PM

    How do you short-change a menancing man-child named Mercilus by giving him the first name “Whitney”? smh

  9. blacknyellablacknyella says: Jan 3, 2012 3:16 PM

    i watched burfict’s entire career at ASU and the dude is a bum. do you know how hard it is to go from preseason all-american to not even honorable mention in your conference without missing a game? highest recruit ever to attend ASU and everyone at the school is glad to see him gone. bad attitude, fat, slow, dumb, lazy, poor work ethic, poor tackling . . . he didn’t make plays. ever! the only time his number was called was when he committed a personal foul (and there were tons of ‘em). got benched after a personal foul in his last game then refused to re-enter the game when called upon – then was seeing laughing with a few guys, waving to the crowd, and ignoring the game as his defensive teammates were involved in a goalline stand. a T.O. type of lockeroom cancer without the talent. the type of guy that creates factions that alienate themselves from the rest of the team. i would love to see him in baltimore or cincinnati. the guy is a Bust with a capital ‘B’. a loser. a chump. nothing. worthless. see ‘ya, vontaze!

  10. bigdan7885 says: Jan 3, 2012 4:05 PM

    Vontaze would be a Burfict fit for any 3-4 defense.

  11. bangitfootball says: Jan 3, 2012 4:40 PM

    I cant wait to see how Vontaze Burfict ( awesome player but not sure hes a first rounder after all the drama this season and lower productivity) fits into Roger Goodells vision for a NFL with flag football rules LOL

  12. blackqbwhiterb says: Jan 3, 2012 4:57 PM

    Imagine being a college kid like Burfict and reading about yourself on sites like this, and then realizing people don’t think as highly of you as you do of yourself……

  13. 808raiderinparadise says: Jan 3, 2012 4:58 PM

    Character Issues: Check

    Athlete: Check

    Personal Fouls/Flags: Check

    Talented but never reached his true potential: Check

    Falling draft value will allow him to fall into 2-3rd round maybe more: Check

    Sounds like a Raider to me.

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