Vontaze Burfict, the onetime first-round prospect whose disappointing 2011 season was followed by a disastrous Scouting Combine and Pro Day, has found his NFL home in Cincinnati.
The Bengals agreed to terms with Burfict as an undrafted free agent shortly after the 2012 NFL draft ended without Burfict’s name being called. Bengals coach Marvin Lewis had a long talk with Burfict at Arizona State’s Pro Day, and Lewis was believed to be high on Burfict’s potential.
Once considered among the most talented linebackers in college football, Burfict was called for way too many penalties during his final season at Arizona State, and he also had a reputation as a player who was more interested in delivering big hits than in actually following his assignment within the defense. He was also reportedly a disruptive presence in the Arizona State locker room. So there’s a lot not to like about him.
Still, Burfict did make enough plays early in his college career that he once looked like a potential first-round pick. It’s easy to envision him making the roster in Cincinnati.