In the months leading up to the draft, no player saw his stock fall further than former Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who had once been viewed in some circles as a potential first-round draft pick, but who ended up not getting drafted at all. The Bengals may end up benefiting from Burfict’s slide.
After Cincinnati signed Burfict as an undrafted free agent, he proclaimed himself a steal, and Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said there was no down side to signing him. The up side is that Burfict has the talent to be a solid NFL linebacker, and Albert Breer of NFL Network reports that Burfict has done plenty to change the negative perceptions of him so far in training camp.
Burfict, who showed up to the Scouting Combine out of shape, has lost weight and looked good on the practice field, and he hasn’t been a problem child off the field, either.
All undrafted rookies have an uphill climb to make the 53-man roster, but Burfict has a good chance of doing it. And proving that he never should have been labeled a non-draftable kid.