Matt Barkley probably isn't all that intimidated in this photo... (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Vontaze Burfict was a popular name amongst Eagles fans as far as a LB target in this year's draft, but as more and more evaluation of him has started to trickle out, the clamor has died down a bit. Mike Mayock was asked about the Arizona State LB directly in his pre-combine conference call this week and what he had to say just might turn off Burfict's few remaining supporters.
I think some of the attention throughout the media with all the penalties and all those issues, I think they're a little bit too much. I just watched a bunch of his tape the other day, and I said forget the penalties and all is that stuff that surrounds him. What kind of football player is he? And I came away unimpressed.
From my perspective, if he gets a chance at a blow-up hit where he can just knock somebody into the next century, he's going to take it and it's going to look really good. That's where he's impressive. When he sees something and comes downhill and blows it up, it's really good.
However, the other major percentage of the time is his instincts aren't good. He gets enveloped by big bodies. He runs around end blocks. For a big, strong guy, he's nowhere near as good at the point of attack as I thought he would be. So that's even before you factor in all the other elements.
So from my perspective, I don't see first round at all.
It's funny, because all the reasons some people have given to be skeptical about Luke Kuechly are also reasons not like Burfict. His defenders have said they want a tougher, more physical presence... but in reality he just hasn't been that.