And then, NFL teams began to see the troubled tackler for what he really was: a disaster waiting to happen.
Questions already lingered after his time with the Sun Devils. Throughout his college career, he became known for being unable to control his temper. Time and time again, he failed to keep his cool in clutch situations and racked up inexcusable amounts of personal foul penalties. The man was a walking magnet for yellow flags.
At times, the ASU coaches were even forced to pull him from the lineup because he couldn’t control himself in do-or-die situations. In short, he was a liability.
Combining an immeasurable immaturity with a lack of discipline both on and off of the football field, Burfict has taken it upon himself since his senior year at ASU ended to do everything in his power to sully his draft stock.
The tide began to turn against Burfict at the 2012 NFL Scouting Combine, when a 5.09 40-yard dash made him the slowest linebacker in Indianapolis. His 4.65 short shuttle also left little to be desired. He looked sluggish, out of shape and wasn’t alleviating any of the worries that teams had about him.
To make matters even worse, his numerous interviews with NFL teams reportedly went bad. Burfict struggled to impress teams in person-to-person interactions and continuously made excuses for his lack of physical preparation for the Combine. At every turn, Burfict was putting another bullet in his own foot.
“I blame myself, it was just immaturity,” Burfict said after his disappointing Combine performance. “I’m growing up and realizing what the world is about and I’ve just got to work harder in everything I do.”
Even during his two Pro Days following the Combine, Burfict still struggled to show improvement. Even though his 40-yard dash time decreased to 4.8, he still looked sluggish and slow. By all appearances, Burfict had become a lackluster prospect with little future as an NFL-caliber talent.
Burfict’s free-fall down the pre-draft rankings is one of the worst that the NFL has ever seen. From a potential first-round pick to possibly going undrafted, Burfict has become the perfect example of a player looking to ruin his own chances at making it in the NFL.
According to his agent Charles Price, no NFL teams have scheduled visits or private workouts with Burfict. With the draft just over a week away, that’s not a good sign for a linebacker whose chances at getting drafted continue to grow slimmer and slimmer.
Although it seems likely that some team will take a flier on him in the late rounds of the upcoming draft, his value has dropped drastically below where it was once believed to be. The worst part: Burfict hasn’t taken the actions necessary to revive it.
It’s sad to see so much potential go to waste. The only person to blame, however, is Burfict himself.