If you frequent JBB then you know we’ve spent the last month digging deep to find potential prospects for the Raiders in the upcoming draft. In any other year that would be an easy task. Not so much when you’re talking about mid to late round prospects and nothing else. Anybody can talk Andrew Luck, RGIII and Trent Richardson all day. Get back to me when you’re breaking down Bill Bentley and Andre Hardy.
That being said there is one name that isn’t likely to be called until the end of the draft, if at all, yet is sure to be discussed just as much as any first round pick. I’m speaking of that sparkplug of controversy known as Vontaze Burfict.
At this time last year Burfict was being called a first round pick. What a difference a year makes.
The now former Arizona State Sun Devil was being compared to Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis. Now at days he’d be lucky to be the next Brian Bosworth. At least the Boz got a lackluster acting career for his troubles. For Burfict it’s looking like pro wrestling could be calling.
The book on Burfict is that he’s an aggressive middle linebacker capable of dominating a game, imposing his will on the opposition and creating absolute havoc in every way possible. Sounds like it’s exactly what you’d want from a player. Too bad Burfict’s poor attitude, problematic penalty issues and horrible conditioning have all contributed to his free fall on NFL draft boards.
So the question has got to be asked. With the Raiders holding only 5 draft picks, the first of which isn’t until #95 overall, does it make sense to roll the dice on Burfict?
From a pure competition standpoint it could make a lot of sense. Getting Burfict on the way down could be ideal. If the Corona Centennial alum has any pride he’ll be eager to prove everybody wrong. The hope would be his fiery nature might inspire Rolando McClain, pushing Oakland’s current middle linebacker to reach his full potential.
Of course the concern with Burfict is that he doesn’t know where the line is. A guy like that could be explosive in the locker room especially during the heat of training camp battles where tempers boil over like unwatched pots on the stove.
Beyond what he might bring competition wise and to the locker room, the football issue is Burfict’s inconsistent play.
In some instances Burfict looks like an all-pro making plays all over the field and absolutely destroying the offensive game plan. At times he’s also as lost as Tim Tebow in a strip club.
Then there’s his penchant for racking up personal fouls. That’s something the Oakland Raiders are in desperate need of correcting coming off a record setting season for penalties. In that instance adding Burfict to Oakland would be like taking an AA meeting to a wedding with an open bar.
Oh…and we haven’t even discussed how horribly he’s handled himself in the draft preparation process.
All that being said the Raiders badly need a shot in the arm on defense and an inspired Burfict would be B-12 to an exhausted marathon runner.
Reggie McKenzie is no Al Davis. There is no doubt Davis would have taken the Burfict challenge. McKenzie on the other hand has a different approach. Still, you can’t ignore his talent and if the stars lineup getting Vontaze Burfict in the 7th round could go down as one of the great steals in the history of the draft. But that comes with plenty of ifs.