Vontaze Burfict as the heir apparent to LB Ray Lewis in Baltimore? It's hard to accept, let alone imagine...
The Arizona State U. linebacker is good, don't get me wrong... and even despite his "character issues", he might be a good fit in the Ravens' 3-4 defensive package based on his physical attributes alone.
But I just don't see the Ravens going that high (1st Round) for a linebacker. In spite of popular belief, Ray Lewis is still highly functional... and his "heir apparent" is probably already on the roster in the name of Ellerbe or McClain.
Vontaze Burfict looks and plays the part of Ray Lewis... but the ASU standout at middle linebacker is an undisciplined man-child who is dimensions below the professional standards of knowledge, preparation and leadership that the man Ray Lewis has become...
There's an old saying--- "Don't count on your kids"...
And Baltimore Ravens fans, don't count on Vontaze Burfict.
Arizona St. Sun Devils inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict is one of the few ASU players projected to find high placement in the 2012 NFL Draft. Some analysts are predicting that he will be selected late in the first round.
The latest mock draft at Draft Tek once again suggests that Burfict could go to the Baltimore Ravens in the first round, as the No. 29 overall pick. Analyst Eugene Stasak offers the following take:
Another week and another Vontaze Burfict selection. There isn't a whole lot that hasn't been said before. Burfict is a perfect fit for the Ravens in terms of scheme, need, and value. Ray Lewis is nearing the end and all three other ILBs on the roster are set to hit free agency this year. I expect at least one to be back, Dannell Ellerbe as he's restricted, but McClain is the starter and he could be moving on. Burfict would be able to step in and contribute as a rookie while learning from the great Ray Lewis, a player to whom he compares very favorably. Some other options would be if one of the big four OTs falls, Dont'a Hightower as an ILB alternative, Peter Konz as Matt Birk is contemplating retirement and is a free agent, and trading out is always a real possibility for Ozzie.
"It will be a few months before all this shakes out, but Burfict could do a lot worse than find himself with the formidable defense in Baltimore."
All of this is pure speculation and darn near approaches the hogwash test.
If I'm wrong, I'll eat a 100%-cotton Ravens baseball cap (no polyester, please)...
First off, I don't think Burfict will be available at #29. And I certainly don't believe Baltimore will trade up from #29 to get him.
Secondly, the Ravens will avoid Burfict even he is available to them in the first round. They've got bigger fish to fry. There's the glaring need to build up their offensive line future at tackle and center...they need to look ahead to future personnel development at wide receiver and safety... and finding a running back talent to complement Ray Rice would be a real plus.
I just don't buy into the "Ravens heart Burfict" hype... Ozzie will have to prove me wrong... but I doubt it.
Heck, chances are likely Burfict will be taken between picks #15 and #19 anyway by a team desparate for LB help. Fortunately for the Ravens, and contrary to popular belief, they are fairly comfortable in their current LB rotation.