As the 2012 NFL Draft approaches, one prospect who has seen his draft stock plummet is Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict. He entered the season high in the eyes of many analysts, but various on and off the field issues and a poor Combine performance have sent him to the point where many expect him to be an undrafted free agent.
The folks over at Mocking The Draft got a chance to sit down with Burfict to discuss the draft process and some of his perceived issues. They broke this opportunity down into some background on Burfict, followed by a Q&A with him. Although there are some cliched answers and a few relatively weak responses, it is not all fluff and he actually does seem to address some of the concerns. It likely won't be enough to change his draft day result, but it is something to consider moving forward.
The 49ers have the best linebacker duo in the league in Patrick Willis and NaVorro Bowman, with a capable backup in Larry Grant. However, Grant will be an unrestricted free agent next season, likely looking for a chance to develop into a starter somewhere else. The 49ers will likely add an inside linebacker either during the three days of the draft, or immediately afterward in undrafted free agency.
What do people think of Vontaze Burfict as a guy the 49ers potentially bring in off the street or even in one of the late rounds? I have to think the 49ers might not have the best opportunities to sign top end undrafted free agent linebackers. They have roster space potentially available, but significant injury is the only way these guys would get on the field ahead of Willis and Bowman. Could that force the 49ers into a situation where they need to grab an ILB in the late rounds as opposed to waiting to see what's on the free agent market?