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Arizona State Vs. Illinois

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I decided this year to take a much more involved interest in watching college games to be able to evaluate for myself some of the top prospects coming out for the 2012 draft. So I figured, if I'm going to do this then why not write up an evaluation of the players I've payed the most attention to. I figure this will give me something to go back on as the year progresses and see how players improve or decline as the season goes along. Plus there may be others who may find the information interesting as well so..here we go:

Vontaze Burfict, #7, MLB 6'3" 250 lbs: He's a monster MLB as of now projected as a 1st or second round pick. He's 6'3" and 250 lbs and described as a violent, hard hitting MLB in the mold of a Ray Lewis. The biggest concerns with him are penalties. He has a tendency to let emotions over come him at times which leads to him getting personal foul penalties. I read an interview that was conducted with him (don't have the link at the moment) where this was addressed and I got the impression this was the primary part of his game he was planning to work on. He does acknowledge that the penalties are counter productive to the team but he does relish in being considered a violent, mean football player.

Throughout the game, he showed incredible speed for a guy his size. He was more effective against the run imo but also played well against the pass as well. One concern was that towards the ends of plays he seemed to slow down and throw his arms in the air, I think trying a little too hard to avoid penalties. However after a few plays like this he did get flagged for a personal foul for ripping the helmet off of an offensive player. This part of the play was never clearly shown so I didn't see it for myself but he got hit with the penalty none the less. He is a very instinctive player and seems to always wind up close to the ball. At least a decent portion of his game seems to be blitzing (2 sacks in 2 games) and we don't blitz our LB's very often so not sure we would be able to utilize his full skill set. He is for the most part a very sure tackler and definitely is a disruptive player.

To briefly touch back on the penalty issues...some people describe him not only as mean and violent but also dirty. Granted it was just one game but I didn't see anything that made me think consider him a dirty player. When I think of a dirty player I think of a guy like Cortland Finnegan. Burfict does play violently and may be mean but I didn't see him actually doing anything that looked like he was purposely trying to injure anyone. I think the issue with letting his emotions get the better of him at times can hopefully be helped by skilled coaches and possibly a trained therapist. lol Overall though, I wouldn't let the "mean and violent" reputation prevent us from considering him like many will say. IMO we need someone with that kind of intensity. Defense isn't played by girl scouts fellas. :D

Omar Bolden, #3, CB 5'10" 192 lbs: I was paying much closer attention to Burfict and I had several games recorded so unfortunately couldn't go back and re-watch each play to diagnose how well each player performed on each play...plus when it comes to CB's they often wind up off-screen with the WR since the camera always focuses on the LOS and the QB until someone else wins up with the ball (oh to have the camera angle options that you have on Madden replays) but Bolden's name was called at least a few times for making big plays. He appeared to be pretty good in man coverage and typically stayed right with the receiver. Unfortunately that's really about all I can comment on but if I get the opportunity to record other Arizona St games I'll try to pay more attention to him.

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