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NFL Draft’s Potential Patriots: Arizona State ILB Vontaze Burfict

03.09.12 at 12:16 pm ET
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WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2012 NFL draft. Here is one is a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict, closing in on UC Davis quarterback Randy Wright, is a talented linebacker who has had temper issues on and off the field. (AP)

VONTAZE BURFICT

Position: Inside linebacker

School: Arizona State

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 250 pounds

Achievements: Sporting News first-team All-America (2010), Pac-10 Defensive Freshman of Year (2009), Freshman All-America Team (CollegeFootballNews.com, Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News)

What he brings: Burfict was a highly regarded prospect after his sophomore season, but his draft stock dropped this year. Burfict is athletic, powerful and strong, but his passion has sometimes gone too far, as he has been flagged for 17 personal fouls in 35 career games. Burfict can lay down the hard hit, is naturally explosive, and can tackle both in the hole and in the open field. His man-to-man coverage needs improvement, and his technique could use refining.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 2 or 3

Notes: Burfict definitely has a temper issue on the field, and he was accused of punching one of his teammates off the field following a preseason practice. Burfict recorded 69 total tackles, seven tackles for loss, five sacks and no forced fumbles in the 2011 season. Those numbers were down from his sophomore season, when he recorded 90 total tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.

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Video: Here are some highlights from Burfict’s collegiate career.

Read More: 2012 Potential Patriots, NFL Draft 2012, Vontaze Burfict,
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