Source: Vontaze Burfict joins Bengals
by Aaron Wilson of, April 28, 2012 at 9:03 pm ET

Vontaze Burfict Profile

Arizona State junior middle linebacker Vontaze Burfict has agreed to an undrafted free agent contract with the Cincinnati Bengals, according to a league source.

Burfict's draft stock plummeted due to a disastrous NFL scouting combine, a rough season where he was plagued by personal fouls and reportedly failing a drug test at the combine.

Per a source, Bengals coach Marvin Lewis remained interested in Burfict throughout the draft process.

Bu 40-yard dash in 4.79 to 4.8 seconds at his campus Pro Day workout.

Burfict ran a sluggish 5.09 at the combine.

He was also down to 245 pounds from 260 pounds, an encouraging sign.

His draft stock has taken a major hit, though, after once being A consensus All-American as a sophomore, Burfict wasn't even an all-conference selection last season.

A first-team All-American selection as a sophomore, Burfict finished his career with 16 personal fouls.

The 21-year-old didn't confirm nor deny the failed drug test, but did acknowledge in a telephone interview before the draft that he informed NFL general managers during combine interviews that he has smoked marijuana in the past.

"I talked to some teams, and I told them I had smoked marijuana before," Burfict told "It's not like I'm the only person that has ever done that."

When asked if he still smokes marijuana, Burfict replied: "No, of course not. I don't smoke anymore."

Burfict's production dipped to 69 tackles last season with five sacks and one interception after leading the team with 90 tackles as a sophomore to emerge as the Sun Devils' first defensive All-American since Baltimore Ravens Pro Bowl outside linebacker Terrell Suggs.

Burfict emphasized that he has turned things around since the combine and is eager to prove himself on and off the field. He also said he's down to 243 pounds after playing at roughly 260 pounds last season.

"What I've learned is that I'm a hard worker and I'm determined to finish what I started," said Burfict, whose recent workout regimen has included pushing cars and blocking sleds in addition to running and lifting weights. "My body has changed a lot over these last three months. I almost have a six-pack now. The team that drafts me will see that my work ethic isn't questionable at all. I realize how much I really want this for my life. If I could have changed anything when I was in college, I would have been eating healthier. Now, I'm eating fish, chicken, broccoli. My endurance is much better. I usually run a mile each morning.

"The team that picks me is going to get a leader on and off the field. I'm going to be a role model for the kids in the community. If teams pass on me, they're going to have to face me for the next 10 years. If they don't want me, they're going to miss out. I definitely feel like my best football is ahead of me."

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Vontaze Burfict
Ht: 6-3 Wt: 245 40: 5.09
Position: LB
Date of Birth: 09/24/1990
Class: Junior
College: Arizona State

2012 NFL Draft Rankings (full list):
Pos: MLB Pos Rank: #7 Pos Rating:

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