NFL Draft 2012: Is Vontaze Burfict A First Round Pick?

Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict was viewed as a rising player in the 2012 NFL Draft at one point in time, but that no longer appears to be the case. Several reports have come out recently that don't paint a very pretty picture of the linebacker.

Tony Pauline of SI.com reported that Burfict's work ethic is a concern for teams. He was "soft and out of shape" at pre-Combine training in January and has been dealing with a hamstring injury. Albert Breer of NFL Network reported that several personnel executives around the league have told him Burfict is not a first-rounder and one of them added that he's a "fake tough guy." Mike Mayock of NFL Network isn't impressed by Burfict either saying on Wednesday that he's "not a fan at all." Mayock also predicts he's not a first rounder.

It's always so hard to decipher reports around draft season when so much misinformation is flowing, but a number of draft experts agree -- Burfict's stock is falling. It's still early -- the NFL Combine is next week -- but it looks like Burfict is this year's case of the athletic freak who falls in the draft due to the broad stroke of "character problems."

Check out SB Nation's NFL draft blog, Mocking The Draft, for more on the 2012 NFL Draft.

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