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2012 NFL Combine: Vontaze Burfict, Bruce Irvin Among Players With Much On The Line

Mocking The Draft lists six players who have something to prove at this week's NFL Combine. At the top are wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Jeff Fuller, who aren't likely to be Steelers targets. But one player, inside linebacker Vontaze Burfict of Arizona State, is probably one Steelers fans will want to keep an eye on.

The most obvious player of being in need of a strong performance this week is Burfict. There may not have been a single positive thing said about Burfict in six months. If he's being talked about, it's questions about his effort, on-field intelligence and the shape he's in. While he won't quiet his critics this week, he could do enough to convince one team of drafting him highly.

Right. If the Steelers do pick a linebacker in the first round, it will probably be because Dont'a Hightower slipped to them. But Burfict has been connected to them in mock drafts before. He's probably more of a second-round pick now, but with a great combine, he could potentially begin to work his way back into the first round.

Mocking The Draft also lists West Virginia's Bruce Irvin as a player who needs a good combine, in that Irvin's draft stock will improve if he can show his strength.

Photographs by dizfunk used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.