Months ago, after the college football season, two Arizona State Sun Devils seemed to have two very different paths to the NFL. Linebacker Vontaze Burfict was expected to be a first round pick and quarterback Brock Osweiler, who surprised many by even declaring for the draft, was expected to be a third day guy.
Then things started happening and the two expected paths to the draft changed.
Burfict essentially fell apart. He had a down year in 2011, but that wasn't the worst of it. He showed up at the NFL combine overweight, slow and weak. In his interviews, he blamed pretty much everyone else for his struggles.
At his Pro Day, the drills improved, but then recently, his name came up, along with teammate Jamaar Jarrett, as one of a few players that failed a drug test at the Combine.
If he gets drafted at all, it will be considered a huge victory.
Osweiler, on the other hand, saw his stock rise.
One of the funniest things about it was his height. At 6-8, the height he was listed as having at ASI, it was considered a detriment. But at the Combine, he measured 6-6 7/8. Magically, his stock rose.
He won over every single interview and press conference. He said all the right things. He controlled his environment by not participating in many of the Combine workouts.
In projections, he went from a third day guy to perhaps a dark horse first rounder.
In the end, he was drafted by the Denver Broncos in the second round with the 57th pick overall. Many consider it the perfect situation. He still has a lot to learn and will sit behind one of the smartest quarterbacks ever in Peyton Manning. His boss, John Elway, was one of the greatest ever and will mentor him.
As for Burfict? No one really knows. There is talent for sure, but he will likely go undrafted and will need the perfect mix of coaches and teammates to get him to develop.
Everyone thought that Burfict and Osweiler would take different paths to the NFL. But no one thought it would be this way that it would happen.