Tag Archives: Arizona Cardinals

2019 NFL Draft recap, pick-by-pick: NFC West

    Murray (No. 1 pictured) was often tasked with finding passing lanes behind a mammoth offensive line in school.

 

Arizona

Cardinals

Notable Picks: Two-time executive of the year Steve Keim let the draft come to the team patiently.  It is a big reason he picked up a center who we felt was one of the best overall players in the draft in Gaillard.  He may be able to battle for a backup spot.  Miles was an underrated athlete and collegiate left tackle with a legitimate six-inch punch.  The trade of 2018 first-round pick Josh Rosen to the Miami Dolphins netted the team its second round pick (62nd overall), UMass WR Andy Isabella, and a fifth-round pick in 2020.  Allen is a heck of a football player and may have to provide a presence as an interior pass rusher after the team didn't pick up a true outside rusher in the draft.
Round,

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Player School DN Big Board

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (1) Kyler Murray QB/

Oklahoma

17/1st Round Murray’s disciplined pocket approach is complemented by an ability to create once the pocket breaks down.  Whether or not the team did enough to address its offensive line is to debate, but it could be argued that its starting five is already in place.
2 (33) Byron

Murphy

CB/

Washington

24/2nd Round DraftNasty’s top-ranked corner has all of the tools to develop into a frontline starter. For this to be a value pick, he has to develop into at least an immediate starting nickel.
2 (62)

Acquired from Miami in the Josh Rosen trade

Andy

Isabella

WR/UMass 137/3rd Round For better or worse, Isabella’s name will always be associated with Josh Rosen’s in terms of who got the better end of the deal.  In an offense where slot wide receivers have had large degrees of success on fade routes from the slot, Isabella’s speed will put pressure on defenses. He has been inconsistent tracking the ball down the field.
3 (65) Zach Allen DE/Boston College 190/3rd Round Allen gets as many points for batting down footballs as he does putting the quarterback on the ground.  In school he notched 14 pass break-ups, but he also tallied 40.5 tackles for losses. He is a feisty defensive end who excels at playing to half a man. 
5 (139) Deionte Thompson S/Alabama 66/2nd Round Although he is somewhat of a shoulder-block tackler, the 195-pound Thompson rarely runs away from contact.  Injuries clouded his postseason and left scouts wondering about his durability. 
6 (174) KeeSean Johnson WR/Fresno State 175/3rd Round One of the draft’s best route runners, Johnson plays a game that doesn’t rely completely on long speed.  He is adept at changing his speeds to achieve separation at the top of routes.  His ball skills are above average.
6 (179) Lamont

Gaillard

OL/Georgia 51/2nd Round We were bullish on Gaillard’s stock and certainly ranked him higher than most teams.  We like the fact that the former four-star recruit has experience at both OG and OC.  He has finishing DNA as a football player.
7 (248) Joshua Miles OL/Morgan State 227/4th Round Not many 314-pounders notch 36-inch vertical jumps.  This is a mere additive for the former Morgan State left tackle.  He became the first player from the school drafted since Visanthe Shiancoe in 2003 and just the second since 1982.
7 (249) Michael Dogbe DL/Temple 235/4th Round Dogbe translates perfectly as a four-technique DE for the Cardinals and his quick, slippery nature could get him looks at a three-technique position in Bear fronts.  He can play a number of spots in obvious pass rush situations, but he is sound defending the run versus reach or angle blocks.
7 (254) Caleb Wilson TE/UCLA 207/4th Round Mr. Irrelevant has 4.56 speed but limited thump as a point of attack blocker.  He became more willing in this regard as a cross-blocker when at the fullback or U-off position, but he is at his best after the catch or when working the seams of the field.
Collier (No. 91 pictured) had 14.5 quarterback sacks and 20.5 tackles for losses in 42 career games.
Seattle Seahawks Notable Picks: Fair or unfair, this draft may very well come down to a comparison between the team’s first-round pick L.J. Collier and the departed Frank Clark (Chiefs).  It shouldn’t.  GM John Schneider used the trade to pick up a 2020 second-round pick, swapped a third-rounder in 2019, and then traded its own first-rounder (21st overall) to the Green Bay Packers for its 30th pick in the first round and then picked up the 114th overall pick (4th round) and 118th overall pick (4th round).  After that, the ‘Hawks traded the 30th overall pick in the first round to the New York Giants for the 37th overall pick (2nd Round), a fourth-round pick (132nd overall) and a fifth-rounder (142nd overall). They used that fifth-round pick to select Washington LB Ben Burr-Kirven. What did they do with the 37th overall pick?  They traded it to the Panthers to get the 47th overall pick (Marquise Blair) and the 77th overall pick (3rd Rounder).  They used their other draft capital to trade back up into the third round with the Vikings to select Barton 88th overall while receiving the 209th overall pick (Christmas). There were other trades and moves that allowed a team with limited selections to end up grabbing 11 players, but you get the point.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
1(29)  L.J. Collier DE/TCU 125/3rd Round Collier was always a flex player for the Horned Frogs, but he arguably turned in his best season in 2018.  His improved play defending the run complemented an improvement when it came to setting up his pass rush moves.  He had two sacks, two tackles for loss and a forced fumble in the 2019 Senior Bowl. 
2 (47) Marquise Blair S/Utah 58/2nd Round It would not at all be a surprise to see Blair employed as a potential cornerback.  We felt as if his fluidity could work at the position, much like the safety the Seahawks took a season ago in Tre Flowers.  Blair, however, is unique in his skill at translating speed-to-power on contact as a tackler.  Will his frame hold up with his violent playing style?
2 (64) D.K. Metcalf WR/Ole Miss 37/2nd Round Metcalf’s lack of production can be attributed to a lack of repetitions due to injuries, some of them fairly major in nature.  When healthy, the former Rebel has demonstrated range, power and tracking skill down the field.  Can he put it all together as a route runner?      
3 (88) Cody Barton LB/Utah 177/3rd Round Although Barton presents a tad bit of stiffness, he often corrects his angles of pursuit.  Barton projects as a Will linebacker.  The former high school DB has awareness in coverage and can contribute in sub-packages.
4 (120) Gary Jennings WR/West Virginia 116/3rd Round The Seahawks continue to load up on wideouts with the uncertain status of WR Doug Baldwin.  Jennings impressed outside the numbers in the postseason after winning for most of his career in the slot with toughness and 4.4 speed. 
4 (124) Phil Haynes OL/Wake Forest 165/3rd Round Haynes competed well at the guard spot after initially playing the right tackle position earlier in his career.  His length will serve him well as a backup at both guard spots initially, but he has starting potential.
4 (132) Ugo Amadi All-Purpose/Oregon 271/4th Round Amadi’s ability to return punts is supplemented with an ability to cover the slot, contribute off the hash and as an eighth man in the box. 
5 (142) Ben

Burr-Kirven

LB/

Washington

200/4th Round The former high school track & field runner was often a blur running by his teammates on his way to an FBS-best 176 tackles.  His segmented nature, however, does result in some misses in space.  The former Husky reads the eyes of the QB well in zone coverage. 
6 (204) Travis Homer RB/Miami (Fla.) 170/3rd Round The team values special teams production and it doesn’t get much better than Homer’s 22 career tackles.  In-between running down at the gunner spot or on kickoff coverage, Homer used his 4.4 speed to rush for over 900 yards in back-to-back seasons. 
6 (209)

Compensatory pick acquired via Minnesota

Demarcus Christmas DL/Florida State 254/4th Round There is still a place for Christmas on an NFL roster.  While most point to his lack of sack production, it is worth noting that he broke up 13 passes in his career. 
7 (236)

Acquired from Jacksonville via Baltimore

John Ursua WR/Hawaii 413/5th Round Ursua finished his career with 189 receptions and 24 TDs while averaging over 14 yards per catch.  He has been an effective slot receiver and could add a different element of quickness in the slot.  His injury history is a concern at just 178 pounds.
Bosa, pictured, did 29 reps at 225 pounds at the 2019 NFL Combine and recorded a 4.14 20-yard short shuttle.

 

San

Francisco 49ers

Notable Pick: Over the last three years GM John Lynch has put together a talented roster. His draft picks from this year continue to indicate he is intent on building it through the draft.  Samuel and Bosa are the headliners, but both have extensive injury histories. They need to stay healthy.  If he has as much success with his 2019 third round pick (Hurd) as he had with his 2018 selection (Fred Warner), this draft could land high marks in a couple of years.
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‘Nasty’ Take:
1 (2) Nick Bosa Ohio State 3/1st Round Bosa has all of the tools to become a potent bookend at the DE spot opposite Dee Ford.  We think he will provide matchup problems if aligned on the left side versus the tackles of the Rams, Seahawks and Cardinals. Can he stay healthy?
2 (36) Deebo Samuel All-Purpose/

South

Carolina

69/2nd Round In 30 career games, Samuel scored 32 touchdowns.  There was a marked difference when we viewed him early in the season as opposed to the postseason (due to past injury issues).  He has had injury scrapes in each of his seasons on campus.  If not, he may have been a Top 15 pick. 
3 (67) Jalen Hurd WR/Baylor, Tennessee 97/3rd Round Hurd could have made an impact at the 2019 Senior Bowl, but was unable to participate due to injury. After starring as a running back early in his career at Tennessee, he impressed with his work in the slot at Baylor in 2018.  The big question he faces is whether he can be as effective outside the numbers.
4 (110)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Mitch

Wishnowsky

P/Utah 451/5th Round Wishnowsky has a wide repertoire of punts.  From the running rugby-style (which he won’t use) version, he’s executed the now popular hook punt.  We think he can perfect this and some of his other punts from a traditional punting platform, which he executed from on occasion with success.  His highest hang times got up into the high 4-second range, but he was generally capable in the 4.6-range depending on the style of kick. He can also kickoff.
5 (148)

Acquired from Denver

Dre

Greenlaw

LB/Arkansas 186/3rd Round The operative thinking is that Greenlaw will just provide depth as a fourth or fifth LB who could see time in sub-packages.  However, we think he could challenge Malcolm Smith in due time.
6 (176) Kaden Smith TE/Stanford 241/4th Round Smith was one of the best tight ends in this year’s draft at making contested catches on seam passes.  If he can overcome his pedestrian speed to earn a roster spot, he could allow Kyle Shanahan to incorporate some two tight end receiving sets.
6 (183)

Acquired from Cincinnati

Justin Skule OT/Vanderbilt 389/5th Round Skule will have every opportunity to grab the third tackle spot behind Staley and McGlinchey.  He’s probably best suited to backup McGlinchey, who he is nearly identical to in terms of size and quickness.  He played LT as a senior at Vanderbilt, but he did start at RT in school. 
6 (198)

Acquired from Cincinnati via Dallas

Tim Harris CB/Virginia 226/4th Round Harris is a developmental draft pick in the mold of former third-rounders Tarvarius Moore and Ahkeilo Witherspoon.  Moore started two games in 2018 and Witherspoon has quietly started 21 games in two seasons. Harris’ durability question marks overshadowed 4.4 speed and decent foot quickness.

 

Henderson (No. 8 pictured) averaged 8.9 yards per carry for the Tigers in 2018 and scored 25 touchdowns.

 

Los Angeles Rams Notable Picks: Despite not having a first-round pick, many would argue that the Rams got better value than each of their picks in the first three rounds.  We had Rapp ranked lower than some teams and Long earned a second-round grade from us.  Grabbing Gaines in the third round had to feel like a coup for the team.  The pick of Scott in the seventh round was the classic ode to special teams coordinator John Fassel, a future NFL head coach.  Scott was Penn State’s best special teams player in each of the last two seasons.
Round,

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‘Nasty’ Take:
2 (61) Taylor Rapp S/

Washington

94/3rd Round Rapp had a chance to go even higher had he put together a better 40-yard dash time (4.7), but he excelled in short area change of direction drills (3.99 20-yd SS, 6.82 3-cone).  On the field, he is a player who carries his pads.  He needs a lot of work timing his breaks when working off the hash marks.
3 (70) Darrell

Henderson

RB/

Memphis

154/3rd Round We spotlighted the explosive Henderson early in the year when he was averaging an insane amount of yards per carry.  In years past, the Rams have had bigger runners backing up Todd Gurley but this is a departure from that philosophy.  Henderson is an underrated receiver out of the backfield (15.5 YPR in 2018).
3 (79) David Long CB/Michigan 79/2nd Round The former high school wideout and U.S. Army All-American displays outstanding competitiveness in man coverage. He didn’t play quite as big as he measured in at during the postseason, but his flexibility is above average.
4 (134)

Acquired from New England

Greg Gaines DT/

Washington

106/3rd Round The nimble Gaines can translate speed-to-power when pushing the pocket and is underrated as a two-gapping force.  Gaines has even stood up to rush from the edge.
5 (169) David

Edwards

OT/

Wisconsin

288/4th Round Edwards has some technique flaws but his hip flexibility and footwork are both adequate.  The light-footed former TE battled through injury in 2018.  He needs to play lower to earn a roster spot.
7 (243) Nick Scott S/Penn State 438/5th Round The pick of Scott in the seventh round was the classic ode to special teams coordinator John Fassel, a future NFL head coach.  Scott was Penn State’s best special teams player in each of the last two seasons.  In 2018, he began to find another gear in pass coverage as well. 
7 (251) Dakota Allen LB/Texas Tech 218/4th Round Allen trusts his eyes and delivers on contact at a violent clip. The two-time team captain overcame off the field troubles to become one of the Red Raiders team leaders. His short area change of direction rivals that of many of the class’ top defensive backs.

Related Images:

Sam Beal CB Western Michigan

1 Sam Beal 6’1 178 CB-Junior

 What makes this player NASTY…(Strengths): Long. Plays fast. He’s shown outstanding effort in cross-field pursuit (ran down Holsey, 1st play, FF, Buffalo ’17). Excellent body control. Nearly tipped a fade to himself along the sidelines with a high-wire act vs. USC in 2017.   In his bail techniques, he closes out of his zone turns to break downhill. Uses a positive look-and-lean technique in man coverage down the field (press-man). Turns his head to find the ball with his back to the QB.

Weaknesses: Ruled academically ineligible for the 2018 season due to a shortage of credits.   Missed three games as a junior in high school due to a knee injury. A hamstring injury caused him to miss the state finals in track & field as a high school junior. Missed the second half of the Buffalo game and the Akron game in 2017.  Needs to continue to fill out his frame.  He missed some tackles vs. USC in 2017 due to inadequate play strength.  Stands up when breaking forward out of his breaks.

 Other Notes:

  • Attended Ottawa Hills HS (Mich.) and was a four-time All-American in track & field
  • Ran a 10.63 100-meters in the semifinals of the 2013 MHSAA State track & field championships and finished 3rd in the 100-meter finals (10.86)
  • 2015: 15 tackles, PBU
  • 2016: 55 tackles, 8 PBUs
  • 2017 (2nd Team All-MAC): 26 tackles, 3 TFLs, FF, 2 INTs and 10 PBUs
  • 2018 Western Michigan Pro Day: 4.48 40-yd, 10’6” BJ, 37” VJ, 4.09 20-yd SS, 7.1 3-cone

 Time to get NASTY (Our Summary): Beal’s idol is Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson. While not as gifted, he does have similar confidence finding the ball down the field in man-to-man coverage. Despite satisfactory effort running to the ball, he’s been ordinary at times getting off of blocks. In addition, he’s been hit-or-miss as a tackler. The former high school track standout has also endured his share of durability hiccups dating back to his prep level playing career. There is not question, however, that he has starting potential as a press-bail corner at the next level. If he can clean up his off-man technique, it will complement his consistent bump-and-run technique. While there are questions surrounding his inability to stay eligible, the Western Michigan coaches gave him high marks when it came to work ethic and consistency. He is a player that will get consideration in the 2018 NFL Supplemental Draft as a potential second-round option.

 

 

Q&A with former Michigan OL Mason Cole: ‘Stone Cole’

Cole (No. 52 pictured at LT in the 2015 Buffalo Wild Wings Florida Citrus Bowl) started 51 games for the Wolverines. He was the first true freshman to start on the offensive line in Michigan history.

‘Stone Cole’

DN: You’ve been playing a lot of left tackle this year (2017) and you’ve moved around a little bit all over the place while in school. How has it been getting back to that natural position (center during 2018 Senior Bowl) or a position that at least you’ve had some reps at before?

Cole: Yeah. It felt good. Obviously, at the next level I’ll play wherever I’m needed. But it felt good to be back at center. Something new again, but not really. It just felt good.

DN: In terms of some of your teammates that last year that went through the experience. You had so many of them that actually played down here. How many of those guys have you talked to about some of the thing that they had gone through in the pre-draft process?

Cole: Yeah, almost all of them. Just trying to gather as much intel as possible about this whole process. And they’ve all been helpful. It’s been really good for me to reach out to them and them be really helpful for me.

DN: What was one game you’d want an NFL scout to take a look at in your career?

Cole: I think any of the games against Ohio State.   They’ve had a great defensive line the whole four years I’ve been there. Florida State had a great D-line when we played them last year (2016 Orange Bowl). And Florida both years. Anytime you go against a good defense you’d like to have a scout watch that and see what you do against higher-level talent.

DN: What would you say is your biggest strength and maybe the one thing you want to work on too?

Cole: Strengths. Just being versatile. Like I said, I think I can play wherever the team needs me on the line. My weakness. Probably just need to get stronger overall.

DN: Thanks a lot for your time.

Cole: Thank you.

----DN Staff reports, 2018 Reese's Senior Bowl practices, Day 3

UPDATE: Cole was drafted with the 97th pick of the third round by the Arizona Cardinals in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Former Cincinnati OL Cunningham hungry for enjoyment

Former Cincinnati Bearcats offensive tackle Korey Cunningham is an example that hard work pays off.  It’s not often that you find a former 220-pound tight end blossom into a 315-pound all-conference tackle in just a four-year period. The transformation landed him a berth in the 2018 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, where he performed admirably at guard on game day.  He described the arduous weight-gaining process late in 2017.

“I would have protein shakes and chipotle three times a day,” the second-team All-AAC tackle explained during a pregame meeting with CBS in late November 2017. “Then I would do extra workouts at night.”

Former Cincinnati offensive lineman Korey Cunningham, pictured, morphed from a 220-pound tight end into a 312-pound offensive tackle.

Aside from the Chipotle visits, he also had lots of white rice and brown rice to get up to around 2,100 calories per day.  It speaks to his commitment. On the field, his improvements have been just as dramatic. He became more sudden in his kick-slide and it resulted in better finish as a pass protector. Never was this more evident than on a few occasions against 2016 AAC Defensive Player of the Year Shaquem Griffin during their 2017 battle.  Perhaps more telling was his 2016 encounter with former Temple star outside linebacker and 2017 Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Haason Reddick.

“After the game against Reddick, I gained a lot of confidence,” Cunningham stated. “I’m just staying positive, enjoying the moment and having a good time.”

Positivity.  Enjoyment.

Words that resonate on a day-to-day basis.

It is no surprise that he earned Cincinnati’s Jim Kelly Spirit Award at the postseason senior awards banquet.

If his work ethic is any indication, he could very well ‘enjoy’ the 2018 NFL Draft.

Related Images: