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NFL Draft Recap: Arizona Cardinals Select DE Shaquille Riddick in Fifth Round

May 5th, 2015 at 4:48 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals aided their pass rushing corps by drafting defensive end Shaquille Riddick in the fifth round (158th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago, IL.

The University of West Virginia stands 6-feet-6 and weighs 242 pounds. He has good length and explosiveness and should compete well with second-round draft pick Markus Golden.

Let's take a look at his strengths and weaknesses. According to football scouts, his strengths are: Promising frame if he can add muscle through diet and weight lifting. Comes out of track stance low and with upfield burst. Able to make himself skinny and squeeze into creases for occasional disruptive play. Plays with a solid motor and will continue to pursue until whistle blows.

Scouts state that Riddick's weaknesses are: Tall, thin frame with skinny legs. Struggles to unlock from blocks once tackles get hands on him. Puts up good fight at point of attack, but not powerful enough to win. Failed to bring production with him in transition from Gardner-Webb to West Virginia. Lacks pass-rush talent to step into 3-4 outside-linebacker role and shows no ability to convert speed to power.

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2105 NFL Draft Recap: Arizona Cardinals Select Defensive Tackle Rodney Gunter in Fourth Round

May 4th, 2015 at 4:56 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals improved their depth on the defensive line by drafting defensive tackle Rodney Gunter in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago.

The Delaware State product is 6-foot-5 and weighs 305 pounds. He was a second-team All-MEAC selection in 2014, a first-team All-MEAC pick in 2013 and a second-team All-MEAC selection in 2012.

The Cards moved up seven spots to select Gunter, swapping places with the Browns in the fourth round and sending sixth and seventh-round picks to Cleveland to obtain him.

A productive player in college, some scouting services think Gunter can play both end and tackle. According to Delaware State web site, Gunter is a cousin of former Cardinals tight end D.C. Jefferson, a seventh round pick in 2013. Jefferson lasted one year with the team. Gunter played just one season in high school. As the oldest of three sons to a single mother, he worked as a dishwasher and waiter to make ends meet. His character traits are solid.

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NFL Draft Recap: Arizona Cardinals Select Running Back David Johnson in Third Round

May 3rd, 2015 at 6:10 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals filled a real need by drafting running back David Johnson in the third round (86th overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago, IL.

The Northern Iowa product is 6-foot-1 and weighs 224 pounds. He was selected as a first-team All-Missouri Valley Football Conference in both 2013 and 2014 and became first player in school history with three consecutive 1,000-yard seasons. Johnson forms a fine compliment to halfback Andre Ellington, who is more of a change of pace back overall.

Don't forget – the Red Birds finished next to last in the league in rushing last season so Johnson should provide an immediate boost to their anemic rushing attack. This was an important selection.

Football scouts state that Johnson's strengths are: Looks good on the hoof. Possesses a big body and falls forward for additional yards. Smooth pass-catcher out of the backfield and is a mismatch for linebackers. Has been a consistent weapon out of the backfield while in college. Uses an effective jump cut on inside runs to change direction and can string a couple of them together on the same run. Has good long speed when he gets into space. Has enough pop behind his pads to become a better finisher.

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2015 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals Pick Markus Golden in Second Round

May 2nd, 2015 at 6:23 AM
By Steve Smith

Day two of the 2015 NFL Draft in Chicago has come and gone and the Arizona Cardinals selected defensive end/outside linebacker Markus Golden of Missouri in the second round.

The Red Birds actually traded back three spots to nab Golden with the 58th overall pick. After strengthening their offensive line in Round One on Thursday with the selection of offensive tackle D.J. Humphries, the Cards aided their edge rushing ability with the selection of the golden Golden.

A native of St. Louis, MO, Golden registered 10 sacks for the Missouri Tigers in 2014 and added three forced fumbles and 20 tackles for losses.

Golden is 6-foot-3 and weighs 260 pounds. He was a second-team All-SEC player in 2014.

Football scouts state that Golden's strengths are: Very intense and plays with toughness and is a hard-nosed fighter. Turns effort switch on and it stays on. Can set and hold the edge against the run. Stays alive in pursuit and has extended motor down the field. Holds his ground at the point of attack. Shows good awareness and locates the ball quickly. Has strength in his hands. Heavy tackler.

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2015 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals Select D.J. Humphries in the First Round

May 1st, 2015 at 5:11 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals selected offensive tackle D.J. Humphries with their first round selection (24th overall) in the opening round of the 2015 NFL Draft last night at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, IL.

The University of Florida product is 6-foot-5 and weighs 307 pounds. Jared Veldheer is the left tackle and Humphries can start on the right side right away. Suddenly, the offensive line of the Red Birds is now a strength instead of a weakness.

Let's see what football scouts think of Humphries. They state that his strengths are: Nasty play demeanor with legitimate toughness to his game. Plays through and past the whistle. Stays cranky. Into it all game long vs. LSU's Danielle Hunter. Flexible hips and knees offer up leverage wins as run blocker. Gets down blocks secured and transitions quickly into second-level stalker with ability to mirror moving linebackers in space. As base-blocker, hustles feet into position and works to wall defender off. Has desired foot quickness combined with proper angles to be effective blocker on play side and back side on stretch plays. Gains good ground with kick slide and takes smart angles to cut off the edge. Rarely narrows base in run or pass game. Uses length to help cut off inside rush moves.

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