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2013 Arizona Cardinals Draft Analysis: Earl Watford

February 14th, 2014 at 5:23 AM
By Steve Smith

'AZ Cardinals Team Logo' photo (c) 2008, J Lian - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
It's time to look back at the Arizona Cardinals' 2013 NFL Draft with the NFL Scouting Combine coming up.

Guard Earl Watford made it through his rookie season with the Cards..

The Red Birds tabbed the James Madison University product with their second fourth round selection. The 6-4, 300-pounder has added quality depth across Arizona's improved offensive line.

Let's take an updated look at Watford's player profile via nfl.com:

Strengths Strong, athletically built interior player. Solid anchor in pass protection, plays with a wide base and has the feet to mirror his opponent. Packs a strong punch to knock back his man, but also takes a strong punch and holds his ground. Comes out of his stance quickly in the run game, uses strong hands and powerful extension to move opponents out of the hole and churns his feet to pancake defensive linemen when crashing down the line. Effective zone blocker because of his mobility and strength. Agile enough to move his feet to get the backside angle while engaged. Mobile behind the line of scrimmage, and displays the straight-line speed to reach targets and fits onto blocks near the line and at the second level. Will hit multiple targets in the open field. Solid in his cut blocks, makes it hard for tackles to recover. Solid anchor on special teams units. Plays with a nasty streak; brings any fight back to his opponent, and then some. Also hustles downfield to help running backs get an extra yard and is willing to clean up piles.

Weaknesses Good first NFL season. Played most games against a lower level of competition in college. Must continue to build strength in his base in order to consistently anchor against NFL defenders. Plays a bit tall, needs to sit down in his stance consistently and keep his natural bend to maintain leverage. Also needs to prove to scouts his agility is sufficient to adjust to quicker pro defenders in space.

NFL Comparison Jacob Bell.

Bottom Line Nice potential. Ones quick feet, agility, and willingness to punish opponents will carry weight with scouts and coaches while his somewhat lean frame continues to fill out.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Earl Watford, Football, Jacob Bell, NFL

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