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Red Birds NFL Draft Preview: Cyrus Kouandjio, Offensive Tackle

April 26th, 2014 at 6:27 AM
By Steve Smith

'nfl_logo_on_field' photo (c) 2012, NFL News Desk Admin - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
The 2014 NFL Draft is almost upon us now.

The Arizona Cardinals could certainly use some help along their offensive line. The Red Birds select 20th overall in next month's NFL Draft in New York City.

Let's take a look at a player that Arizona may select: offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio of the University of Alabama. Kouandjio is 6-foot-7 and weighs 322 pounds. Here is his updated scouting profile via cbssports.com:

STRENGTHS: Very light on his feet, flexible, has broad shoulders and his arms are both long and strong. His weight is evenly distributed over his frame and he reportedly has just 16 percent body fat, an impressive number for any offensive lineman. Quick off the snap and has the lateral agility to slide left to right. Kouandjio uses his athleticism in pass protection well but he's even more impressive as a run blocker, consistently out-quicking defenders to create lanes. Kouandjio relies on good placement, strong hands and an explosive jolt to turn and sustain defenders. Perhaps most impressive is that Kouandjio plays at different speeds well. He shows very good patience in pass protection but can fire off the ball when needed. He possesses exciting quickness and mobility when blocking on the move, traits Coach Nick Saban and his staff took advantage of by asking the LT to pull and lead RBs, on occasion.

WEAKNESSES: Choppy sliding into pass protection and has a tendency to drop his head upon contact, although he was significantly improved as his second season as a starter progressed in 2013. Excellent run blocker overall, although not a true mauler.

COMPARES TO: Tyron Smith, OT, Dallas Cowboys – Kouandjio's lean, muscular frame and superb athleticism will remind scouts of the former USC Trojan and now-Cowboys starting left tackle, and he has at least as impressive a skill-set as his former linemate D.J. Fluker, who the Chargers took 11th overall in 2013.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Cyrus Kouandjio, Football, NFL, Tyron Smith

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