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Arizona Cardinals’ Rookie Safety Deone Bucannon Impressive So Far

August 16th, 2014 at 6:01 AM
By Steve Smith

The Arizona Cardinals continue to improve one of the best secondaries in the NFL.

The signing of strong safety Deone Bucannon to a four-year contract in June was quite important for the Red Birds. He's been impressive so far in training camp and exhibition play. He'll get another chance to display his solid skills tonight in Minnesota when the Cards face the Vikings in preseason game number two.

Arizona's first round draft pick this year will have a big impact on the team's defensive backfield. He'll team with fellow safety Tyrann Mathieu and cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromarte to give the Red Birds a stout secondary.

Let's take a look at Bucannon's updated scouting profile via nfl.com:

Strengths The Washington State product has good length and overall size. Reads run and drops downhill quickly. Has an old-school mentality — likes contact and is a physical tackler (seeks to punish the ball carrier). Shows pop on contact. Covers kicks and has an ideal mentality for special teams. Productive four-year starter.

Weaknesses Struggles to recover from missteps and will not track anyone down from behind. Some tightness in his hips. Takes some inaccurate angles. Man-coverage limitations (struggles to mirror slot receivers). Can be overaggressive and miss tackles. Does not always arrive under control in space. Lacks discipline on the field and makes too many mental mistakes. Got shook in the hole for a 75-yard TD vs. Colorado State and gives up too many big plays with bad angles.

Bottom Line Good-sized, athletic, physical safety who stands out as a straight-line striker on tape and sets the tone. Has coverage limitations, but brings aggressiveness and intensity to carve a niche as a downhill box defender and core special-teams player. Must learn to become more assignment sound to maximize his potential. Has some similarities to Tampa Bay FS Dashon Goldson.

Bucannon's signing meant that all of Arizona's 2014 NFL Draft choices have been inked to rookie contracts.

His signing might be the most important one though.

No team wants to face this Arizona secondary right now.

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Tags: Arizona, Arizona Cardinals, Deone Bucannon, Football, NFL, Patrick Peterson

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