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Arizona Cardinals

Updated Apr 30, 2012 - 4:20 pm

Cardinals draft Justin Bethel from Presbyterian at 177

Associated Press

The Arizona Cardinals selected cornerback Justin Bethel from Presbyterian with the 177th pick overall Saturday.

Bethel started four years for Presbyterian and is an effective pass and run defender. He possess good size and athleticism and has been deemed a strong physical presence working on the line of scrimmage.

The 6'0", 200-pound defensive back was considered a sleeper in this year's draft. Bethel is explosive making plays down the field and his versatility allows him to play safety or contribute on special teams. The Cardinals are listing Bethel as a safety but will use him in a variety of different roles.

He is considered to be a true gamer and should blend well in the Cardinals defensive scheme. Bethel is the second defensive back taken by the Cardinals in this year's draft.

Bethel thrived in his senior season and compiled 87 tackles, a sack and had four interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. His quickness contributed to punt and field- goal blocks, as well.

The Big South Conference Defensive Player of the Year opened eyes at the NFL Combine when he showcased his jaw-dropping leaping skills. Bethel recorded a 39.5-inch vertical leap, which was fifth best overall.

Bethel is the first Presbyterian player drafted since 1969.


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