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(AP Photo)
Ed Stinson stuck around Tuscaloosa, Ala. for four years as a member of coach Nick Saban's Crimson Tide, winning back-to-back BCS National Championships in 2011 and 2012.

The time he spent sticking around, waiting for his name to be called on Friday and Saturday, as the NFL Draft drudged on, must have been far less pleasant.

"It was surprising that I lasted this long," the defensive end told reporters via conference call after his fifth-round selection by general manager Steve Keim and the Arizona Cardinals.

Though starting 12 of Alabama's 13 games in his senior year -- and all 14 the season prior -- Stinson underwent surgery to repair the groin injury that plagued him for most of 2013. The Miami-Dade County product blamed that for his drop in draft stock when asked what might have cost him.

"The groin injury thing -- that's the only thing I can think of (hurting my stock)," Stinson said Saturday.

Fortunately, though, the lineman made a connection with Cardinals defensive line coach Brentson Buckner during his pro day.

And despite his plummet to the sixth round, Stinson -- who is considered to be an elite run stopper, though lacking noteworthy pass rushing prowess -- is expected to make an immediate impact by analysts, thanks to his experience in 3-4 defensive formation and his high football IQ.

Jules Tompkins,

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