Arizona Cardinals get positive reviews for selection of Haason Reddick
The Arizona Cardinals got their man.
Due to a run of offensive players ahead of them (eight in the first 12 picks), the Cardinals had the opportunity to snap up linebacker Haason Reddick with the 13th overall pick, and they jumped at the chance.
“We are elated with the addition of Haason Reddick,” Cardinals GM Steve Keim said Thursday night. “Certainly a guy that we were focused on from the beginning. One of the very best stories in this draft, when you talk about a guy who has overcome adversity and had a tremendous experience at Temple.”
It seems like Arizona’s front office wasn’t alone in being pleased with the pick. The Cardinals got very positive marks for their first-round draft pick from around the country.
The skinny: Haason Reddick is a very good linebacker and gives the Cardinals an infusion of youth at a position where they needed it. With the top receivers off the board, the Cardinals chose the best player available. Reddick can also be an effective pass rusher from outside or on inside blitzes.
The Cardinals are getting a football player’s football player in Reddick: a smart, physical athlete who can play any role asked of him. And of course, few teams are more creative about coming up with unique roles for defenders than the Cardinals, who need both an upgrade at pass-rusher and an injection of youth in the middle of their defense, not to mention a unique all-purpose player who can fit their 3-2-6 packages.
I love this kid. He can play inside, outside, blitz and he’s a tough kid. Love this pick.
Analysis: The Cardinals got value and filled a need in drafting Reddick, who could play the Kahlil Mack role in Arizona. He can play linebacker on early downs and rush the passer on passing downs. The Cardinals defense got better on draft night.
Of course. Thanks to their uses of guys like Tyrann Mathieu and Deonne Bucannon, the Cardinals have been as creative as any team in the league at finding spots for talented players. Now, they’ll do it again with Reddick, the college DE-turned-NFL linebacker (probably). The Cardinals’ linebacking corps now includes Reddick, Bucannon and Chandler Jones, meaning that that it will be as dynamic and athletic as just about any group in the league. There are some concerns about Reddick’s transition, but this is a good fit. Were the Cardinals caught off guard, though, by the early QB run? They certainly could have considered a quarterback or TE O.J. Howard here, to ensure their future on that side of the ball.
I didn’t see linebacker or defensive end as positions of extreme need for the Cardinals, but they landed the guy they thought highly of all draft without sacrificing assets. Reddick’s versatility will be fun in that Arizona defense, so bonus points for that.
It might not be an overly exciting pick but the Cardinals helped their defense. Reddick should be a solid contributor.
A speed player who can do a lot of things. Just a great athlete. Speed is important in the NFL. Could have gone higher than this but the Cardinals continue to build a solid defense.
Reddick had an outstanding senior season at Temple with 59 tackles, 9.5 sacks and one interception. He adds much-needed athleticism and youth to Arizona’s linebacker corps.
With the flurry of quarterbacks going in the first 12 picks, that left the Cardinals to go defense with Reddick, a player who can be moved around and do anything he’s asked. In that regard, he’s a perfect fit with Arizona’s defense. In sub packages he’ll rush the passer. In normal situations he’ll work inside. Reddick to go with Robert Nkemdiche, Chandler Jones, Deone Bucanon and Tyrann Mathieu? Scary stuff.
There were no quarterbacks left on the board at No. 13, so the Cardinals filled the biggest hole on their roster by taking Haason Reddick, who could play inside or outside linebacker.
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Reddick is versatile, and he gives the Cardinals another pass rusher in a division where he could rack up sacks with suspect offensive lines and some sack-prone QBs. The Cardinals might use him at inside linebacker to start off, and he can blitz from there too — the role Daryl Washington starred in before his suspension. Washington is back, so could the Cardinals find room for both on the field? Perhaps. But with Reddick, Chandler Jones and Markus Golden, the Cardinals are collecting defensive players who can stalk and close.
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