Though the Arizona Cardinals were thought to have wanted to find a successor to Carson Palmer with the No. 13 pick in the draft, their selection of linebacker Haason Reddick wasn’t the worst thing that could’ve happened.
Perhaps Reddick was who the Cardinals would have picked anyway, regardless of whether the top quarterback prospects had been on the board. Nobody knows for sure, but ESPN’s John Clayton said the Cardinals didn’t hurt themselves by talking about quarterbacks and enticing teams to snap the top passers before Arizona was on the clock.
“No, if anybody spoke too much, it was the Cleveland Browns trying to get out that they wanted Mitchell Trubisky,” Clayton said. “If you’re talking about at the 13th pick, I don’t know if it’s really one where it’s going to change the equation with them talking.”
Quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky of North Carolina, Deshaun Watson of Clemson and Patrick Mahomes of Texas Tech were all selected before the Cardinals made their first-round pick on Thursday night. Arizona went with Reddick over another top linebacker prospect, Alabama’s Reuben Foster, who fell to pick No. 31.
“Haason Reddick is a cleaner player,” Clayton said. “(He’s) a guy that we talked to, I asked him, ‘What was the committee when they first talked to you about coming in and going into the draft?’ and he said sixth round.”
Reddick’s rise up the draft boards was likely because of his work ethic at Temple, Clayton said.
So why did Reuben Foster — who was frequently linked to the Cardinals — fall?
“He’s a high-maintenance kind of guy,” Clayton said. “Now, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to be a great player, because I think the comparables to him are Thomas Davis of the Carolina Panthers and Bobby Wagner of the (Seattle Seahawks). But I think he does hang around sometimes with guys that aren’t the best. I think he can get through that.”
Foster reportedly got into an altercation with a hospital worker during the scouting combine, then later tested ‘dilute’ on his drug test, which is treated as a failed drug test.
“The diluted test didn’t help,” Clayton said. “So consequently, with that little ding on him, he fell. If he was going to fall that bad, he would have fallen into the second and even the third round. He didn’t help himself, but I think anybody that knows him or knows about him realizes that he can be a handful for a coach, but he can also be a handful for an offense because he’s such a great player.”
Either way, the Cardinals got a new defensive weapon in Reddick, who made 65 tackles and 22.5 tackles for loss at Temple in 2016, adding an interception, a forced fumble and three passes defensed.
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