I left our draft coverage from the Tilted Kilt dazed and confused last night (save your inane comments). I was bummed for a number of reasons and even my headlights driving home seemed dim.
OLBs Ryan Shazier and Anthony Barr were not there at #20 for the Cardinals. I thought for sure ONE of these two guys would be wearing Cardinal Red on Sundays, wreaking havoc in the NFC West. Shazier was drafted #15 by Pittsburgh and Barr was history, courtesy of the Minnesota Vikings at #9.
Plan B involved Darqueze Dennard, the press-man corner from Michigan State. I loved this kid. I thought the Cards were going to pull off the steal of the century by getting Dennard at #20! And then New Orleans called and Dennard was gone (after falling to Cincinnati at #25). But I had to applaud Cards GM, Steve Keim, for collecting top 100 picks in the deepest draft the league has seen in a decade.
And then, there was this: I believed the hype — despite knowing better. The only reason the Cards would trade back was because they were going to pick a QB at #27. I wanted an impact player, somebody that would make the Cards better right now…and we were going to get a Q that would most likely take years to reach his potential.
All of these thoughts filled my head and formed a confluence of confusion and anxiety. What is going on?
And then, the coup de grace: the Cards selected Deone Bucannon at #27, a hard hitting safety from WAZU.
I was melancholy to say the least. I’ve seen him play against ASU but other than that I was working off hearsay and what I’ve read. THAT made me very uncomfortable. And then, after scouring scouting reports, doing research while receiving film of Bucannon, the light pierced the darkness like the rising sun of Friday morning.
I feel much better about this pick. The trade with New Orleans was excellent and I’m warming to the pick of Bucannon. Collecting top 100 picks in this draft is a good thing, getting a safety that has length, size and a nasty disposition in this division is even better.
Now, he’s got to play, and we’ll all wait and see, but safety was a HUGE priority for a team that has Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson — especially a safety with size.
What I also love about Bucannon is this: He’s had a TON of experience at making the game personal! Do you know how many times he has stepped on the field and known in his heart the Cougs were probably NOT going to win the game? And he didn’t allow it to impact his game or his production. This kid was the leading tackler in the Pac-12 a year ago. He has been a tackle machine and yet has 15 career picks, including 6 last season, to go along with his brutal nature. It’s the reason why he was a 3-year Team Captain for WAZU and the reason why I believe even more in Steve Keim’s ability to evaluate and acquire talent.
Now it’s time to play, rookie.