The Arizona Cardinals addressed needs at safety and tight end with their first two selections in the 2014 NFL Draft, and they decided to fill another in the third round Friday.
With the No. 84 pick, the Cardinals snagged defensive end Kareem Martin out of North Carolina.
Though with Arizona, he may be asked to play the Will linebacker.
“For us, the Will linebacker is really a defensive end,” Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians said. “The Sam, you’re just standing up and setting the edge of the defense, which he has good enough strength to do. I think he’s more comfortable with his hand in the dirt, but we’ll see how that goes.”
A three-year starter for the Tar Heels, Martin left Chapel Hill with 45.5 tackles for a loss, 19.5 sacks and four forced fumbles.
The 2013 All-ACC first teamer closed his career with a tremendous senior campaign, recording a career-high 11.5 sacks — good for third-best in the conference.
Martin becomes the second Tar Heel taken by the Cardinals in as many years, joining last year’s No. 7 overall pick Jonathan Cooper.
“He was a great offensive lineman,” Martin said of Cooper. “I got the best of him a few times, but he’s just so technically-sound that he was hard to beat on a consistent basis.”