The Arizona Cardinals got back to what many fans wanted them to do all draft, finding plug-and-play guys who can add depth to an already elite defense.
That’s what the pick of defensive end Ed Stinson from Alabama is — he’s a guy that can come in and compete on day one for rotational playing time, a player who has experience playing in a 3-4 defense, and another player with high character and a high football IQ.
What can the Cardinals expect?
Ed Stinson, DL Alabama
6-foot-3, 287 pounds
• Built like a pass-rushing defensive end in his upper body, is a chiseled, long-armed specimen with a thickly built bottom half.
• Plays with a strong anchor, drops his bottom and digs in and can be tough to move.
• Uses his long arms to lock out blockers, then disengage.
• Moves well laterally for his size, with the ability to engage, drop anchor, then disengage and move down the line and make plays in the run game.
• Isn’t a pass rusher, but his lower body strength and upper body length allows him to bull rush at times.
• Can be a dominant run stopping defensive end, with starter upside if he can maintain his health.
• Is not an elite athlete, but more of a pure run stopper who relies on a relentless motor.
• Despite his length, will offer very, very little in the passing game as a rusher.
• Also is hurt by not getting his arms up in the passing game, can be just a body too often against the pass.
• Has been a platoon guy throughout his career, even as a starter, can he be more than just a rotation player?
• Was winded against high pace offenses while at Alabama.
Stinson is the prototype rotational player for the Cardinals defense — really his fit is stellar in the run-heavy NFC West, where he can offer depth against the elite running teams in Seattle and San Francisco, and likely improved St. Louis.
While he is not a special athlete like Kareem Martin, he has some suddenness too his game when he is getting off blocks and in pursuit of the ball carrier, and his ability to drop anchor and hold up offensive linemen at the point of attack makes him a great fit.
If Stinson can improve his conditioning and learn to rush the passer in some way, he may have starter upside in his future.
If he doesn’t, he can still be an integral part of the Cardinals defensive line rotation, and offer them an elite trait, something that will garner him plenty of snaps in his career.