It took less than two full NFL seasons for Deone Bucannon to emerge as one of the most versatile and important members of the Arizona Cardinals’ defense.
A safety who plays linebacker, too, he leads the team in total tackles with 76 — 63 of which are solo — and also has two sacks.
The Cardinals are certainly happy with the player, whom they chose 27th overall in the 2014 NFL Draft out of Washington State. Yet, according to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, if every team got a do-over for that year’s draft, Bucannon wouldn’t even be a first round pick.
No, at 27 — the pick the Cardinals had after trading down from No. 20 — he has the Cardinals going with an offensive lineman who was actually taken 11th overall by the Tennessee Titans.
27. ARIZONA CARDINALS
Pick:Deone Bucannon, Washington State, S
Do-over:Taylor Lewan, Michigan, OT
Comment: Lewan has had some struggles in protection, but the Cardinals really needed a tackle before the 2014 season and Lewan has the potential to develop into a more consistent starter at either tackle spot in the future.
At the time, Lewan was viewed as one of the best offensive linemen in the draft and the Cardinals certainly had a need at the position. Furthermore, if he had actually been available when they were originally on the clock at 20, it’s likely they would have made him the pick.
Still, it seems odd that Bucannon was not even listed as a first-round pick, even when you consider how many non-first-round selections moved into the first 32 picks, thereby forcing some actual first-rounders into the second.
However, regardless of how things go, chances are the Cardinals would be just fine picking Bucannon again if given the opportunity.