ESPN Insider: Cardinals should draft Emmanuel Ogbah to fix biggest weakness
ESPN Insider’s Andrew Healy evaluated the biggest needs of the eight NFL contenders from a season ago, and it turns out the Arizona Cardinals stand alone as the only of those teams that needs to upgrade their pass rush.
That might be good news for Arizona when it comes to the 2016 NFL Draft, if only because there won’t be the need to jostle a few spots up in the draft order to leap over a team going after the same player.
Four of the eight contending teams that draft around the Cardinals, who pick 29th overall, need help along the offensive lines. None of the remaining three teams have the need for a pass rusher.
So how might the Cardinals address their biggest need?
Like many other mock drafts, Healy has Arizona selecting Oklahoma State’s Emmanuel Ogbah with its first-round draft pick.
For 2016, the Cardinals need to find a 3-4 outside linebacker who can get after the quarterback. Oklahoma State’s Ogbah would fit that bill and could be available late in the first round. Ogbah’s balanced production — 12.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hurries — projects well; big numbers across those categories are less likely to be a fluke than a big sack total by itself.
At the NFL Combine, the 6-foot-4, 275 pound Ogbah was second among defensive linemen in the 40-yard dash with a time of 4.63 seconds. He also recorded a 35.5-inch vertical jump and a broad jump of 10 feet, 1 inch.