ESPN’s Brock Huard: Arizona Cardinals safety Deone Bucannon ‘one nasty dude’

May 16, 2014, 2:33 AM | Updated: 2:33 am
LISTEN: Brock Huard, ESPN college football analyst

It’s not much of a secret at this point that Deone Bucannon, the Arizona Cardinals’ first-round pick in last week’s NFL Draft, is known as an imposing defender.

Listed at 6-foot-1 and almost 220 pounds, the safety drafted with the No. 27 overall pick out of Washington State brings a level of physicality and intimidation that the Cardinals’ secondary may have lacked last year.

Just ask ESPN college football analyst and Seattle radio host Brock Huard, who watched plenty of Bucannon’s career with the Cougars.

“What you’re getting is one nasty dude,” Huard told Burns & Gambo on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Thursday.

“You want to talk about some of the hardest hits in all of college football, put on Deone Bucannon’s reel. He’s one of those rare guys. Arizona is getting one heck of a tackler in the back end.”

Huard said that Bucannon is a perfect fit in the physical, run-heavy NFC West. The San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks ran the ball more than anyone else in the NFL, and Bucannon could fill a role missing from one of the league’s best defenses last year.

Huard added that Bucannon’s hitting style — he noted that Bucannon isn’t a headhunter, rather just a gifted hitter — should transition quickly to the NFL, which has placed an emphasis on regulating jarring hits in the past several years.

But while Bucannon offers a threatening defender over the middle, his coverage skills may need work.

“He’ll never be a guy you want on any kind of a slot receiver or a really good pass-catching tight end,” Huard said. “Washington State did the best they could to put him in favorable situations, and that was near the line.

“Cane he cover the deep third? Can he play a zone? Is he highly athletic? He is. But you try to cover one-on-one, that’s not going to be a strength.”

Still, Huard said that Bucannon has displayed the type of intangibles that teams look for when attempting to quantify a prospect’s ability to improve in areas of weakness.

“You talk about a high character guy through the bad and ugly,” Huard said of Bucannon’s career with some bad WSU teams. “He gave everything, and that’s not easy to do.

“To not be demoralized, to be there week-in and week-out, to be a captain, that speaks volumes. This guy loves to play football. He loves to play the game, and he loves to hurt people.”

Arizona Cardinals

Kyler Murray #1 and Justin Pugh #67 of the Arizona Cardinals react after a penalty during the secon...
Arizona Sports

ESPN: OL Justin Pugh is Arizona Cardinals’ most underrated player

ESPN posted a list made by Football Outsiders of every team's most underrated player, and Justin Pugh was selected to represent the Cardinals.
24 hours ago
Deebo Samuel #19 of the San Francisco 49ers runs with the ball during the game against the Los Ange...
Tyler Drake

NFC West offseason outlook: The San Francisco 49ers

The offseason has twisted and turned not only for the Cardinals but for the rest of the NFC West. A look at the current state of the 49ers:
24 hours ago
Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Corey Peters (98) walks out before an NFL game between the Arizo...
Nikash Nath

PFF’s Doug Kyed advises Arizona Cardinals to bring back DL Corey Peters

With the Cardinals' current roster construction, PFF's Doug Kyed believes Arizona should bring DL Corey Peters back once more in 2022.
3 days ago
Ohio State Buckeyes offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (77) protects his quarterback during the fi...
Sam Graveline

Cardinals take OT Paris Johnson Jr. in ESPN 2023 NFL mock draft

ESPN's Matt Miller thinks the Cardinals will beef up the offensive line in his first 2023 mock by selecting Ohio State OT Paris Johnson Jr.
5 days ago
Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury, right, and Byron Murphy Jr. (7) celebrate after an NFL foo...
Wills Rice

NFL.com’s Patra ranks Cardinals’ cornerbacks among weakest rooms in league

The Cardinals enter training camp with a few question marks personnel-wise on the defensive side of the ball, especially at cornerback.
6 days ago
Nick Scott #33 of the Los Angeles Rams tackles Zach Ertz #86 of the Arizona Cardinals after a recep...
Sam Graveline

PFF: Tight end shaping up to be biggest position battle for Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals head into training camp expecting to have healthy competition at a handful of positions, including at tight end.
7 days ago
ESPN’s Brock Huard: Arizona Cardinals safety Deone Bucannon ‘one nasty dude’