Gaining an Edge

Harry

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I got an email saying I never really rated the Edge Rushers. Jermaine Johnson is my top pick at Edge. I had hoped he would last until the Cards’ selection. He won’t. He blew up at the Senior Bowl and might have been the top pick of this group except he started the season so far below the top. Inertia will stop him from getting there.

Aidan Hutchinson likely secured the top spot of this group by helping Michigan crush OSU. At times he seems a little stiff to me, especially when they tried to use him in coverage. However as a pass rusher he’s a handful to block. He’s quick and powerful with surprising agility for his size when moving downhill. He has a solid motor and plays sideline to sideline. He needs to refine his game, adding rushing moves and tackling technique. Still he’s a sure thing to start immediately.

Kayvon Thibodeaux might be the best athlete of this group. He has excellent agility, but can get manhandled by blockers he can’t shed. He has strength but lacks technique. His speed and quickness allow him to avoid many defenders. He appears flexible enough to play at the line or in coverage. He’s a willing run defender who pursues until the whistle. Appears to let mind drift some, slowing reaction time. He still has some upside.

George Karlaftis likely stays at DE and could even play DT in a 4-3. He has a great motor that runs hot the entire game. He checks many pass rush boxes. He’s quick, fast and exceptionally strong. He’s very polished and has the moves that show he’s very coachable. He appears a little muscle bound at times and has trouble recovering from a misstep. He’s fine handling defending runners that challenge him, but less successful in pursuit. He lacks good tackling technique.

David Ojabo has the most quality experience in coverage at OLB. So teams looking for good balance will like his flexibility. He has unreal quickness when added to his agility, this gives him a jump on almost any blocker. He can sustain his speed in pursuit and unlike many in this group, he know how to tackle. He came late to the game so he lacks a bunch of moves and polish, which means he should have substantial upside.

Travon Walker is far from polished. He looks like someone new to the game, which makes me worry. He’s either hard to coach or not dedicated. That said, he has great instincts but is more a DE in my mind, though he could play DT in a 4-3. He played some in coverage, but looked awkward. He has the physique to be exactly the ideal build for the DE position. He’s strong, agile and hard to get leverage against. Despite all this I wouldn’t touch him, because he should be developed.

Cameron Thomas blew up his hamstring in Senior Bowl practice. I always worry about this though it is a common injury. He is a big, strong guy who brutalized blockers. He strictly a DE, but he offers a relentlessly pressing rusher. Unlike some in this group he’s very polished. He doesn’t have tons of upside but should be good enough not to need it. He has a nice closing burst when he nears a QB or runner. He should be at least an immediate, situational player.

Arnold Ebiketie moved from Temple to PSU and benefitted from the improved coaching. This also could indicate more upside is there. He’s a solid but not flashy athlete. He doesn’t excel as much as he is simply solid in every aspect. He still shows some experience gaps and thus takes himself out of plays.

Boyd Mafe is another under the radar EDGE, but proved at the Senior Bowl he is vastly underrated. He possess a very quick first step. He also does a fine job of shedding blockers. His agility allowed him to switch directions mid-rush. He showed numerous moves that enhanced his chances of getting home. While he played OLB at Minn., he looked solid with his hand on the ground at the Senior Bowl. I expect his early lower ranking will leave him in round 2. If some miracle left him on the board for the Cards’ round 2 pick, they should run the card in. He needs some polish but he could be a big time pass rusher.

The following players are likely Day 3 at least situational players who could contribute quickly and be useful on special teams.

Myjai Sanders displayed a great first step that gave him a leverage edge on the defenders he faced. He just started to master a few moves this season. He should continue to grow.

Kingsley Enagbare has a great wingspan that allows him to impact multiple plays others might not reach. He uses leverage well and has enough strength to move defenders attempting to impede him.

Jesse Luketa was unblockable at the Senior Bowl. He showed great speed, schooling guys like Daniel Faalele. He plays equally effectively rushing from the line or as a OLB. Some see him as an ILB in a 3-4.

Deangelo Malone will remind some of Raynoch Thompson. He’s too small to come up to the line but he offers good speed and quickness as a situational OLB pass rusher. Despite his size he was surprisingly successful at mixing it up physically, because of his ability to convert speed to power. He’s a fun guy to watch, a certified overachiever.

There are likely some others but these are the ones I saw enough of to judge.
 

Lomax to Green 84

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Harry, it’s interesting you liked Boyd Mafe. I only watched some clips of the Senior Bowl practices, but I too was really intrigued by him. Great first step for sure.
 

Cardsfaninlouky

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I got an email saying I never really rated the Edge Rushers. Jermaine Johnson is my top pick at Edge. I had hoped he would last until the Cards’ selection. He won’t. He blew up at the Senior Bowl and might have been the top pick of this group except he started the season so far below the top. Inertia will stop him from getting there.

Aidan Hutchinson likely secured the top spot of this group by helping Michigan crush OSU. At times he seems a little stiff to me, especially when they tried to use him in coverage. However as a pass rusher he’s a handful to block. He’s quick and powerful with surprising agility for his size when moving downhill. He has a solid motor and plays sideline to sideline. He needs to refine his game, adding rushing moves and tackling technique. Still he’s a sure thing to start immediately.

Kayvon Thibodeaux might be the best athlete of this group. He has excellent agility, but can get manhandled by blockers he can’t shed. He has strength but lacks technique. His speed and quickness allow him to avoid many defenders. He appears flexible enough to play at the line or in coverage. He’s a willing run defender who pursues until the whistle. Appears to let mind drift some, slowing reaction time. He still has some upside.

George Karlaftis likely stays at DE and could even play DT in a 4-3. He has a great motor that runs hot the entire game. He checks many pass rush boxes. He’s quick, fast and exceptionally strong. He’s very polished and has the moves that show he’s very coachable. He appears a little muscle bound at times and has trouble recovering from a misstep. He’s fine handling defending runners that challenge him, but less successful in pursuit. He lacks good tackling technique.

David Ojabo has the most quality experience in coverage at OLB. So teams looking for good balance will like his flexibility. He has unreal quickness when added to his agility, this gives him a jump on almost any blocker. He can sustain his speed in pursuit and unlike many in this group, he know how to tackle. He came late to the game so he lacks a bunch of moves and polish, which means he should have substantial upside.

Travon Walker is far from polished. He looks like someone new to the game, which makes me worry. He’s either hard to coach or not dedicated. That said, he has great instincts but is more a DE in my mind, though he could play DT in a 4-3. He played some in coverage, but looked awkward. He has the physique to be exactly the ideal build for the DE position. He’s strong, agile and hard to get leverage against. Despite all this I wouldn’t touch him, because he should be developed.

Cameron Thomas blew up his hamstring in Senior Bowl practice. I always worry about this though it is a common injury. He is a big, strong guy who brutalized blockers. He strictly a DE, but he offers a relentlessly pressing rusher. Unlike some in this group he’s very polished. He doesn’t have tons of upside but should be good enough not to need it. He has a nice closing burst when he nears a QB or runner. He should be at least an immediate, situational player.

Arnold Ebiketie moved from Temple to PSU and benefitted from the improved coaching. This also could indicate more upside is there. He’s a solid but not flashy athlete. He doesn’t excel as much as he is simply solid in every aspect. He still shows some experience gaps and thus takes himself out of plays.

Boyd Mafe is another under the radar EDGE, but proved at the Senior Bowl he is vastly underrated. He possess a very quick first step. He also does a fine job of shedding blockers. His agility allowed him to switch directions mid-rush. He showed numerous moves that enhanced his chances of getting home. While he played OLB at Minn., he looked solid with his hand on the ground at the Senior Bowl. I expect his early lower ranking will leave him in round 2. If some miracle left him on the board for the Cards’ round 2 pick, they should run the card in. He needs some polish but he could be a big time pass rusher.

The following players are likely Day 3 at least situational players who could contribute quickly and be useful on special teams.

Myjai Sanders displayed a great first step that gave him a leverage edge on the defenders he faced. He just started to master a few moves this season. He should continue to grow.

Kingsley Enagbare has a great wingspan that allows him to impact multiple plays others might not reach. He uses leverage well and has enough strength to move defenders attempting to impede him.

Jesse Luketa was unblockable at the Senior Bowl. He showed great speed, schooling guys like Daniel Faalele. He plays equally effectively rushing from the line or as a OLB. Some see him as an ILB in a 3-4.

Deangelo Malone will remind some of Raynoch Thompson. He’s too small to come up to the line but he offers good speed and quickness as a situational OLB pass rusher. Despite his size he was surprisingly successful at mixing it up physically, because of his ability to convert speed to power. He’s a fun guy to watch, a certified overachiever.

There are likely some others but these are the ones I saw enough of to judge.
You scouted Johnson well Harry & maybe a few people that do these mock drafts read this board lol? Ever since you started that one thread about him I've been seeing his name in many mock drafts getting taken way before we pick lol.
 

az jam

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Just wonder who would be there when the Cards pick and if they would reach for one as this will be a big need with Chandler most likely leaving in free agency.
 

overseascardfan

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I don't see Drake Jackson on the list.

For me, it would be between Drake Jackson & Ahmad Gardner if he is there at #23.
 
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Harry

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Sorry I know him but wasn’t impressed. He’s quick but not sustainably fast. He lacks strength and NFL level agility. As a pass rusher he didn’t impress me. He’s decent playing the run. He certainly could be there at 55. I‘d pass.
 
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Harry

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Just wonder who would be there when the Cards pick and if they would reach for one as this will be a big need with Chandler most likely leaving in free agency.
Tell you after the combine
 

JeffGollin

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Bottom line - We need to come out of the Draft with a CB we can trust, a pass rusher dangerous enough to scare opposing QBs and a #2 WR who will win at least half his jump ball battles. (This plus young players and journeymen who can be trusted should injuries force them into action).

To achieve all three objectives will require the Cardinals to hit home runs with each of its top 3 picks (tantamount to ”drawing from an inside straight”) which, in turn will take more than a little bit of luck.

It could happen, but the dice will need to roll in the right direction.
 

az jam

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Bottom line - We need to come out of the Draft with a CB we can trust, a pass rusher dangerous enough to scare opposing QBs and a #2 WR who will win at least half his jump ball battles. (This plus young players and journeymen who can be trusted should injuries force them into action).

To achieve all three objectives will require the Cardinals to hit home runs with each of its top 3 picks (tantamount to ”drawing from an inside straight”) which, in turn will take more than a little bit of luck.

It could happen, but the dice will need to roll in the right direction.
Totally agree that Edge rusher, WR and CB are our biggest needs in the first 3 rounds. There are some good ones that could be there when we pick.
 

az jam

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If they hit on 2 of 3 that would be considered successful.
Agree, I really like your write up on the top edgers. I'm just not sure if we should go WR or Edger at #23. I'm kind of leaning WR if one of the top 5 are there as teams like KC and Green Bay are going to go after WRs and the best ones could be gone by our 2nd round pick. However, if a top edge rusher is there at #23 it wold be hard to pass.
 
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Harry

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Agree, I really like your write up on the top edgers. I'm just not sure if we should go WR or Edger at #23. I'm kind of leaning WR if one of the top 5 are there as teams like KC and Green Bay are going to go after WRs and the best ones could be gone by our 2nd round pick. However, if a top edge rusher is there at #23 it wold be hard to pass.
If the Cards needed a number one WR I’d lean that way. However with Hopkins & Ertz I think the need an edge more. Sadly I’m expecting Edges to go quickly. So if one of the top receivers, I’m hoping Williams drops, I’d lean that way. If Olave and Williams are gone I might take a second level Edge like Karlaftis or Mafe. Of course if Ojabo is still on the board I’d have to take him.
 

juza76

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If the Cards needed a number one WR I’d lean that way. However with Hopkins & Ertz I think the need an edge more. Sadly I’m expecting Edges to go quickly. So if one of the top receivers, I’m hoping Williams drops, I’d lean that way. If Olave and Williams are gone I might take a second level Edge like Karlaftis or Mafe. Of course if Ojabo is still on the board I’d have to take him.
Offensive line help when?
 

az jam

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If the Cards needed a number one WR I’d lean that way. However with Hopkins & Ertz I think the need an edge more. Sadly I’m expecting Edges to go quickly. So if one of the top receivers, I’m hoping Williams drops, I’d lean that way. If Olave and Williams are gone I might take a second level Edge like Karlaftis or Mafe. Of course if Ojabo is still on the board I’d have to take him.
Yeah, the makes sense. I guess the real bottom line is that an edge is more important than a WR and harder to find a good one. The draft is a fun time of the year for draftniks like me.
 

JeffGollin

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I’m not totally sold on Humphrey as our LT starter. (penalties are unacceptable).

If a really talented OT was available at #23’ I’d be tempted
 

juza76

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LT at 23 are generally projects. Top LT go early
Right but we need a project tackle
Humphries is in a contract year
Beachum is old
I would trade down a bit in round 1, adding a third
Getting a guard in round 1, Kenyon Green, Zion
The Minnesota edge in round 2, Boye Mafe
Wr and tackle in the third
 

JeffGollin

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This is a weird year for LTs (The pool is unusually deep).

There may be a couple of Top 10 LT talents available at #23.
 

Finito

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the Captain started great but then like the entire team it all just went left

That really was one of the oddest years I’ve ever seen. Like two completely different teams
 

JeffGollin

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To what extent do adjustments made during a game flip the outcome of that game. And how good/bad are the Cardinals at making those adjustments? Are we underestimating adjustments as a critical factor in deciding games?

Just wondering.
 

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