Since I Promised My Round 1 Preferred Selection

Harry

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I mentioned a name previously that was my early choice for the Cards’ first round pick. I backed off trumpeting him so as not to take away from the Cards’ playoff run. I usually don’t get this excited, this early, but I believe this player is undervalued by the majority of scouts, even though he was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. So let’s get into it. Sadly The Athletic’s new draft shows him going 26th.

The first question to ask is what is the Cards’ philosophy for this draft? With the clock ticking on Watt & Hopkins, they should be looking for immediate impact unlike recent selections. Depending on free agency they figure to need OL, WR & RB support. History says the OL is more likely helped by an early choice. I’m presuming they re-sign Ertz. Conner would be good too. A WR & RB could be taken in late rounds.

However, the real needs are on defense. I think they lose Jones to FA. Golden is a backup at this point at best. So they need an effective Edge, even with Watt back. They need an anchor tackle in the middle and a CB. I’m going Edge in round one. Jermaine Johnson is likely not in many first rounds. He should be and he’s a perfect fit for the Cards. FSU rushers have had a checkered history at best, so climbing the boards will be hard. He started out at GA where he recorded 6 sacks playing only 30 plays. He then entered the portal and landed at FSU.

At GA to get him on the field, they used him often at OLB. At FSU, he typically played DE. While there is only a little coverage tape, his athleticism should enable him to play there. In fact, I think he will be more effective at OLB, but he would be fine at DE if the Cards like him better there.

I can’t recall the last time I was so excited and confident about a player. When I start listing his attributes, you’ll think I’m exaggerating. I firmly believe 2 years from now he will be regarded as the top Edge in this draft class. Several will be taken before him. I believe he will prove out to be the more effective player. Let me make it clear from the start, one of his best aspects is he’s not just a situational rusher. He’s both willing and effective at defending the run. He’s strong, agile, hard to fake and a wrap up tackler. He’s ferocious when engaging and has a terrific motor. He’s good at shedding blocks and his agility gives him an above average tackle radius. He’s solid in space, staying calm and balanced, waiting for the runner to commit.

As a pass rusher he has it all. He has an explosive first step and exhibits great speed. He doesn’t show the normal bend we look for but he has unusually flexible ankles that let him achieve angles that are exceptional. He takes the most effective angle to the QB in almost every case. He’s very hard to block with one player. Forget about controlling him with a TE or RB; he has too broad a skill set. Against linemen he shows a good understanding of leverage. Ironically he has most every move in the book, but often simply let’s his athleticism dominate. If you watch enough tape you’ll see swim moves, spins, bull rushes, powerful punches and speed bends. He’ll need to learn to use these more often in the NFL. Still he shows more moves and better technique than any of the other top Edges. Last but certainly not least he has the closing burst so many rushers lack. You can see this with Golden who often threatens but fails to close the deal. Johnson gets sacks and creates turnovers. Finally all these traits will allow him to be terrific when stunting if they bring him up to the line. He seems to take coaching well and if he gets good coaching and effective defensive play design, he will be devastating.

I realize this seems so positive you’re probably thinking why isn’t this guy everybody’s number one. He does have a few issues beyond FSU, where the coaching was terrible. When playing DE, he can get tied up by big bodied defenders who are too large to handle with power. This is one reason I like him better at OLB. Give him more space and he sheds would be blockers more effectively. He’s very fast, running a 4.50 in high school (keep in mind he was lighter then). He won’t run that at the combine but he does scare me he might test too well and move up in the draft. In any case his speed and agility will allow him to take great angles when rushing from outside. It’s also possible he’ll start out a little over confident and will experience a learning curve. Finally his lack of pass cover experience may scare off some potential teams looking for an OLB. He looked okay at GA in coverage and has all the tools and the drive to be solid in this role as well.

I have included a link of highlights. I rarely do this as you can build a 5 minute reel on anyone. However, this one is useful as it shows speed, closing burst, power agility angle choice, bend and motor. Also note the ferocious, wrap up tackling. Finally it illustrates you can move him around to target specific weaknesses.

I think this guy will become a transcendent player capable of changing game results.

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juza76

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Yeah, thank u, maybe is better talking about some prospects
I like this guy seems fast quick and can sheed blocks
I woukd sign Reddick back and pair him with this guy
Speed is needed
But as we said, defense has many needs, but im skeptical about adding younf talents for Vance Joseph
 

slanidrac16

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Definitely seems like a great fit for us. Some of our guys will be let go. Jones, Kirk, Green to name a couple.
It might be early to talk about Free agents, however, how much of a fit would Cedric Wilson and Mike Glowinski be? I’ve read where Wilson is probably in the 6m range ( better than giving Kirk 10-12) it seems Glowinski would be an upgrade over any guard we have.
 

Crimson Warrior

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At least We agree that the Cardinals' EDGE group needs an infusion of talent, and I like they way opposing players kind of bounce off of this kid. He looks strong.

Jermaine Johnson. Will keep an eye on him.
 
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cardpa

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How many picks do the Cards have in this draft?
With the two trades, here are the draft picks that remain for the Cardinals:

  • Round 1
  • Round 2
  • Round 3
  • Round 6
  • Round 7
Based on early projections from this year’s free agency, the Cardinals are projected to receive three compensatory picks, including one in the fifth round.

If that holds true, the Cardinals will have picks in the first three rounds, one in the fifth and one in the sixth, and then three in the seventh rounds.
 

Russ Smith

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Harry is there any current or past pro player you would compare Johnson too?
 

DVontel

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Rounds 1,2,3,6 and 7. Projected to get 3 compensatory picks, one in 5th round.

I want DT Jordan Davis. I am being sick of getting gashed up the gut. This guy will eat two blockers on every single play.
Definitely would be a Steve Keim pick.


Draft the lowest valuable position on defense aka a NT that cannot play passing downs because he doesn’t have the athleticism or conditioning of a Vita Vea. Also add that he is coming from a LOADED defense so we really can’t tell how good he really is.

If Keim remains the GM, I’m fully expecting Jordan Davis to be the pick now.
 

ajcardfan

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Definitely would be a Steve Keim pick.


Draft the lowest valuable position on defense aka a NT that cannot play passing downs because he doesn’t have the athleticism or conditioning of a Vita Vea. Also add that he is coming from a LOADED defense so we really can’t tell how good he really is.

If Keim remains the GM, I’m fully expecting Jordan Davis to be the pick now.
Passing on Javon Kinlaw and Derrick Brown and drafting Rashard Lawrence and Leki Fotu didn't exactly pan out for stopping the run. Oh, yeah, and we picked Isaiah Simmons instead who got benched on run downs in the playoff game for Tanner Vallejo.
 
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AZman5103

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Love the pick Harry. I'm down.

Lets just hope hes around at 24, and we have a different person making picks.
 

Russ Smith

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Definitely would be a Steve Keim pick.


Draft the lowest valuable position on defense aka a NT that cannot play passing downs because he doesn’t have the athleticism or conditioning of a Vita Vea. Also add that he is coming from a LOADED defense so we really can’t tell how good he really is.

If Keim remains the GM, I’m fully expecting Jordan Davis to be the pick now.

if he's there at 24 you can make a good argument for him. Yes Georgia had a loaded defense but Davis did win the Outland and Bednarik awards for a reason.

the conditioning is a concern yes and he's not Vea but then who is there's a reason Vea went as high as he did, Davis would be going 12 picks later if we picked him, and in what is likely a weaker draft.

There are lots of guys we can use but many of them will be off the board, taking a guy who can improve a terrible run defense is certainly a defendable idea.

My guess is Davis won't be on the board when we pick.
 

dreamcastrocks

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Definitely would be a Steve Keim pick.


Draft the lowest valuable position on defense aka a NT that cannot play passing downs because he doesn’t have the athleticism or conditioning of a Vita Vea. Also add that he is coming from a LOADED defense so we really can’t tell how good he really is.

If Keim remains the GM, I’m fully expecting Jordan Davis to be the pick now.
Georgia intentionally took him out on 3rd down because his job was to stop the run on 1st and 2nd down. Saban came out publicly and admitted as such. Not because of conditioning.

Some sites have him rated as high as a top 10 prospect. Picking him up at 23 isn't exactly a reach.

Besides, not being able to play on 3rd down is pointless if the Cards can't stop the run on 1st and 2nd. In the past few weeks, teams aren't even GETTING to 3rd down against our defense.
 
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