2013 NFL Draft Picks By Team: Cardinals
University of North Carolina offensive guard Jonathan Cooper is a very reliable interior presence with few shortcomings to his game. His unique blend of athleticism and strength have pushed him into consideration for a first round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Cooper has been a four-year starter at left guard for the Tar Heels. Only missed a handful of games in his career. Cooper is a very proficient pass blocker and uses his hands extremely well. Although he only has average height and size, he can hold his own against bigger or stronger tackles. He will likely need to continue adding power to his game as he transitions into the NFL.
He possesses above-average quickness and gets into position immediately. Aforementioned size limits his ability to truly dominate inside, but he plays with a chip on his shoulder and refuses to be pushed around. He smoothly pulls out into open space and shows nice balance moving around the trenches.
At the next level, he'll need to adapt his ability to adjust to more complicated defensive schemes. Cooper will be asked to be more mindful of audibles, stunts, twists, etc. Some teams are looking at him at center, which may negatively effect his ... [Read More
LSU linebacker Kevin Minter is a slightly undersized prospect who plays at a high level when flowing downhill to the football.
Minter is great at the point of attack. He hits hard and gets after the ball-carrier with decisive steps and very little wasted motion. He can track the football well in high traffic and should be able to contribute heavily as a two-down linebacker. This leads to one issue, which is that he may not be immediately ready to play all three downs as he has a long way to go in coverage.
The 6'2" inside linebacker can take on blockers well and is powerful enough to break free from them. He is an adequate blitzer, but lacks quickness or suddenness when coming through the line. Straight line speed and his ability to work sideline to sideline are both adequate. A very intelligent football player who simply has a knack for the game.
In coverage, he is tight in his hips and can sometimes get turned around by a shiftier player. Height is a small concern, and he may be measured slightly below his listed height during evaluations.
Minter projects as a second round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.... [Read More
Former LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu is a highly instinctive player who must overcome tremendous, self-made obstacles to have a legitimate shot at the next level. He did have a tremendous 2011 season and it shouldn't be forgotten what he can become if he is able to get his off-field issues under control.
Mathieu is undersized, but makes up for it with elite ball skills and reactions in coverage. Very raw in his technique and must learn to play on assignment. Far too aggressive at times. Reads and shows quick-twitch reactions when breaking on the football. Footwork is a liability and relies too much on his athleticism to make up for small mistakes. Average speed for the position. A willing tackler who can weave his way through traffic. Plays bigger and hits harder than his size would indicate. Must improve overall strength after only posting four bench press reps at the combine.
Too high in his backpedal. Great in short zone coverages. Breaks on the ball at an elite level. Bites on too many double moves and plays a high risk/reward brand of football. Big play ability with the ball in his hands. Showed flashes of talent as a kick returner.
Mathieu is projected to go in the f... [Read More
Texas Longhorns defensive end Alex Okafor had another great season as a pass rusher. After deciding to remain in school for his senior season, he enters the 2013 as one many intriguing defensive line prospects.
He gets off the line with solid quickness and his measurables are above-average. Uses hands well to engage blockers and with a good jump-off, can push his way into the backfield. Shows some inconsistency with pad level and must stay lower. Not a great run defender, but can hold his own and stay on assignment.
Okafor has the ideal size to contribute in many ways as either a 3-4 OLB or 4-3 DE. Has some experience at DT, which could be a factor later in his career assuming he continues to bulk up. Not fluid enough to play much coverage.
Good strength through his trunk and can hold his ground. Pretty good changing direction and lateral agility is deceptive. Has a nice array of pass rush moves already at his disposal.
Okafor projects as a late-second to third round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.... [Read More
Every year, a couple players from the Colonial Athletic Association earn a spot on a NFL roster. James Madison Dukes offensive lineman Earl Watford has all the physical tools and will need to prove his can play up to the speed of the NFL.
Watford played very well at the East-West Shrine Bowl, which really put him on the map as a potential draft pick. Athletic build. Will transition to the interior. Explodes off the line and showed his best tape as a drive-blocker. Sloppy footwork when zone blocking. Will sometimes get too high when run blocking. Leverage is inconsistent and will try to manhandle guys rather than playing with fundamentals every down. Usually does a good job to not lunge or reach. Lateral movement is satisfactory.
Played against lower competition in the CAA. Awareness is lacking when defensive lines twist and stunt. Must keep head on a swivel. Shows great motor on one drive and then will disappear the next. Will need to stay hot all game and not take plays off. When playing full-tilt, he really gets after guys to the whistle.... [Read More
Stanford back Stepfan Taylor is a solid, durable prospect with a solid all-around game. While lacking elite speed, he has noticeable agility and can contribute as rotational, change-of-page immediately.
Taylor has quick feet and can make defenders miss with lateral movement. Has enough power to churn his legs and fight for additional yards. Can break arm tackles. Displayed above-average patience and followed his blockers well. Falls forward to gain that extra yard. Adequate in short yardage situations and can get low to drive forward. When planting his foot for a cutback, he lacks that ideal snap and explosion to hit the hole. Will often get tackled too easy from the side.
Lacks a second gear. Runs with tenacity and can deliver a nice stiff arm. A true north-south runner that won't take the easy path out of bounds. Good hands as a receiver. Not explosive with the ball in his hands. Solid pass protection for a college player and will continue to get better.
Taylor is a fourth to fifth round prospect in the 2013 NFL Draft.... [Read More
Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope is a solid prospect that projects as a slightly undersized No. 2 option or slot receiver at the next level. After recording great times at the Scouting Combine, he could be among the first ten receivers selected in the NFL Draft.
Swope has adequate size and long arms. Straight line speed is elite. Good footwork after the catch. Above-average hands. Shows a willingness and toughness to work the middle of the field. Could be a great fit in a West Coast style offense where he can work short to intermediate routes. Does a really nice job with ball security despite taking some big hits between the hashes. Used at multiple positions by the Aggies.
Great toughness. Will not back down from press coverage and is able to get a decent release more often than not. Plays bigger than his size. Fearless player. Appears to be underrated by some during evaluations. Good first step and acceleration.
Swope projects as a late-second to third round selection in the 2013 NFL Draft.... [Read More
Clemson back Andre Ellington possesses excellent speed, but will need to overcome a history of injuries to have a long career in the NFL.
Ellington is undersized, but makes the most of it with near-elite agility and top-end speed. Should have no trouble running close to a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. Doesn't have a ton of moves in the open field. He prefers to find a crease and hit it hard. Missed a lot of practice and a fair number of games in his collegiate career.
Not afraid of contact. Too often tries to find the outside to break off a big play. Goes against the grain too much. Must learn to fall forward and take what he is given more often. Must work on lower body strength, especially churning his legs after first contact. Should have no trouble also contributing as a receiver. Ball security is a fair concern and must learn to carry the ball in the outside arm every time.
Big-play ability is very real. Acceleration is close to excellent. Doesn't exercise much patience with blockers and will occasionally run into their backs or simply fly by them if he can. Average in pass protection.
Ellington projects as a third round pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.... [Read More
Rutgers Scarlet Knights tight end D.C. Jefferson began his career as a quarterback prospect and has limited experience at his new position. An injury at the bench press prematurely ended his workout at the NFL Scouting Combine. Above-average athlete with length. Has a lot to learn and is a purely developmental prospect. Will need to contribute on special teams to keep roster spot. A lot of questions about his hands due to limited tape. Ideal height and should continue to improve his blocking because of his above-average quickness and core strength. Maintaining good pad level is the key due to his long legs.... [Read More