Daryl Washington (Getty)
The Arizona Cardinals added two more players on Friday, addressing both the linebacker and wide receiver positions. Arizona selected TCU LB Daryl Washington, another prospect unexpected to drop as far as he did, and unheralded WR Andre Roberts from Citadel. Brad Wilbricht dissects each player’s abilities and analyzes the success of the Cardinals' day two activity.
The Arizona Cardinals stayed put during Round 1 of the draft but weren’t so content in Friday’s second round. The Cardinals traded up 11 spots, swapping second round picks with the New England Patriots while adding the 89th overall selection in the third round. After Tennessee DT Dan Williams fell to Arizona at pick No. 26, general manager Rod Graves addressed the other pressing area of need entering the draft at linebacker.
TCU LB Daryl Washington was the player the Cardinals targeting by moving up in large part because of his ability to both rush the passer and defend the run. Washington was overshadowed by a handful of other linebackers in the draft, but his skill-set rivals that of the players taken ahead of him. At one point during the offseason, Arizona was extremely vulnerable at the linebacker position, but the team has restocked and its depth is stronger than ever.
Washington was arguably the most productive player on the Horned Frogs’ top ranked defense in 2009. He totaled 109 tackles during his senior campaign while adding two sacks and three interceptions. Due to his effectiveness in the run game and his ability to drop back in coverage, Washington is expected to develop into an every down player at the NFL level. He patrolled the inside linebacker position during college and while Washington's projected to play on the outside, he could fill in on the interior if needed.
The Cardinals had the luxury of moving up in Round 2 thanks to the multiple third-round picks in their possession. Arizona acquired the 89th overall pick from the Baltimore Ravens in part of the package for WR Anquan Boldin. With the previous selection at pick No. 88, the Cardinals acquired another wideout to help fill the void left by the departed Boldin. Citadel WR Andre Roberts probably isn’t well known to Arizona fans at this point but he could be considered one of the more polished receivers in the draft.
Roberts was a FCS All-American performer and a finalist for the 2009 Walter Payton Award given to the nation’s top player in FCS. Over the course of his four-year career with the Bulldogs, Roberts accumulated 286 catches for 3,743 yards and 36 touchdowns. After an extremely productive stint in the collegiate ranks, Roberts carried momentum from an impressive Senior Bowl week to the NFL Combine where Roberts was a top performer in virtually every category.
Arizona enters Rounds 4-7 in a position to continue their philosophy of drafting the best player available. Help along the offensive line and in the secondary will likely be targets for the Cardinals’ front office as they hold three picks (123rd, 195th, 233rd overall) on the final day of the draft.
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