Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
This year's draft is peculiar in that most people would rather pick 20th than 13th. The problem, as I understand it, is that after the obvious blue chip prospects, there is an enormous group of upper tier talent that may or may not be worth a pick in the lower teens. The negative and, frankly, unrealistic draftniks who hold this opinion will ridicule every potential pick. "Don't take insert player name here," they say, "just trade back. We can get a dozen 2nd round picks and still pick the same player!" Personally, I choose to see the middle of round one as an oasis, not a desert, with a surplus of great options.
Remember that time when Carson Palmer looked like an MVP candidate? When the Cardinals went 13-3, won the NFC West, and beat the Packers in the playoffs? Neither do I.
The Arizona Cardinals of 2016 looked nothing like their 2015 counterparts. Their offensive line was poor in pass protection, even with former Dream Team member Evan Mathis. Meanwhile, 64-year-old Larry Fitzgerald was the only Cardinals wideout who was consistently on the same page with choke artist quarterback, Carson Palmer. The once-renowned defense was also a shadow of its former self that has only gotten worse in the offseason with the departures of Calais Campbell, Kevin Minter, and Tony Jefferson. The team still has top-shelf talents in perennial pro-bowler Patrick Peterson (say that five times fast), hybrid safety Tyrann Mathieu, Belichick castoff Chandler Jones, and young linebacker Markus Golden, but they are not the dominant unit they once were.
So we've established that the Cardinals have needs all over the depth chart, which makes this pick difficult to narrow down, but nearly impossible to screw up. I'll spare you the details of my lengthy deliberation, and just get on to the pick: Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.
Haason Reddick: The Prospect
Reddick is an incredibly gifted athlete. He ran a 4.52 forty-yard dash at the combine. He also had a broad jump of 133", and a vertical jump of 36.5", which were among the best at his position group. Reddick is a little small for the position, measuring in at 6'1", 237 lbs, but that doesn't make his athleticism any less enticing. He plays bigger than his size and his athleticism shows up on tape. He frequently uses his explosiveness to wreak havoc in opposing backfields or blanket tight ends and running backs in coverage. Don't believe me? I brought gifs.
In this first clip, Reddick seems to be five yards past the line of scrimmage as soon as the ball is snapped. He times the play perfectly and is too quick to be blocked. The result is a tackle for loss. It is, in fact, 1 of 22.5 tackles for loss that Reddick racked up during his senior season with the Owls.
Here, Reddick demonstrates another aspect of his game: the speed rush. Utilizing his explosiveness and good bend, he accumulated 10 sacks as a senior. Reddick can be a genuine threat off the edge at the next level. Adding him to a rotation that includes Chandler Jones and Markus Golden would give Bruce Arians and defensive coordinator, James Bettcher, a lot of options, and could give opposing quarterbacks a lot of headaches.
In this final clip, Reddick flashes his coverage skills. He has fairly fluid hips for a linebacker, and his speed allows him to mirror tight ends and running backs coming out of the backfield with relative ease.
With the ability to cover, rush the passer, and defend the run, Reddick could play inside or outside for the Cardinals. He is a dynamic playmaker who can contribute right away as the Cards look to re-establish their dominance on defense and make one more push for a title before Carson Palmer's retirement.
2017 BGN Mock Draft Order
1) Browns (JALupowitz): Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
2) 49ers (sports00fan00): Solomon Thomas, DE, Stanford
3) Bears (gubby): Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
4) Jaguars (TheWhalwing): Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
5) Titans (drc242): Jamal Adams, S, LSU
6) Jets (boomorbust): Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
7) Chargers (NowWhat?): Malik Hooker, S, Ohio State
8) Panthers (B-Potts): Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
9) Bengals (Kiko’s Delivery Service): Reuben Foster, LB, Alabama
10) Bills (jimmyrustler): O.J. Howard, TE, Alabama
11) Saints (NotSoSlick): Taco Charlton, DE, Michigan
12) Browns (Straight Edge Sid): Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
13) Cardinals (Paulie97): Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
14) Eagles (ablesser88):
15) Colts (mconner96):
16) Ravens (The Man, The Myth, the Matthews!):
17) Washington (kbruneault):
18) Titans (mchiodo):
19) Buccaneers (ei78):
20) Broncos (NVEaglesShark):
21) Lions (Shark Fighter):
22) Dolphins (J. Wil):
23) Giants (BigWardy59):
24) Raiders (big DUB):
25) Texans (GotFunds):
26) Seahawks (Rogmcc23):
27) Chiefs (B1G Cat):
28) Cowboys (RegalEagle):
29) Packers (Wutang_):
30) Steelers (General_Lee12):
31) Falcons (SirJon):
32) Saints (Huffs_cellmate):