Analyzing the 2016 LockerTalk Sports NFL Mock Draft: Arizona Cardinals


Round 1 (29): DE Kevin Dodd, Clemson

Everyone expects Arizona to go defense whether it be at CD or DL. DE Kevin Dodd is exactly what the Cardinals might need. Dodd has proven able to get to the quarterback as he was second for Clemson in tackles for loss (23.5) and sacks (12). At the combine, he ran a 4.86 40-yard dash along with having a decent 3 cone drill shows he has what it takes to be good at the next level. With the likes of Calais Campbell and Chandler Jones, Kevin Dodd could be a slight project that could help a Cardinals pass rush that ranked 23rd in the league.

 

3rd Round (92): OG Landon Turner, North Carolina

OG Landon Turner out of UNC was the replacement for once AZ Cardinal Jonathan Cooper. Now he could be attempting to take his old position. At 6’4″ and 330 lbs. Turner is a grinder who can easily move the line of scrimmage. Turner ran a 5.58 40 time along with 30 reps on the bench press. This shows he has the strength to be a monster on the line, but he must improve his hip movement and hand placement in order to make an impact in the NFL. This could be good for Arizona as they need more depth on the line behind Mike Iupati and Evan Mathis.

 

4th Round (128): OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai, TCU
OT Halapoulivaati Vaitai is taken here, although some would expect Steve Keim and Bruce Arians to work on a different position like LB, QB, or S. Vaitai, out of TCU, has a lot of versatility at the tackle position. Him being able to easily play both positions makes him that more valuable for a team needing depth. Due to his 6’6″ 320 pound frame, he has prototypical size for the position. His main issues are how stiff he is with his hips and knees off the line while also missing the strength in his left hand for a push along with a lack of athleticism. But with time, this can be fixed especially with the veteran presence already on the line.

 

5th Round (167): OLB James Cowser, Southern Utah

OLB James Cowser out of Southern Utah was an FCS specimen last year. With 19 tackles for loss and 13 sacks, Cowser used his head and hands to set FCS records. But even with his relentless mindset and high motet, he still lacks some typical linebacker traits. With slim arms and legs his strength isn’t completely there while he also isn’t the fastest guy you could find this late with a 4.82 run at the combine. But if James Betcher and Arians can build him up, he could be a steal as his production has never proven to stop.

 

5th Round (170): CB James Bradberry, Samford

Bradberry is another guy out of the FCS that could bring depth to Arizona. Being a transitioned safety with his 6’1″ frame can allow him to be used in different formations. While receiving 2nd team honors while at Samford, Bradberry excelled in zone-coverage while also having an eye for the ball. This could prove to again add depth for AZ as they are now slim in the secondary with both Rashad Johnson and potentially Jerraud Powers leaving the team.

 

6th Round (205): RB Tyler Ervin, SJSU
 With his 4.41 40 time, RB Tyler Ervin out of SJSU would work perfectly as Arizona’s last pick in the draft. Ervin, who is built as a slot receiver, led the Spartans in rushing yards with roughly 1,500 rushing yards last year. His speed and lateral running style allow him to easily make cuts. He could easily improve a mediocre return unit on both punts and kicks as the Cardinals have had trouble moving on special teams for a while now.

 

-Ari Parker

Head Writer: LockerTalk Sports

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