With day three of the 2013 NFL Draft in the books, we take a look back at the moves made around the NFC West, continuing with the Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals got things started for the West on day three when they used the No. 103 overall pick to select linebacker/defensive lineman Alex Okafor out of the University of Texas. Okafor marked the club’s third consecutive pick on the defensive side of the football after they took offensive guard Jonathan Cooper in round one.
Okafar, who measures 6-foot-4, 264 pounds, was one of the nation’s top pass rushers in 2012 with the Longhorns. He led the Big 12 conference with nearly a full sack per game (0.96), racking up 12.5 on the season to go along with four forced fumbles.
Arizona swung their second fourth-round pick (No. 110) to the New York Giants in exchange for their third and sixth rounders (No. 116 and No. 187). With No. 116 the Cardinals went back to the offensive line when they took the 6-foot-4, 301-pound guard Earl Watford out of James Madison University. He’ll help shore up an offensive line that allowed a League-high 58 sacks last season.
With their lone pick in round five, the Cardinals went with the 5-foot-9, 214-pound Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor. He brings some much needed durability to the Cardinals’ backfield, who has seen current running backs Ryan Williams and Rashard Mendenhall suffer serious injuries in recent years.
The Cardinals added the speedy wideout Ryan Swope (No. 174 overall) and explosive running back Andre Ellington (No. 187 overall) in the draft’s sixth round. Texas A&M’s Swope, who ran a 4.34 second 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine – the fastest at his position, figures to work as a slot receiver in head coach Bruce Arians’ offense. Clemson’s Ellington adds a runner to the Cardinals stable of backs that can provide a “home run” threat with every touch.
Arizona rounded out their draft with the selection of Rutgers tight end D.C. Jefferson with the No. 219 overall pick in the seventh round. The 6-foot-6, 262-pound Jefferson red-shirted at quarterback in 2008, but now represents a physical blocker and developing receiver whose size likely intrigued Arizona’s front office.
|A pick-by-pick look at the players chosen by the NFC West rival Arizona Cardinals in the 2013 NFL Draft.