Joined: 20 Jun 2018
|Posted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:35:56 am Post subject: rusher with 3,591 yards and 42 TDs rushing.
|The Arizona Cardinals' 2018 draft made its reputation on Day 1 with the selection of a player who the team hopes will become the long-sought franchise quarterback of years to come.
If the Cardinals got no one in this draft besides Josh Rosen Craig Smith Jersey , fans would have called it a rousing success.
And offense turned out to be the theme. Only one of the six players drafted by the Cardinals plays defense, even though their new coach Steve Wilks was defensive coordinator last year at Carolina.
The choices were simply a function of the names on the Arizona draft board, general manager Steve Keim said.
"In a perfect world, coach and I would have been thrilled to have balance and to fill some positions defensively if those guys warranted those picks," Keim said. "But we had such high grades on those offensive players, we didn't want to stray away from the board."
In the second round, Arizona went with homegrown wide receiver Christian Kirk from Texas A&M in the second round.
The Cardinals picked center Mason Cole out of Michigan in the third round and, with their first choice Saturday dipped into the FCS ranks to grab running back Chase Edmonds of Fordham.
It marked only the second time in the draft's modern era (which began in 1967) that the Cardinals have used their first four picks on the offense. The other was in 1993.
Finally, in the sixth round, Arizona went defense, grabbing cornerback Chris Campbell of Penn State. The Cardinals' final pick came third to last in the seventh and final round when they selected offensive tackle Korey Cunningham of Cincinnati.
But this draft was, first and foremost, about that long-awaited young quarterback for Arizona.
When Carson Palmer retired at the end of last season, there were no QBs on the roster. Now they have Sam Bradford Ondrej Kase Jersey , Mike Glennon and Rosen, who will begin his new job in earnest at the rookie minicamp in two weeks.
HOME SWEET HOME
No Arizona draftee could have been happier than Kirk, who grew up in the Phoenix area, starring at Saguaro High in Scottsdale before choosing Texas A&M over staying home at Arizona State. Now he's coming home and keeps describing the situation as "surreal."
Kirk said he got to know star receiver Larry Fitzgerald when he played on the same Pop Warner team as Kurt Warner's son. Warner would sometimes bring Fitzgerald along to games and they struck up a friendship.
"I think I was probably in the fourth grade at the time, third or fourth grade, and every time they came out, it was just so crazy," Kirk said.
Kirk will use his old No. 13. That was the Hall of Famer Warner's number, too.
"Exactly, I have to rock it well," Kirk said. "I have a lot to live up to."
Keim said that as he evolves through his fifth year on the job, he's paying more attention than ever to off-the-field character and the player's love of the game as he assesses who should be selected. He noted all but Campbell in this year's class were team captains.
The idea was to go with "strong character guys" that match what Wilks calls his team's DNA.
"I've almost promised myself that we would take guys, even if they're a little less talented, but they have that makeup Alex Pietrangelo Jersey Kids ," Keim said. "... Especially in our first draft together, we wanted to make a statement."
Almost every year, the Cardinals dip into the talent at the FCS level, or lower.
This year it was Edmonds, the all-time leading rusher in the Patriot League for yards and touchdowns who could be in a crowded competition for a backup spot behind 2016 All-Pro David Johnson, as well as a kick and punt returner.
"I'm just looking forward to whatever role Arizona asks me," he said. "Whether it's being a special teams player, being a third-down back, on the slot, something like that. I'm looking forward to it."
Keim called Edmonds' production "off the charts" and said he would have set the FCS career rushing record had he not been injured during his senior season.
Some prior Arizona draftees from the FCS ranks or lower include Johnson, taken in the third round out of Northern Iowa in 2015; wide receiver John Brown, selected in third round out of Pittsburg State (Kan.) in 2014; and cornerback/special teams player Justin Bethel, picked in the sixth round out of Presbyterian in 2012.
Oh, and quarterback John Skelton out of Fordham in the fifth round in 2010. He's no longer around.
Look for defensive players to be signed as undrafted free agents Youth Mark Letestu Jersey , as well as maybe some late veteran signings. Arizona still needs to find a cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson and is looking for depth at linebacker as the team transitions from a 3-4 base formation to a 4-3. The Cardinals also could use some depth at tight end.
Derrick Henry has patiently waited for his chance to shine and now heading into his third NFL season the 2015 Heisman Trophy winner will have his chance.
Henry isn't sharing any specific goals for yards or touchdowns, but the Tennessee Titans running back made one thing clear: He is looking forward to a big season.
"I definitely want to be dominant this year," Henry said, adding that he plans to make the most of any opportunities he gets. The former Alabama standout said he just wants to "make plays for this offense, be a consistent back. Make plays any chance that I'm in there and just do what I'm asked."
And above all else, Henry wants to "help this team win games."
The soft-spoken Henry gave a glimpse of just what he could do in the NFL in the Titans' comeback victory in Kansas City , running for 156 yards for the second-best playoff performance in franchise history.
But Henry doesn't define being dominant by putting up big numbers.
Henry's definition is "having a great game every game and have an impact every game at my position. .... How I make plays and what I do throughout the game to help this team win."
There were questions why general manager Jon Robinson used his third pick in the second round in 2016 to select Henry only weeks after trading for DeMarco Murray , the 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year. Turned out to be a good move; the Titans cut Murray in March after his production dropped last season.
They also signed Dion Lewis to join Henry in the backfield, but the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Henry led the Titans with 744 yards rushing last season despite starting only two games and getting eight fewer carries than Murray.
"Dions' a great guy, and we've been getting along very well," Henry said. "Very excited to have a tandem together."
The Titans aren't saying who will start at running back. Tennessee plays Aug. 9 at Green Bay the regular season opener is Sept. 9 at Miami.
Lewis was signed for his skills catching passes out of the backfield to fit the new offense being installed by coordinator Matt LaFleur. Henry didn't have as much of a chance to showcase his hands in college with just 17 catches, but he did have 35 yards receiving in last year's wild-card game in Kansas City.
That helped Henry set a franchise-record in the postseason with 191 yards from scrimmage, topping the mark of 178 yards set by Billy Cannon on Jan. 1 Mike Reilly Jersey , 1961, in the AFL.
First-year head coach Mike Vrabel said everyone is working for a starting job.
"As we continue to work through the offense and through the plays and the complimentary type of football that we want to run, some of those things will sort themselves out. The plays that we like with Dion and the plays that we like with Derrick are going to start to emerge," Vrabel said.
One thing's for sure: LaFleur's offense will be leaning on outside zone runs, and that should play into Henry's strength. That's what he ran in college at Alabama where he became the Crimson Tide's all-time leading rusher with 3,591 yards and 42 TDs rushing.
"I like it a lot," Henry said of the offensive scheme.
NOTES: Safety Johnathan Cyprien walked off the field Wednesday with trainers after apparently hurting his left knee. ... Vrabel said CB Malcolm Butler and DL Jurrell Casey had the day off to help them with a couple issues hoping they return Thursday. Vrabel said rookie LB Rashaan Evans, the No. 22 pick overall, is day to day with an unspecified injury. ... The Titans placed OT John Theus on the reserve/retired list.
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