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Cards Trade Down for DE O’Brien Schofield, Grab Extra 6th Round Pick from the Saints

The Cards selected  DE O’Brien Schofield from Wisconsin with the 130th pick of Round 4 after trading down 7 spots, which will net them an extra 6th round pick from New Orleans (201st overall).  Schofield slipped a little in the draft, presumably because he tore his ACL during a Senior Bowl practice; the injury will take at least nine months to rehab.  Apparently that doesn’t scare the Cardinals.  Here’s the scouting report, once again:

Read & React: Very good nose for the ball playing near the line or in space. Plays faster than his timed speed indicates because of his football IQ. Aware and reads misdirection on the edge. Gets his hands up to block passes near the line.

Run defense: Takes good angles to the ball and is a reliable tackler in the open. Stands his ground very well against tackles on either side of the line considering he is undersized. Explodes into double teams. Able to punch and disengage to chase down run plays run to his side, but will be engulfed regularly by NFL offensive tackles. Beats cut blocks with his hands, recovers quickly to chase down the ball.

Pass defense: Displays the speed needed to cover tight ends and running backs downfield and in the flat. Attacks plays in front of him, takes good angles and wraps securely. Aware of screens and can take out a running back before quarterback can throw the ball. Better receivers and tight ends will separate from him using their length. Must improve the fluidity in his backpedal and drop to get into position in coverage. Inexperienced recognizing routes and will need to prove he can make the interception.

Tackling: Always hustles to the ball whether the play is on his side or he needs to chase down the line or downfield. Uses his long arms to wrap up securely, can be explosive enough to knock the ball loose. Doesn’t have the size or strength to make a lot of arm tackles. Former special teams ace with a future there because of his speed and willingness to throw his body into the fray.

Pass Rush/Blitz: Relentless pass rusher. Often double-teamed and works through blocks and traffic until the ball is away. Explodes from three-point stance or when standing up, although he will be the last guy off the ball at times. Gets the corner against slower tackles and tight ends, and can push them into the pocket using his lack of height to get under their pads. Strong hands to rip off blocks and force fumbles. Stays balanced after a spin or outside-in move. Nice backfield awareness; stays home on misdirection and can disrupt passing lanes with good vertical and arm length if unable to reach the quarterback. Explodes into running back blocks.

Intangibles: Facing a nine-month rehab, at minimum, after tearing ligaments in his knee at the Senior Bowl. Team captain. Looked up to by younger teammates and respected by all players and coaches. Leader by nature, growing up in Navy household and in junior ROTC while in high school. Pushes his teammates to match his standards in the classroom, weight room and practice field.

Regarding NFL Network’s coverage of the draft, it’s getting a annoying having “analysts” talk through the Cardinals’ selections or cutting to commercial break round after round.  With the exception of Williams in Round 1 (which they cut short anyway), NFL Network did not cover one selection as it happened; they didn’t even bother to display, announce or inform the viewers who the Cards selected in the 4th round; for shame.

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