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2017 NFL Draft analysis: Arizona Cardinals

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The Sports Xchange
Haason Reddick poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals as the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI
Haason Reddick poses for photographs with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Arizona Cardinals as the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft at the NFL Draft Theater in Philadelphia, PA on April 27, 2017. photo by Derik Hamilton/UPI | License Photo

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona Cardinals went through the draft without selecting a quarterback, something they had hoped to accomplish given Carson Palmer's age and the possibility that the 2017 season might be his last in the NFL. Although there were quarterbacks that intrigued them, the team promised it wouldn't reach if the right one wasn't there.

"We talked about a couple of guys but they were all gone," head coach Bruce Arians said.

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But weren't they just a little bit tempted to grab one somewhere in this draft?

"As far as temptation, no," Arians said.

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How the Cardinals drafted:

Round 1/13 - Haason Reddick, ILB, 6-1, 237, Temple

The Cardinals had an obvious need at inside linebacker and in Reddick, they not only drafted one of the better pure athletes on the board, but a player of incredibly high character. Reddick, who led the FBS with 22.5 tackles for loss his senior season, also has a very high football IQ and never more was that proven than at the Senior Bowl when coaches asked him to move from outside linebacker to the inside and he dominated. The Cardinals, though, plan to use him in multiple roles where he can help stop the run, contain the edge and rush the passer.

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Round 2/36 - Budda Baker, S, 5-10, 192, Washington

Like Reddick, Baker is multi-dimensional and will line up in a variety of spots in the Cardinals' defense. He's another hybrid type that they love and they're already comparing him to safety Tyrann Mathieu, which is a reason why they traded a fourth- and sixth-round pick this year to Chicago in addition to a fourth-round pick next year to get Baker, plus a seventh-round pick. He's a bit bigger than the Honey Badger and he plays with the same passion and power. Though he's probably best suited in the long term at free safety where he can roam the deep center of the field, Baker has the skill set despite his size to play closer to the line of scrimmage and the tackling ability to see time at slot corner in nickel and dime situations.

Round 3/98 - Chad Williams, WR, 6-1, 204, Grambling

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Arizona needed to replenish some of its depth at the wide receiver position and they think they've done that with the selection of Williams, who in his past two years in college caught 154 passes for 2,349 yards and 21 touchdowns. He wasn't invited to the Combine, but his 40-yard dash (4.37 seconds) and number of reps at 225 pounds on the bench press (21) would have been among the top three at his position. The Cardinals are confident there are no character issues here despite the fact Williams was arrested last year on marijuana possession and possession of a handgun on the campus of Louisiana State. The charges were eventually dismissed.

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Round 4/115 - Dorian Johnson, G, 6-5, 300, Pittsburgh

In the Cardinals' eyes, Johnson could be a mainstay at either guard spot for the next decade. He's got the size, the footwork and the hands to step in right away and push for a starting job. It wouldn't be a reach to speculate that he will win the starting spot at right guard, which presently belongs to second-year pro Evan Boehm, who was drafted as a center. Johnson was seen as a second-round pick who only slid to the fourth because of a medical recheck that revealed a health condition related to his liver. It's producing enzymes at a rate five times higher than normal, but Johnson said he's had the condition his entire life and it is being controlled through medication.

Round 5/157 - Will Holden, T, 6-7, 311, Vanderbilt

A three-year starter at both tackle positions, Holden could end up ultimately replacing Jared Veldheer in another year or two, which would save the Cardinals a pretty penny. He'll provide decent depth for the time being. His intelligence and versatility to play both left and right tackle, in addition to some guard, makes him an ideal prospect because of his position flexibility.

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Round 5/179 - T.J. Logan, RB, 5-9, 196, North Carolina

The Cardinals love speed and they drafted a ton of it, especially here in Logan, who ran a 4.37 40 at his pro day despite coming off foot surgery to remove a small piece of broken bone. Logan said he has video evidence to show he can consistently run a 4.2. He'll make an immediate impact on special teams as a kickoff returner as he develops and grows into the offense as a backup behind workhorse David Johnson.

Round 6/208 - Rudy Ford, CB, 5-11, 205, Auburn

Ford is another super versatile defensive back in the mold of Budda Baker, and although he's primarily been a safety throughout most of his career, he will transition to cornerback, where the Cardinals are searching for depth and a possible starter opposite Patrick Peterson. He's another speed demon with great special-teams attributes, where he will be asked to play gunner and also return kicks.

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