Cardinals' draft options at OLB

April, 6, 2010
4/06/10
2:08
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Quite a few mock drafts have Arizona addressing outside linebacker early in the 2010 draft. Those projections seem reasonable even though the Cardinals have taken steps to protect themselves.

Clark Haggans is back. Arizona added Joey Porter as an unrestricted free agent and Stevie Baggs from the CFL. The Cardinals hope 2009 draft choices Cody Brown and Will Davis can develop.

I asked Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. about the draft possibilities following a recent conversation about Sam Bradford's perceived rise.

Steve Muench: Brandon Graham from Michigan could last there if the Patriots do not take him. Sergio Kindle is a guy you could use in that scheme. Another guy who had a great combine is Jerry Hughes. He is someone that is rising at the right time. We had him as an early second-round pick. It's not a stretch for him to rise up six or seven picks. He really moved well during drills and did not look like a defensive end. He looked like a linebacker.

Jason Worilds from Virginia Tech, we have him as a third-round grade. He has chronic shoulder problems, which is right away a red flag. I think he would easily go early in the second round if he had a clean bill of health. I really like how versatile he is as a pass rusher.

Hughes does a great job working the outside shoulder and bending back inside. He has a low center of gravity, great balance, good speed. I think Worilds does a better job throwing different hings at offensive linemen. He can set you up a little more. He'll get chipped by a back, doubled by a tight end. He's a tough kid. He'll come off the field, pop his shoulder back into place and go back on the field.

Teams running 3-4 defenses sometimes successfully rely on older players familiar with the scheme. Arizona has not re-signed Chike Okeafor, who recently turned 34, and Bertrand Berry is retiring. Porter recently turned 33. The draft could help Arizona get younger at the position while buying insurance in case Brown or Davis fails to develop.

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