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Sunday, March 8, 2009
McFadden upgrades Cardinals' secondary

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Cardinals DB Pos. Age Status
Ralph Brown
CB 30 UFA
Adrian Wilson
SS
29 Signed
Michael Adams
CB 27 Signed
Rod Hood
CB
27 Signed
Keith Lewis
SS 27 Signed
Bryant McFadden
CB 27 Agreed
Eric Green
CB 26 UFA
Antrel Rolle
FS 26 Signed
Matt Ware
FS 26 Signed
Aaron Francisco
FS 25 Signed
Wilrey Fontenot
CB 24 Signed
Dennis Keyes
FS 23 Signed
D. Rodgers-Cromartie
CB 22 Signed

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Bryant McFadden gives the Cardinals a physical cornerback to pair opposite top cover man Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The improved depth also gives the Cardinals flexibility heading into the draft. Rodgers-Cromartie, McFadden and Rod Hood comprise a potentially strong top three at cornerback.

Here's the Scouts Inc. breakdown on McFadden, who joins the Cardinals from Pittsburgh as an unrestricted free agent:

McFadden has a strong well-defined body and adequate height. He plays the run well, is physical near the line of scrimmage and doesn't back down from a physical challenge. McFadden has decent instincts, plays th
e ball well and is a quick learner. He sees plays develop well and shows excellent competitiveness. He is a good tackler and gets his hands on the ball quite a bit.

His speed is just slightly above average and could be exposed against the faster wideouts in the league. His hip turn and change-of-direction skills are also just slightly above average, but he has very good body control and rarely takes false steps, which make up for some of his potential shortcomings. He can be overly aggressive at times going for the big play and will sometimes bite on double moves, although he has improved in this area.

McFadden is effective in press or off-coverage and may be at his best playing in a Cover 2, where he can stay close to the line of scrimmage and mix it up. He also does a nice job in off-coverage and sees the play develop in front of him well. He is a valuable member of the secondary, but needs to step up all areas of his game to be considered a solid starter. He also contributes on special teams and is a young player with an ample amount of upside..

The situation at cornerback has improved dramatically from one year ago. Rodgers-Cromartie became an emerging star as a rookie first-round draft choice. McFadden qualifies as a solid veteran. Hood is good enough to be part of the rotation, but now the Cardinals aren't counting on him to be a starter.