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Saturday, April 30, 2011
In Acho, Cardinals seek help at linebacker

By Mike Sando

The Arizona Cardinals aren't chasing quarterbacks in the 2011 NFL draft.

They selected someone Saturday to do that for them on the field.

Sam Acho, a defensive end/outside linebacker from Texas, comes to the Cardinals as the 103rd player overall choice. Analysts have lauded Acho as a high-effort, high-character prospect lacking some of the desired measurables, including height.

But with Ray Horton coming from Pittsburgh as the Cardinals' new defensive coordinator, it's worth pointing out that stature hasn't prevented others -- think James Harrison, who stands 6 feet tall -- from exceeding expectations.

I'm not comparing Acho to Harrison. Let's see what the Cardinals say about him first. But at not quite 6-1 and 262 pounds, Acho presumably projects as an outside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 scheme. Acho had nine sacks and five forced fumbles last season. He has 19 sacks over his final two seasons in college.