After much speculatuion the Arizona Cardinals made it official yesterday by signing nine undrafted free agents in what could be the final roster moves prior to the start of mini-camps or even training camp. The current roster is over flowingly full with around 86 players, counting the drafted and undrafted rookies, which means that somewhere around four players will be cut before training camp (until rookies sign their contract, they don't officially count as a roster spot so it won't become an issue until the fifth rookie signs his contract). We'll take a look at some preliminary 53 man rosters sometime in the next couple of weeks but for now here's a quick look at the nine undrafted free agents who signed with the Cardinals yesterday.
Justin Brown (WR), Hampton: Brown is a receiver with decent size (6'1 200) who was a JUCO transfer and spent two seasons at Hampton. He 28 balls for 483 yards and two scores in 2007 and nearly doubled those stats in 2008 with 56 receptions for 887 yards and nine scores. His pro days results generated some buzz when he ran in the 4.49 to 4.5 range in the forty, a broad jump of 10'5.5 and a vertical jump of 37.5 (all of which would have been in the top ten at the combine).
Chase Bullock (LB), Maryland: There isn't much info on Bullock (but we're still looking) because he didn't have much of a college career. He battled injuries during his sophomore and junior seasons but only played in 28 games, mostly as a backup and finished his career with just 58 tackles. from what we've found he was an OLB in the Terps' 4-3 defense. He's got decent size (6'2, 240) but I don't know what else he brings to the table.
Tony Davis (CB/S), Penn State: After checking out SBN's Penn State blog, Black Shoe Diaries, Davis looks like an interesting prospect. He was an on again off again starter who's been labeled as 'under rated' and 'under appreciated' many times. He's played both safety and corner in college although his size (5'10 195) would indicate that he's better suited as a corner. He also ran a 4.40 at his pro day.
Jameel Dowling (CB/S), Hawaii: Dowling is a big (6'2) defensive back who started eight games in his only season at Hawaii. He sat out the 2007 after transferring from Oregon, where he also only played one season after transferring from Butte College in California. He's also an outstanding track athlete where he holds a California Community College record in the 400 (48.02).
Khalil El-Amin (G/T), Cincinnati: El-Amin has experience with several positions but his most extensive playing time has come at right tackle where he started 20 games over the past two seasons. He's struggled with speed rushers and is most likely projected as a guard at the pro level. He also played with the Cards' 7th round pick Trevor Canfield.
Shane Morales (WR), Oregon State: Morales is another receiver with decent size (6'1 209) who started for just one year but put up respectable stats with 54 receptions, 743 yards and 8 touchdowns. He earned a Pac-10 honorable mention for his breakout senior season but a lack great speed over shadowed his other strong attributes like dependable hands and crisply ran routes.
Brandon Pearce (OT), Memphis: Pearce is interesting only because he's an offensive tackle that played in a pass happy system and rarely gave up sacks. He's got good height but needs to add considerable bulk to his frame (6'6, 290), although some reports mentioned that he added 20 pounds of bulk before Memphis' pro day. Either way he'll have to get stronger as he's had very little experience as an in-line blocker.
Reggie Walker (ILB), Kansas State: Walker was a three year starter at Kansas State, although he did lose his job at one point in 2007, but he never really distinguished himself as a play maker. He averaged 49 tackles, four for loss and just under two sacks per season as starter. He's got decent but not great size (6'0, 246) and he's not the best athlete, but he's tough and physical. He had a hard time staying healthy during his time at Kansas State but he's got some versatility and could be a factor on special teams.
Michael Ray Garvin (CB), Florida State: Garvin is without question the most promising name on this list and might be the guy with a shot at making this year's squad. Garvin's listed as a corner back but don't get confused, he's nothing more than a kick off return specialist. He was an All-American at Florida State in football and track and almost qualified for the Olympics in the 200 meters. Garvin averaged over 30 yards per kick return as a senior and during his time at FSU his focus was split between football and track. It'll be interesting to see if his game improves with his focus squarely football. He posted a crazy 4.24 and4.28 at FSU's pro day.
After last year's crop of undrafted free agents that included some notable names and interesting prospects, this class looks a little underwhelming. It seems surprising that they went after two wide receivers and two more defensive backs considering that wide receiver and the secondary would seem to be the two deepest positions on the roster. It's also at least a little surprising that they didn't got after another running back and some higher rated linebackers, but we'll see how these guys progress during camp. Has anyone seen these guys play and think they've got a shot at sticking around? Do the additions of wide receivers and defensive backs make sense to you?