The Arizona Cardinals, after having traded down from the 38th to the 45th pick, made the first of two LSU player selections on Friday. The Cards added linebacker Kevin Minter in the second round and then cornerback Tyrann Mathieu with the 69th overall pick in the third round.
Here are some facts about these players.
IT'S MINTER IN ARIZONA
- With their second round pick (45th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Cardinals selected LB Kevin Minter out of Louisiana State. Minter was the fourth LB selected in the '13 Draft behind the Georgia linebacker duo of Jarvis Jones (17th overall to Pittsburgh) and Alec Ogletree (30th overall to St. Louis) and Notre Dame's Manti Te'o (38th overall to San Diego).
- In three seasons with the Tigers, Minter started the final27 of 38 games played and totaled 206 tackles, 18.5 tackles for loss, 5.0 sacks, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, six passes defensed and an INT.
- Following an outstanding junior year in 2012 in which he registered a team-high 130 tackles, 15 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, a forced fumble, five passes defensed and an INT, Minter was named first-team All-American by Sports Illustrated and was one of three finalists for the Butkus Award as the nation's top LB. Also was named the Charles McClendon Award winner as the team's MVP and earned a spot on the SEC Academic Honor Roll.
- Registered a sack, an INT and two QB pressures as he helped lead the Tigers to a 24-19 victory over Texas A&M and eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
- In 2012, posted monster outings against Florida in the regular season and against Clemson in the Chick-Fil-A Bowl. Against the Gators, registered a career high 20 tackles, which rates as the second-best single-game total in school history. Facing off against Clemson, Minter registered an LSU bowl game record with 19 tackles, which also tied for the eighth-best single-game total in college football bowl game history.
- Minter became the 21st LSU player ever selected by the Cardinals in the NFL Draft and first since the team selected CB Patrick Peterson with the 5th overall selection in 2011. Minter's selection marked the fourth time in the last six drafts that the Cardinals have taken a player from LSU.
- Prior to Minter, the last Cardinals LB selected in the second round was Pro Bowler Daryl Washington, taken by Arizona with the 47th overall pick in 2010.
- Minter is the seventh LSU defender taken in the top two rounds of the NFL Draft since 2011, a total that also includes Cardinals Pro Bowl CB Patrick Peterson, taken fifth overall in '11.
- Minter is the highest LB drafted out of LSU since the Cardinals took Eric Hill with the 10th overall selection in the 1989 NFL Draft.
- Despite leaving LSU following his junior year, Minter still managed to earn a degree in Sports Administration while appearing on the SEC Academic Honor Roll. In high school he took extra classes and graduated early and participated in LSU's spring practice prior to his true freshman season in 2009.
CARDINALS GET MATHIEU IN ROUND THREE
- The Cardinals returned to Louisiana State for their third round pick, taking S Tyrann Mathieu with the 69th overall selection. Mathieu was the 17th defensive back selected in this year's draft and fifth LSU player selected.
- In Arizona, Mathieu will play alongside fellow former LSU stars CB Patrick Peterson and LB Kevin Minter.
- Among his 14 starts at LSU were 10 starts at cornerback, three at nickel back and one at free safety.
- In two seasons with the Tigers, Mathieu became one of the most electrifying playmakers in college football. He played in 26 games (14 starts) and totaled 133 tackles, eight fumble recoveries (two returned for TDs), 11 forced fumbles, four INTs, 16 tackles for loss, 16 passes defensed and 6.0 sacks. He also returned 27 punts for 421 yards (15.6 avg.) and two TDs.
- Despite playing just two seasons, Mathieu's 11 forced fumbles established an LSU career record and tied the SEC all-time mark. In all, Mathieu created a total of 14 turnovers (8 FR, 4 INT, 2 FF) and scored four TDs (2 punt return, 2 fumble return).
- Had an outstanding sophomore campaign in 2011 when he was a Heisman Trophy finalist and recipient of the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player. Cardinals CB Patrick Peterson was the Bednarik Award winner the previous season (2010) while playing CB for the Tigers.
- Mathieu was the first DB invited to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York since Michigan's Charles Woodson won the award in 1997. Mathieu joins Ndamukong Suh (2009) and Manti Te'o (2012) as the only three defenders to finish in the top five in Heisman voting since Woodson won.
- A unanimous first-team All-America choice as a sophomore, Mathieu totaled 76 tackles, 1.5 sacks, 7.5 tackles for loss, two INTs, nine passes defensed, five fumble recoveries and six forced fumbles.
- Played big in the biggest games while at LSU, earning Cotton Bowl Defensive Most Outstanding Player honors as a freshman after recording seven tackles, a tackle for loss, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, an INT, a sack and a pass defensed. During the 2011 season, was named the MVP of the SEC Championship Game vs. Georgia after returning a punt 62 yards for a TD, while also adding four tackles, and fumble recovery. He became the first defensive player to win the MVP award since 1994.
- The third round has been a productive one for the Cardinals of late. The third round picks from each of the last four drafts (2009-12) were all regular contributors or starters for Arizona during the 2012 season and remain on the roster heading into 2013 - CB Jamell Fleming (2012), TE Rob Housler (2011), WR Andre Roberts (2010) and S Rashad Johnson (2009).
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