If there was a player that the Arizona Cardinals selected in the 2013 NFL Draft that was a surprise for fans, guard Earl Watford might be that guy. People wanted the team to improve the offensive line, but after the selection of Jonathan Cooper with their first pick, another guard, especially from a small school like James Madison, was not on most people's radar.
Watford was taken by the Cards in the fourth round, and he is not like other linemen. He thinks of himself in the same sort of mold as Larry Fitzgerald. He was on the radio recently talking to Dan Bickley and Mike Jurecki on XTRA 910 and talked about that.
Listen to the full interview using the embedded player, or by clicking on this direct link to download it.
"I've always been athletic and I've always wanted to kind of change the way people look at linemen -- all those big and fat guys who just block all the time," he told Bickley and Jurecki. "Well, we make plays, so I see myself as a playmaker as well, even though I never touch the ball."
Watford is strong and athletic. He put up 24 reps in the bench press. His vertical is 30 inches. His 40 time was a respectable 5.05, and had it down as low as 4.96.
In addition to his athleticism, his experience in a zone blocking scheme could be a reason why he was taken by Arizona.
"We ran that zone a lot," he explained. "We ran a lot of different offensive plays, but for the most part the majority of our runs were zone runs. Am I comfortable with it? Yes, and I'm comfortable with everything else that needs to be run."
One of the most remarkable things about Watford's career was that he only allowed one sack in his career. Well, that's what the stats say.
"They say I gave up one (sack)." said Watford. So who are they? "Whoever's keeping the stats," he said. "I don't think I gave up the sack, but I'll take it."
Giving up only one sack? Sounds like a plan for Cardinals fans.
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