In an continued look at possible future Arizona Cardinals, today we bring you another guy who could seriously upgrade the Redbirds anemic pass rush
Larry English (DE/OLB), Northern Illinois
40 Yards: 4.82
20 Yards: 2.78
10 Yards: 1.64
Bench Press: 24
Vertical Jump: 36
Broad Jump: 8' 11"
3-Cone Drill: 7.26
20-Yard Shuttle: 4.38
Positives: English has a nearly perfect linebacker build and his quick burst and relentless motor make him a natural pass rusher. He uses his hands well and has a wide variety of pass rushing moves. He's also an agressive and physical tackler who's capable of delivering a punishing hit and causing his fair share of fumbles. In the run game, he shows good balance and the ability to stretch plays to the sidelines. His instincts are above average and he quieted one of his biggest question marks by performing well in linebacker drills, and more importantly in coverage, at the Senior Bowl.
Negatives: He's a good but not great athlete and doesn't have elite timed speed. He doesn't have the size or strength to be an effective bull rusher or be a strong force in the running game. Even though he can string plays out without giving up much ground, he can struggle to get off blocks against larger tackles. Despite a good performance at the Senior Bowl, plenty of people still question his ability to stand up and play in space. He was rarely asked to drop into coverage in college and will have to get used to playing with his hand off the ground. Durability is also a concern although his injuries have not caused him to miss many games. His level of competition at Northern Illinois is also a concern.
Overview: Few college players are as decorated as English. He was named the Mid-American Conference Most Valuable Player in 2007 and 2008 and he added the MAC's Defensive Player of the Year in 2008. He owns his school's sack record and has averaged 51 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and 10 sacks per season over the past three seasons. The book on English is pretty simple, he dominated his level of competition and few doubt his ability to rush the QB at the next level. The question mark though is whether or not he can develop into a complete linebacker and the answer to that question will likely define his career.
Projected Round: Late 1st - Early 2nd
Why should he be a Cardinal: Basically the case for English is the same as the case for Clint Sintim, he's a guy who will upgrade the pass rush and provide depth at outside linebacker. He doesn't have the experience that Sintim has with playing upright, but his upside is a bit higher. If the Cardinals feel like rolling the dice and going with a high upside, higher risk type of pick, English could be the guy in the first round.
How he fits into the Cardinal defense: The Cardinals hybrid system could make the transition period easier on English because he could rotate with Travis LaBoy at the 'predator' role. He'd still get to play with his hand on the groud at times and it would allow him to ease into the role of linebacker. Once the Cardinals are ready to finish the transition period and become a full-flegded 3-4 defense, English could very well be a LaMarr Woodley clone.
English always gets linked to the Cardinals in at least one of our mock draft round ups so he's a name worth mentioning. What do you think of him though? If he's there in the first, would you take him? What kind of player do you see him being in a couple of years?