I will admit it. I have a fascination with the Arizona Cardinals' fourth round draft pick, Sam Acho. I am not sure exactly what it is, but it is some 'it' he has that impresses me. I haven't even hardly seen him on any highlights or videos. I just really want him to be successful. He was on The Morning Rush on ESPN Radio Austin and gave a great interview, discussing his off the field ministries and talking about the Cardinals and his experience on draft day.
He reminds me of a few very good Cardinals, and that is going to be a very good thing I think.
Acho first and foremost reminds me of Kurt Warner and the great Aeneas Williams. This has nothing to do with anything related to the football field. He is a God-fearing man and keeps everything that happens to him in a faith-based perspective. He doesn't just bring up God every once in a while, it is part of his every thought and statement. It is part of who he is.
He also reminds me of Larry Fitzgerald. Fitz travels every offseason around the world and this helps him keep his perspective on life. It helps him work harder when it is time to work. Acho said the same thing. With the mission trips he takes every year to Africa with his parents, he is reminded how easily he could have been one of those African children getting excited to get some Tylenol or something small. He said he comes back every year ready to work harder and be better.
The last Cardinal he reminds me of is Darnell Dockett. Dockett, when he came out of Florida State was told he was not quick enough to play defensive end and too small to play defensive tackle. He fell to the third round, but he has carried a chip on his shoulder ever since.
Acho was "disappointed" and "shocked" he did not get drafted until the fourth round. "I talked to some NFL coaches and they told me they were going to draft me in the second round, or they gave me a second or a third round grade," explained Acho. "And so I was definitely surprised and shocked I went to the fourth round."
What he was most disappointed about is how he felt he was lied to by these other teams. Obviously there are things that happen that keep teams from following through with supposed promises that might take place in conversations with potential draftees. But Acho sounded like a young man ready to make other teams feel sorry about passing him up.
Don't get the feeling that he is unhappy about landing with the Cardinals. "But one thing I do know is that Arizona is and is going to be the perfect place for me," he explained. "And I couldn't be more excited."
Why is he excited for playing in Arizona? One reason is because of the players he will be behind. He is eager to work and learn the outside linebacker position from Clark Haggans and Joey Porter (even though one or both could be gone by the time the season rolls around).
The other reason is because of Ray Horton. He is thrilled that a Steelers guy is running the defense.
What was he doing when he got the call from the Cardinals that Saturday of the draft? He was about to eat breakfast. He was putting syrup on his pancakes.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think his contribution will be huge this season. He will make some plays. Hopefully his pro career can start the way it did in college. His first play got him a sack. But I get the feeling that Acho will be a guy we all are thrilled about years down the road, much like Aeneas Williams was and Dockett has been.