You know you have a good draft when your late round picks end up making contributions. You become a draft genius when late picks end up starting and making large impacts. The Arizona Cardinals have had a few. Now, if we look at the 2011 draft, a few players that were drafted in the fourth round and on made significant contributions.
In Doug Farrar's Shutdown Corner column, Arizona Cardinals linebacker Sam Acho is one of the players listed as the best such picks for 2011.
Acho got a chance to show what he could do as Joey Porter fell victim to injuries, and by the time his rookie campaign was through, he picked up seven sacks -- the most for a Cardinals rookie since Simeon Rice had 12.5 in 1996. As with many young Cardinals defenders, Acho thrived in the aggressive schemes put up by underrated defensive coordinator Ray Horton, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt was impressed as well. "It doesn't take very long to figure out when you're around Sam how smart he is," Whisenhunt said last November. "He's got athletic ability, but he makes plays because he understands where he needs to be and what he needs to do. What a good young man and a good young player."
Acho is a brilliant young player, who could become a huge disruptive force in 2012. In 2011 he was already impacting games.
The crazy thing is that the Cardinals seem to have had some late-round success in 2011. In addition to Acho, Anthony Sherman came in the fifth round, David Carter in the sixth round and DeMarco Sampson in the seventh. Sherman made a quiet impact, Carter impressed in limited snaps and Sampson showed promise.
Looking back in the last few years, Arizona has done well late. Steve Breaston and John Skelton were fifth-rounders in different years. LaRod Stephens-Howling was a seventh-rounder.
Out of all these players, is there one that was an even better late pick than Acho?
Share your thoughts. I will also in the comments.
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