clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Arizona Cardinals sign 4th round picks Alex Okafor and Earl Watford

There is only one draft pick left to get under contract


The Arizona Cardinals signed a pair of their draft picks to four-year rookie contracts. Fourth round selections Alex Okafor and Earl Watford were signed by the team, as the team announced on Tuesday.

The team now has only one of their nine draft selections not under contract. That would be first round pick, guard Jonathan Cooper. There are no hangups, as far as is known, and considering the structure of rookie contracts now, it should happen soon.

All the team's 2012 draft picks were under contract by June 11. There is no reason to believe that this won't be the case again. On June 11 (Tuesday of next week), mandatory minicamp begins. It would surprise me if the team does not have Cooper signed by then, and I would expect announcement before the end of the week.

Okafor (6-4, 261) was a unanimous first-team All-Big 12 selection and third-team All-American at defensive end as a senior in 2012. He led the Big 12 and ranked ninth in the country with 12.5 sacks last season, the most by a Texas player since Tony Degrate had 13 sacks in 1984.

He capped off his collegiate career with a game-record 4.5 sacks to earn Defensive MVP honors in the Longhorns Alamo Bowl victory over Oregon State. Over his career at Texas, Okafor played in 52 games with 33 starts and totaled 150 tackles, 34 tackles for loss, and 23 sacks, which ranks 11th in school history. He also had seven forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, four passes defensed and a blocked kick.

Watford (6-3, 300) earned first-team All-CAA honors for the second consecutive season in 2012 after starting all 11 games while also serving as a team captain. He also earned All-America honors from The NFL Draft Report, Walter Camp Foundation, American Football Coaches Association and the Associated Press after allowing just one sack as a senior.

A Philadelphia, PA native, Watford help James Madison's offense rank fourth in the CAA in rushing last season, averaging 209 yards per game and 4.6 yards per rush. He started the final 35 games of his college career at left guard.

Keep up with Cardinals news and opinions when you are not on the site. Follow Revenge of the Birds on Twitter at @revengeofbirds and "like" us on Facebook. You can follow me individually at @senorjessroot.