With the 3-4 defense that the Arizona Cardinals run, they always are looking at outside linebackers. They already have quite a stable full of them right now, but they could use more pass rushing talent.
SB Nation Studios' Matt Ufford and Dan Rubenstein went over who they thought were the best five outside linebackers in this year's draft class (note that these were guys that played OLB in college and not the DEs that project as a better OLB in the pros). Their list includes:
1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
2. Anthony Barr, UCLA
3. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
4. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
5. Carl Bradford, ASU
Mack is never going to make it to the Cardinals. He could be a top-5 pick in the draft. Barr is intriguing because he is new to the position, having started college as a running back. He could go top-10 or fall. There have been many mock drafts that have the Cardinals taking him at number 20. Physically, he has all the tools.
The next guy on the list, Shazier, might or might not be able to play OLB in the pros because of his size. He is a wrecking ball, but many believe that his impact could be best made from inside linebacker or even at safety. He could be in play for Arizona at number 20.
Van Noy, out of BYU, is a guy who could make it to pick number 52, when the Cards select in the second round. As for Bradford, he is another guy whose size and speed make him difficult to project. He himself has worked out at OLB, ILB, DE and even at fullback.
In the six-round mock I just ran,. Bradford was taken even before the Cardinals picked in round two -- I don't expect that to happen in the real thing.
Which of these players would you like to see play in Arizona on Sundays? Who would be the best prospect and best value?
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