The Arizona Cardinals drafted Washington State safety Deone Bucannon on Thursday with their first round selection, It was the 27th overall pick in the draft, as they traded down from the 20th spot. The swapped first round picks with the New Orleans Saints and acquired New Orleans' third round pick -- the 91st overall pick.
The selection of Bucannon marks just the second time in team history the Cardinals have taken a safety in the first round. Prior to this year, the only other time came in 1978 when the team selected Ken Greene with the 19th overall pick out of, coincidentally, Washington State. Bucannon and Greene are the only two Washington State players ever taken in the first round by the Cardinals.
Dating back to the 1970 merger, the Cardinals have now had 10 transactions involving their first round draft selections.
First-Round Transactions (1970-2014)
Transaction No. Years
Traded Down 4 2014,2003, 1998, 1982
Traded Up 2 Both in 1993 – Up from 4th pick and up from 20th pick (compensatory)
Traded for Player(s) 3 1995, 1992, 1977
Supplemental Draft 1 Used 1990 first-round pick in 1989 Supplemental Draft (Timm Rosenbach)
The Cardinals have now made 13 trades involving draft picks over the last six years, including six during the draft. Players chosen with picks acquired in trades include LB Daryl Washington(2010), CB Justin Bethel(2012), G Earl Watford(2013)and RB Andre Ellington(2013).
Taken 27th overall by the Cardinals, Bucannon became the first Washington State player selected in the first round since Marcus Trufant was taken 11th overall by the Seahawks in 2003.
Bucannon was the third safety selected in the ’14 Draft behind only Louisville’s Calvin Pryor (taken 18th overall by the NY Jets) and Alabama’s Ha Ha Clinton-Dix (taken 21st overall by Green Bay). Bucannon was one of nine defensive backs taken in the first round.
The 2014 Draft represented just the third time in team history the Cardinals had the 27th overall pick and first time since 1959. Prior to that, the only other time the Cardinals had the 27th pick was in 1939.
LEADER OF THE PAC
After starting 43 of 49 games in his collegiate career, Bucannon ranked fifth in the nation while leading all defenders in the Pac-12 with 384 total tackles. His 384 tackles represent the highest total ever by a Cougar defensive back, and he is one of just four players in school history to top 300 career tackles.
Bucannon’s 268 solo tackles were the most among active players in the NCAA Football Bowl Sub-Division ranks.
During his time as a Cougar, he also posted 15 INTs, 13.5 tackles for loss, 14 passes defensed and a blocked punt.
As a senior in 2013, Bucannon earned first-team All-American honors from the Associated Press and was a semi-finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award as the nation’s top defensive back after recording a team-high 114 tackles (78 solo), six INTs, 4.5 tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Bucannon led the Cougars in tackles three times in four seasons, which included his freshman, junior and senior seasons. His 106 tackles as a junior represented the highest total for a Cougar player since 1996.
Also a standout on special teams, Bucannon registered 16 special teams tackles, a blocked punt and had a fumble recovery on the punt return unit.
GOOD IN ALL PHASES
At WSU, Bucannon excelled in coverage as well as in stopping the run. His 15 career INTs rank third in WSU history, and he was tied for the highest total in the nation among active major college players at the end of his senior season. Bucannon also had a knack for making plays near the line of scrimmage, including an impressive resume in the red zone. Bucannon recorded 89 of his 384 tackles inside the red zone, including 30 stops on goal-line stands.
Bucannon accounted for 79 third-down stops and 14 more on fourth-down plays while playing in pass coverage.
MORE ON BUCANNON
His brother, David, was named Scout Team Defensive Player of the Year for WSU during his redshirt freshman season in 2012.
He attended Vanden (Fairfield, CA) High School where he lettered four times in golf before lettering twice in football as a junior and senior. He briefly appeared in one game during his sophomore campaign as a 165-pound linebacker and had three tackles. As a junior, Bucannon added over 20 pounds of bulk to his frame, taking over strong safety duties and earning All-CIF Sac-Joaquin Section Division III and City Defensive Player of the Year honors.
He ran a 4.49 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine, which was among the fastest times for any safety.
Following the first round trade with the Saints, the Cardinals are now scheduled to have six picks over the final six rounds, including one pick in round two (52nd overall) and two selections in the third round (84th and 91st overall) on Friday. The rounds and the Cardinals remaining selections are listed below: