The Arizona Cardinals wanted to get younger, longer and faster at outside linebacker this offseason. They wanted to improve their pass rush. By switching Kareem Martin to outside linebacker and drafting Markus Golden and Shaq Riddick, it appears the Cardinals have accomplished at least the younger, longer and faster goal.
Veteran linebacker Lorenzo Alexander spoke with NBC Sports 1060 AM's Ed Cole recently and gave his thoughts on the two draft picks -- Golden and Riddick.
Alexander said the two players "are kind of opposite ends" in terms of their development and what they can accomplish this year.
"Shaq has the great measurables," Alexander explained. "He's a little bit more raw just because of his path to the NFL, so he's definitely going to be a great project for Buck (coach Brentson Buckner), (Larry) Foote and Coach Bob Sanders (the Cards' linebackers coach) to work with and see him grow over the years."
It is clear Alexander doesn't see him being a big contributor early on.
He sees it a little differently for second round pick Markus Golden. Alexander believes he is "a little bit further along" because of coming out of Missouri, a big time college football program.
"He has some great athletic abilities as far as rushing the passer," Alexander continued.
Alexander also was impressed with how mature Golden is.
"He was one of the guys to come up to me on the first day and say, 'Hey, I want to learn from you, how can you help me?'" Alexander explained. "He's definitely eager to learn and that's what I like."
He also had some advice for Golden, who might be tempted to try and do too much because of his second round status.
"You don't have to prove to anybody why you were a second round pick," he said. "Just be consistent every day, continue to get better and allow the team to help you do what you've got to do as far as rushing the passer."