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Markus Golden draws comparisons of LaMarr Woodley, James Harrison

He is not the prototypical size, but his motor doesn't stop.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

When the Arizona Cardinals drafted Missouri defensive end Markus Golden, it was a bit of a surprise. Many draft analysts had him as a fourth or a fifth round pick and the Cardinals took him in the second round. While he was not the top pass rusher the Cardinals wanted to get (they were disappointed when Bud Dupree was taken by the Steelers just a couple of picks before the Cardinals made their selection), he certainly was a guy that caught their attention.

General manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians used very productive Steelers pass rushers as players Golden reminds them of -- LaMarr Woodley -- who is now a member of the Cardinals -- and James Harrison.

Said Keim, "From a size and movement standpoint, he's a little bit like LaMarr Woodley was coming out, and he plays with great leverage with his size and his explosiveness through his hips."

Golden is 6-2 and weighs 260 pounds, which is almost identical to the 6-2, 265 Woodley is now.

Arians didn't use the Woodley comparison. He said, "of the guys I have been around, he reminds me a lot of James Harrison -- same structure, strength, great leverage, has speed to power. Again, he is relentless in the way he plays the game,"

Harrison is 6-0 and weighs 275, so he is a bit shorter and bigger.

But between both Woodley and Harrison, you have two of the best pass rushers from 3-4 OLB we have seen in a few years. After a four-sack rookie season, Woodley had 46 sacks in a four-year period. Harrison took a little longer to develop. Is was his fifth season when he made a huge impact. He made the Pro Bowl five straight years from 2007-2011. He was a two-time First Team All-Pro and was the 2008 Defensive Player of the Year. He had 64 sacks in that stretch.

That isn't to say we can pencil in 10-12 sacks per season for Golden, but those are really good players to be compared to.

He was the exact sort of player teams can get confused by. "This guy is exactly what I talked about," said Keim. "We go out and fall in love with guys and in the spring we confuse ourselves because they're not 6-5 and they don't run a 4.50."

Golden "jumps off the tape with his chase, his effort, his motor," said Arians. While they were scouting his  more highly touted teammate Shane Ray, they couldn't help but notice Golden.

He had 10 sacks in the SEC. He performed well in the Senior Bowl, which matters to the Cardinals because it shows they can compete with the best.

Now he has a chance to work with the player he is compared to -- Woodley. Woodley hasn't been impact for a few seasons, but he certainly can pass on some tricks.

Is Golden the next Woodley? That would make him a steal. If he gets even 8-10 sacks per season, he will have been well worth the pick.