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Markus Golden and the #ForcePlayers Conundrum

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The Arizona Cardinals took Markus Golden in round two of the 2015 NFL Draft, his stats said he should have been an early round pick, but his measurables tell a different story.

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Much to the surprise of the internet draft community, the Arizona Cardinals tabbed Markus Golden in round two to be the player that comes in and fixes their pass rushing woes. The reason this came as a shock was not because of Golden’s lack of production, but instead his lack of translatable athletic traits to see where his game will transfer to at the next level.

When you look at most of the scouting reports about Golden, you read about his relentless motor, his tenacity, and other well meaning terms used to define a player who shines through their work ethic.

Golden's athletic profile doesn't line up with those of most great pass rushers, for that matter, most pass rushers who fall into the same athletic metric categories as Golden never even register double digit sacks in a season.

So what makes Golden good enough to buck the trend?

What makes Golden different than the 64 other non #ForcePlayers who were drafted between rounds one and three? Can he be one of 6 players who falls into the category that has registered a season with double digit sacks?

The Cardinals need Golden to not just be a good player, they need him to be a force as a pass rusher. Those don’t come along often on day two of the NFL Draft, and even fewer are found with the athletic measurables Golden possesses.


What Golden does have though is that desire to be great, a motor that will always keep him in the play, and the ability to do multiple things well in the Cardinals defense. The question is, will one of those things he does well be rushing the passer.