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What do the Cardinals have in Tristan Okpalaugo?

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Is he more Cameron Wake or more Stevie Bagggs?

Dave Sandford/Getty Images

Well, the first real buzz of the offseason for the Arizona Cardinals is the addition of Canadian league pass rusher Tristan Okpalaugo. He comes in having stacked up 23 sacks in two seasons in his last two seasons with the Toronto Argonauts. Since he comes from the Canadian League, there are natural comparisons between he and Cameron Wake, who went to that league and then made himself a sacking stud in the NFL.

The Cardinals also went to the Canadian League well a few seasons ago signing Stevie Baggs. That didn't work out so well. Baggs didn't pan out in the league. he couldn't even make the 2010 squad that wasn't very good.

Let's take a look at how the three match up in terms of measurables and numbers in the CFL.

Cameron Wake:

6-2, 236 pounds
40 time: 4.67 seconds
Bench press: 20 reps
3-cone: 7.12
Vertical leap: 45 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 10-10

In the Canadian league, he had 16 sacks in 2007 and 23 in 2008.

Stevie Baggs:

6-1, 240 pounds
40 time: 4.69 seconds
Bench press: 35 reps

In the Canadian League, he led the league in 2009 with 12 sacks.

Tristan Okpalaugo:

6-5, 258 pounds
40 time: 4.74
Bench press: 14 reps
3-cone: 7.42 seconds
Vertical leap: 32 inches
Broad jump: 9-3

He had four sacks his final season at Fresno State. he had 12 and 11 sacks in two seasons with Toronto.


What do we see?

It certainly isn't a guy who appears to have the same upside as Wake, whom the Cardinals worked out back in 2009. Okpalaugo is not as strong, fast, athletic or explosive as Wake was.

Baggs was much stronger, but smaller and I couldn't find much more than just his 40 time. Even he was faster than Okpalaugo.

Does this mean he will fail? No. In fact, in terms of measurables, he matches up a lot with Markus Golden.

These are Golden's draft workout numbers:

Markus Golden

6-2, 260 pounds
40 time: 4.77 seconds
Bench press: 17
3-cone: 7.39 seconds
Vertical leap: 28 1/2 inches
Broad jump: 9-2

Golden is very highly thought of in terms of pass rushing potential by the organization and by his teammates. After getting worked into the rotation slowly, he became a starter and consistently got pressure on opposing quarterbacks.

So Okpalaugo could be something good. But we should not expect Cameron Wake numbers. If anything else, we should hope he can be like Golden, which isn't a bad thing.