In mock draft season, we see about everything. We see crazy picks, need picks and trades. Pro Football Focus released the site's latest mock draft and this might be the oddest pick we have seen for the Arizona Cardinals with the 29th pick.
PFF has a unique perspective in their mock drafts because of their grading system. They grade the teams and their needs and weaknesses. They grade the college players. Ideally, they can find a match in both value and skill.
This is how they come up with the picks for each team.
In this mock, PFF has the Cardinals taking Michigan State edge defender Shilique Calhoun.
Arizona's edge rush is still a little anemic, even with the emergence of Markus Golden as a rookie. Dwight Freeney played only 264 snaps and yet was providing an inordinate amount of their pressure. Shilique Calhoun is a little one-dimensional (barely scraping a positive +1.5 grade against the run this season), but matched Joey Bosa in pass-rush grade this season. In total he had 76 total pressures, and should be an immediate threat for a team happy to deploy players as situational rushers.
There are some issues with the logic behind the pick. It is hard to call the pass rush anemic with the addition of Chandler Jones. You can never have enough pass rushers, so there isn't anything inherently wrong with selecting one. And the note about a team happy to deploy players as situational rushers is not completely accurate. They only do that out of necessity. We are likely going to see less of this in 2016, with Jones and Golden both being every down edge players.
Now, who is Calhoun? He is a player I have yet to hear about in all my draft coverage. He did have 10.5 sacks and 15 tackles for loss in 2015, so there's that. He is 6-5 and 250 pounds, so he does fit the OLB mold.
But since this is the first time I have ever seen him anywhere, especially in the first round, we can probably say this would be a bit of a reach.