As the 2017 NFL Draft came and went I exchanged a number of text messages with Justin Higdon.
He would keep me updated on what type of athletes the Arizona Cardinals were drafting.
You see, Justin’s system of identifying baseline metrics for athleticism has allowed him to pair down his own rankings.
It is something I have began to adopt myself, as weeding out low end athletes typically gives you an easier pool of prospects to watch.
Sure, you miss the occasional Markus Golden, but if you are really invested, you can find the time to fill in with those fringe players.
This year, the Arizona Cardinals took guys who check a lot of athletic boxes... And Dorian Johnson.
- Green = Significantly Above Average
- Blue = Above Average
- Yellow = Average
- Orange = Below Average
- Red = Significantly Below Average
Three small guys in Budda Baker, T.J. Logan and Rudy Ford, but all had average or better testing numbers in the metrics they tested in.
Baker’s jumps are a bit concerning, but I think that is the reason he doesn’t translate as well to free safety. However, his short area burst and change of direction are special and mean he should play extremely well in his role with the Arizona Cardinals.
Reddick’s chart is exactly what you want to see for an average sized player, as he translates with long arms and elite burst, with above average change of direction.
Williams was really interesting, he’s average in a lot of categories, which isn’t a bad thing, but he has and unusually big build and is extremely strong for the position. Add in the 4.43 forty and you are talking about some numbers that explain the Cardinals high interest.
Johnson is the only player with red flags, but that is basically par for the course for him, as his medicals are a red flag as well.
However he has elite size and his jumps mean he is an explosive straight line player.
Outside of the offensive line, it is not unexpected to see all of the Arizona Cardinals picks have above average or elite straight line speed and broad jumps (outside of Baker). Broad jump tends to measure short area explosiveness and burst off the line, so seeing the Cardinals advocate for that is not surprising, as it coincides with their mantra of speed.