The Arizona Cardinals took a roll of the dice with their 2017 first round pick.
Haason Reddick was taken with the idea of playing him as an off ball linebacker, something he had not done in his time at Temple.
Through two games, he leads the team in tackles and has been one of the best assets on the defense so far.
It is not going unnoticed.
Mel Kiper has updated his “Top Rookies in the NFL” and Reddick stands atop the list at inside linebacker.
Here is Kiper’s criteria:
This is a measure for all games this season, not just last week.
Total snap count matters. Staying on the field is a measure of value.
Positional value matters, but overall performance and impact on the team matter more.
Relative value matters. I ask: Would this player be a starter on most teams or on a good team?
And here is where he ranked Reddick and what he had to say:
8. Haason Reddick, ILB, Arizona Cardinals
Final 2017 Big Board rank: 10
Reddick is playing middle linebacker for the Cardinals, and coach Bruce Arians called his Week 1 debut "outstanding." He has 15 tackles through two games. What I liked about Reddick coming out of Temple was his versatility. He could also play outside and get after quarterbacks. He had 22.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks in 2016.
The other inside linebackers making the list:
The linebacker list is small thus far, but to see Reddick at the top is good, and to see he’s been one of the eight best rookies in the NFL thus far, at least according to one man’s opinion, means the Cardinals got great value in Reddick.
The top seven in front of Reddick:
Kareem Hunt, RB, Kansas City
T.J. Watt, OLB, Pittsburgh
Marshon Lattimore, CB, New Orleans
Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota
Tre’Davious White, CB, Buffalo
Deatrich Wise, DE, New England
Garett Bolles, OT, Denver
Not a bad group, as only White adn Wise would have made sense for Arizona, and only White would have made sense at the 13th selection.
Good work to Haason Reddick and continued growth.