With the introduction of 24 undrafted free agents from the Arizona Cardinals, our own Walter Mitchell did some digging on the players, more than just what the team provides in their press release.
Here is a look at the defensive backs signed by the Arizona Cardinals after the draft who will be working to earn a roster spot come September.
Elijah Battle, CB, 5-10, 185, West Virginia (4.53 40). Had 50 tackles, 8 PBUs and 0 ints. in 2017.
A.J. Howard, SS, 5-10, 203, Appalachian St. (4.50 40, 24 reps, 32.5” VJ, 7.06 3 cone) 2017: Started all 13 games at strong safety, bringing his career total to 38 starts in 51 game appearances (every game as a freshman, junior and senior – two players who have played in the NFL or appeared in an NFL camp were the starting safeties in 2015) … Also a key member of several special teams units … Finished the season with 66 tackles (41 solo), one interception, 2.5 tackles for loss and eight passes defended … Made a stop on a catch at the 1-yard line seconds before time expired in a 20-13 win at Texas State, which had started its drive at its own 1-yard line … 61-yard interception return to the Georgia State 5 helped the Mountaineers take a 24-7 lead in a 31-10 victory … Had seven solo tackles (five in the first quarter) as App State limited run-oriented Georgia Southern to 191 total yards in a 27-6 win … With Howard playing an important role, App State’s defense ranked first or second among Sun Belt teams in both points allowed per game and yards allowed per game in each of the last three seasons. (per appstsports.com) 3rd Team All Sun Belt.
Deatrich Nichols, CB, 5-10, 189, CFU (4.4 40, 15 reps, 37” VJ, 6.72 3 cone—-wow). 2nd Team All-AAC…56 tackles, 12 PBUs, 3 ints. Had 11 interceptions the past three years. Track star (10.63 100-meters). Projects as a slot CB. Played well in zones. Was projected as a 6th or 7th round pick.
Tavierre Thomas, DB, 5-10, 202, Ferris St. (4.38 40 13 reps, 7.09 3 cone) 2 Time Div. II All-American (6 ints. and 15 PBUs as junior and 4 ints. and 18 PBUs as a senior). Had a Top-30 visit with the Cardinals.
Ezekiel Turner, S, 6-2, 214, Washington (4.65 40, 19 reps, 6.95 3 cone). As a senior and former teammate of Budda Baker’s for the Huskies, he appeared in all 13 games, starting three, and finished fifth on the team in tackles (55) while adding an interception and two pass breakups. In the 2018 NFLPA Collegiate game, he recorded two solo tackles and one pass broken up. STs ace at Washington
Jonathan Owens, S, 5-11, 205, Missouri Western ( 4.57 40, 43” VJ, 11’ BJ ). Owens was a stalwart for Western, having recorded some 60 tackles, three pass breakups and two forced fumbles his junior year and starting all 11 games. He had 84 tackles from his safety spot as a sophomore. (per Star-Telegram).