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Mason Cole will offer Cardinals versatility and maybe even a starter

The Arizona Cardinals third round pick has some nasty in his game and has experience at multiple positions.

Ilinois v Michigan Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

When the Arizona Cardinals called Mason Cole’s name with the 97th pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, you could see the new mold of Cardinals lineman being defined.

When you read reports on Andrew Norwell from his 2014 draft profile to Cole’s this offseason, you can see what the Cardinals are looking to implement up front:

Norwell -

Good versatility -- has played both tackle positions and can serve as an emergency tackle in a pinch.

Three-year starter in the Big Ten Conference

Cole -

Offers versatility up and down the line with starts at center and tackle

Has started every game since his freshman year of high school totaling 104 total starts

While Norwell was more of a brawler and Cole a more athlete coming out, you see what Ray Brown wants in his offensive lineman: Versatile, successful, durable.

That gives him something to mold.

Cole is that first piece of clay for Brown to begin to shape.

He has the athletic talent and intelligence and something that Justin, Justis and I have talked about for a long time, he has been successful at left tackle in college. If you notice, many NFL teams draft left tackles on day two and three to fill-out their offensive line. Usually because they are already solid in a number of areas and the work they need is moving positions, rather than having an athletic or size deficit to overcome.

This is something that a number of good analyst noted on Cole:

Cole’s work as a left tackle gives you an idea of what he could be inside. Except, Cole has already worked inside at UM, so he has film of both.

I’ve said, Cole’s work on film shows a player ready to step in and compete right away, whether it be at center, left guard or right tackle.

Cole was a bit of a surprise name, unless you are subscribed to the Rise Up, See Red podcast, but he’ll endear himself to fans early with his style of play.