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Arizona Cardinals claim Tanner Vallejo off waivers

The Arizona Cardinals have begun to use their waiver wire positions, starting with a linebacker.

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NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Cleveland Browns Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

One of the key things we will see this offseason from the Arizona Cardinals, and something that the Cardinals know they have to take advantage of is having the top waiver wire priority from now until eternity. Well, what feels like eternity.

Yesterday was the first time we saw it in action as the Arizona Cardinals signed linebacker Tanner Vallejo from the Cleveland Browns.

From the team:

Vallejo (6-1, 230) played in 13 games (one start) with Cleveland last season after he was claimed off waivers by the Browns on September 2. He originally entered the league with Buffalo as a sixth-round selection (195th overall) in the 2017 NFL Draft out of Boise State. Vallejo played in 15 games as a rookie with the Bills and had five special teams tackles.

The 24-year old Vallejo had 20 tackles on defense last season with Cleveland in addition to recording one forced fumble and seven tackles on special teams.

Some 2017 draft tidbits on Vallejo from around the web:

Lance Zierlein: Vallejo’s outstanding production his sophomore season is one of the things keeping him alive in scouting circles. From a physical standpoint, he’s an undersized inside linebacker who lacks the long levers needed to keep offensive linemen off of him. His instincts and third-down ability are plusses, but he’ll need to find the right 3-4 fit or attempt to move to an outside linebacker role in a 4-3. Vallejo has NFL backup potential.

Tony Pauline: Vallejo is a defender who makes plays with his head and heart more so then with athleticism. He offers potential as a fifth or sixth linebacker on a roster and comes with a special-teams mentality.

Pro Football Focus: Vallejo is a unique study, because his overall grade of 93.1 as a sophomore in 2014 was the second-highest among all FBS LBs, but injuries and missed tackles severely limited his production in 2015 and 2016. Boise State often treated him as a nickel back against three- and four-WR sets, which freed him up in terms of space, yet he saw limited action in man coverage. He has the competitiveness to take on blocks effectively despite his size, but tends to get absorbed and lose track of the ball, and his containment assignments.