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Captains, High Achievers and Winners

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NFL: Arizona Cardinals at Seattle Seahawks Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Background: Dec 22, 2019; Seattle, Washington, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray (1) passes the ball against the Seattle Seahawks during the first half at CenturyLink Field. Arizona defeated Seattle 27-13. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig

For the past two NFL drafts, the Arizona Cardinals have made a concerted effort to draft productive players, the vast majority of whom were high profile captains and leaders of their college football teams.

I thought it would be interesting to take a close look at the credentials of each player the Cardinals have drafted during the team’s two year effort to change the direction of the franchise.

2019

1—-Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma

33—-Byron Murphy, CB, Washington

  • Washington 2018: 10-4, Pac 12 Champions, lost 23-28 to Ohio St. in the Rose Bowl
  • First-team All-Pac-12 (2018)
  • Pac 12 Championship Game MVP

62—-Andy Isabella, WR, UMass

  • UMass 2018: 4-8, Independent.
  • Consensus All-American (2018)
  • George H. “Bulger” Lowe Award (2018)
  • Finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award
  • Led the country in receiving yards per game (141.5)
  • Pro Football Focus’s highest rated wide receiver in college football, posting a season grade of 93.2

65—-Zach Allen, DE, Boston College

  • Boston College 2018: 7-5, 4-4 ACC, Cotton Bowl with #25 Boise St. cancelled (lightning)
  • 2017: Allen was one of only two defensive lineman to record at least 100+ tackles
  • 2017: after posting a career high 14 tackles against Virginia Tech, Allen was named the ACC Defensive lineman of the week.
  • 2017: won the Bulger Love Award, given to New England’s best offensive and defensive NCAA football players.
  • Second team All-ACC (2018)

103—-Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa St.

  • Iowa St. 2018: 8-5, 6-2 Big 12, lost 26-28 to #12 Washington St. in Alamo Bowl
  • Second-team All-Big 12 (2018)
  • As a junior in 2018, he had 60 receptions for 1,318 yards and 9 touchdowns, breaking a school record for single season receiving yards.

115—-Deionte Thompson, S, Alabama

174—-KeeSean Johnson, WR, Fresno St.

  • 2018 Fresno St.: 12-2, #18 final ranking, Mountain West Champions, won 31-20 over Arizona St. in the Las Vegas Bowl.
  • Fresno State career leader in receptions (275) and receiving yards (3,463)
  • Second-team All-Mountain West (2018)
  • Second-team All-Mountain West (2017)

179—-Lamont Gaillard, C, Georgia

  • 2018 Georgia: 11-3, 7-1 SEC, lost 28-35 to Alabama in SEC Championship game and lost 21-28 to Texas in the Sugar Bowl.
  • Started every game for Georgia at center in each of his final two seasons, helping to spring three 1,000 yard rushers in Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift.
  • After the end of his redshirt senior season, Gaillard was invited to play in the 2019 East–West Shrine Game.

248—-Joshua Miles, T, Morgan St.

  • 2018 Morgan St.: 4-7, 3-4 in MEAC
  • 2018 3rd Team All-MEAC
  • 1st Morgan St. player to play in the East-West Shrine All-Star game

249—-Michael Dogbe, DE, Temple

  • 2018 Temple: 8-5, 7-1 AAC, lost 27-56 to Duke in the Independence Bowl
  • AAC Defensive Player of the Week (Maryland)
  • Led team with 7 sacks, 3rd on team with 63 tackles.

2020

8—-Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson

72—-Josh Jones, T, Houston

114—-Leki Fotu, DT, Utah

2019 Utah: 11-3, 8-1 Pac 12, Pac-12 South Division champion, lost 15-37 to Oregon in Pac 12 Championship game and lost 10-38 to Texas in the Alamo Bowl.

131—-Rashard Lawrence, DT, LSU

2019 LSU: 15-0, 8-0 SEC, won 37-10 over Georgia in SEC Championship game, won 63-28 over Oklahoma in Peach Bowl, won 42-25 over Clemson in National Championship game.

  • CFP National Champion (2019)
  • Second-Team All-SEC (2019)
  • 3 year “permanent” captain
  • Recipient of the #18 jersey for outstanding leadership on and off the field at LSU

154—-forfeit (2019 Supplementary Draft)—-Jalen Thompson, S, Washington St.

2018 Washington St.: 11-2, 7-2 Pac 12, #10 national ranking, Pac-12 North Division co-champion, won 28-26 over Iowa St. in the Alamo Bowl.

202—-Evan Weaver, LB, California

222—-Eno Benjamin, RB, Arizona St.

  • 2019 Arizona St.: 8-5 Pac-12, won 20-14 over Florida St in the Sun Bowl.
  • 2× First-team All-Pac-12 (2018, 2019)
  • USA Today High School All-American (2016)
  • Broke ASU school record for rushing yards in a game with 312 versus Oregon St. in 2018.

In what ways do you think they Cardinals have changed their modus operandi as it applies to the NFL draft?

How impressed are you with this two year draft haul?