Dec 21, 2013; Albuquerque, NM, USA; Washington State Cougars safety Deone Bucannon (20) returns an interception in the second quarter against the Colorado State Rams during the Gildan New Mexico Bowl at University Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
In the 2014 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals took strong safety Deone Bucannon from Washington State. Bucannon is 6`1, 216 and posted a 4.57 40 time. With him being projected as a second round pick, he helped the Cardinals receive an extra third round pick.
Bucannon is a First-Team All-American because of his fierce competitive nature and hard-hitting style. He`s dependable near the line of scrimmage and explodes into the ball carrier like he`s shot from a cannon, forcing fumbles. In 2013, he tied eleventh in the country with 78 solo tackles, had three forced fumbles, and six interceptions (15) for his career. Sounds to me like he will be more of an extra linebacker this year on running plays.
Even though he went to the Senior Bowl, he has limited flexibility and stiff hips, limiting his direction changing ability. He`s vulnerable to cutbacks, double moves, and losing sight of blockers who seal him off of plays. He also has poor awareness and reaction time while in coverage. This area is going to take some time to learn and I hope he can get this part of his game down.
Bucannon has a lot of work to do before he becomes a starter, hopefully that will be sooner than later. If it does`nt work out at safety, think about how great it would be to try him out as a linebacker. Steve Keim did a good job drafting Bucannon and getting an extra pick in the process.