Arizona Cardinals Rookie Analysis: Undrafted Linebackers and D-Line


The Arizona Cardinals rookie mini-camp approaches and there are a lot of new faces of which to take notice. With the help of, I was able to put together a quick view of the undrafted free agents joining the Cardinals’ defensive front for 2015 mini-camp.

Linebackers and Defensive Lineman

It is no secret that the Cardinals 2015 pass rush left some to be desired. Yes, the Cards exuded a stout run-defense but a couple key losses in free agency (Dan Williams and Darnell Dockett) and retirement (Larry Foote) left the front seven a little bit vulnerable. Enter Sean Weatherspoon, Cory Redding, Corey Peters, Markus Golden, Rodney Gunter and Shaq Riddick and the Cardinals addressed a need. Now they look to bolster competition and add much needed depth to the unit.

Alani Fua – Linebacker

Fua is probably my favorite prospect out of this class. He has all the tools (size and speed) to fit into a 3-4 defensive scheme where he can stretch the field and cover slot receivers. Fua is very versatile, he rushed the passer from the slot, A-gap and outside linebacker spot. He is fluid in space but needs to add some weight (as most rookies do) to truly compete at the next level.

  • College: Brigham Young University
  • Height: 6’5″
  • Weight: 238
  • Position: OLB
  • Class: rSr
  • 40 Time: 4.59
  • Projected Round High/Low: 3rd / 6th

Zack Wagenmann – Edge Rusher

Wagenmann is a mean mean mann. It is undeniable that this kid has a strong motor and a taste for quarterback blood. He finished third in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the best defender in the NCAA FCS in 2014.

  • College: Montana
  • Height: 6’3″
  • Weight: 247
  • Position: EDGE
  • Class: rSr
  • 40 Time: 4.81
  • Projected Round High/Low: 6th / UFA

Xavier Williams – Nose Tackle

Like many of the the Cardinals’ offseason adds, Xavier Williams is a natural leader. Northern Iowa teammates fondly refer to him as a teacher and Xavier dreams of one day coaching. Look for Xavier to fill the refrigerator-sized hole left by Dan Williams.

  • College: Northern Iowa
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 320
  • Position: NT
  • Class: rSr
  • 40 Time: 5.32
  • Projected Round High/Low: 6th / UFA

Gabe Martin – Linebacker

Gabe Martin is a productive prospect that has a lot to prove. By conventional standards, he is too small to play linebacker and too slow to play safety. So where does that leave him? In the same situation as so many other undersized NFL pros, step up or step off. Martin was named second-team All-MAC as a junior and helped lead a dominant BG State defense to a MAC championship. The success included shortfalls as Martin had trouble covering pass catching tight ends (Jimmy Graham) and struggled getting off blocks in the ground game.

  • College: Bowling Green State
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 234
  • Position: OLB
  • Class: Sr
  • 40 Time: 4.61
  • Projected Round High/Low: 7th / UFA

Edwin Jackson – Linebacker

Jackson was one of the most athletic players on Georgia Southern and worked his tail off despite his natural gifts. He was a disciplined leader and started all 12 games at linebacker in his senior season. He was ranked in the top-10 of the Sun Belt Conference with 100 tackles, 58 of which were solo stops. He is short but he got that relentless motor that we redbirds love.

  • College: Georgia Southern
  • Height: 5’11”
  • Weight: 228
  • Position: ILB
  • Class: rSr
  • 40 Time: 4.81
  • Projected Round High/Low: UFA / UFA

Andrae Kirk – Linebacker

Andrae Kirk knows how to hit. He ended his senior season as the team’s leader with 103 tackles and was ranked top-two in every defensive category for Florida Atlantic with the exception of sacks and hurries. He earned first team All-Conference honors and was named FAU’s MVP for the season.

  • College: Florida Atlantic
  • Height: 6’1″
  • Weight: 231
  • Position: ILB
  • Class: Sr
  • 40 Time: 4.73
  • Projected Round High/Low: UFA / UFA

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