Is there another Deone Bucannon? Many teams around the league are dying to know.
It was the 2014 NFL Draft, Arizona Cardinals were slotted to pick at 20, and many had questions about the quarterback position.
Carson had played a year into the Bruce Arians system, but the then 34 year old quarterback was a question mark for scouts. Johnny Manziel, Teddy Bridgewater, and Derek Carr were the premier options available.
At around the 17th pick, the Arizona Cardinals decided to not draft what many analysts considered good options, instead traded back with the New Orleans Saints.
Now we as Cardinals fans are curious, we pick up a pick in the third round (turns out to be John Brown), and the 27th pick. The 27th pick has to be a quarterback, right? Wrong.
Deone Bucannon from Washington State. I thought it was a reach (as did most analysts). They projected him being a 2nd-3rd round selection. Oversized safety slower then many anticipated. They even questioned why the Cardinals didn’t take Jimmy Ward from Northern Illinois.
Fast forward, the oversized safety is now in a class of his own. Is he a safety? Linebacker? Kind of.
Dollar linebacker to be accurate, playing in the middle as a roam. Too fast for tight ends to get past him. Big enough to handle himself in blocking schemes.
We saw a trend of oversized safeties being chosen early in April, starting with Su’a Cravens of Southern California.
Recently, teams have tried to mimic the Cardinals success with a linebacker like Bucannon, including the Cardinals. It’s not a misprint, the Cardinals are looking to replicate the success of Bucannon.
In OTAs and minicamp, a rumbling started to occur when Chris Clemons, also an oversized safety, was being tried out at the same dollar linebacker position.
Chris Clemons was a very interesting player for the Cardinals a couple seasons ago, in which I thought he looked like a good fit. He had fine seasons in Miami, being a 100 tackles per season type of player. He just didn’t seem to have the ability to perform with the likes of Tyrann Mathieu or Rashad Johnson.
This could be huge for the Cardinals, as we could see success hit twice. If Clemons were able to establish himself, he could end up making certain players obsolete. His tackling does need to improve, don’t get me wrong, but he could be lined up next to Deone.
Who becomes obsolete? So far, Kevin Minter hasn’t established anything other then a reputation of being to slow. This is a passing league, to have a couple of linebackers who can cover tight ends is ideal.
There are no linebackers in the league faster then Bucannon or Lavonte David, would it be insane for David to play in this system? Of course not.
I may be a dreamer, but I’m not coy. In order to have an inside linebacker room with two former strong safeties, impressions have to be made. This is the time to start thinking, the Cardinals started a trend, could they start another?