5 Sleeper NFL Draft Targets for the Cardinalsby Prime Time Sports Talk January 22, 2019 3 comments
With the 2019 NFL Draft rapidly approaching, most of the big draft names are circulating among draft circles. After an abysmal 2-14 season, the Cardinals will be on the clock early and often. Sure, players such as Nick Bosa or Kyler Murray are well known, but here are a few under-the-radar players that Arizona Cardinal fans should pay close attention to.
DE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech University
With Arizona moving to a 3-4 defensive scheme under new defensive coordinator Vance Joseph, the roster will need more pass rushers to take the pressure off of 2017 First-Team All-Pro Chandler Jones. With an NCAA career leading 45.0 sacks (2015-2018), Jaylon Ferguson has a flair for getting to the QB. Ferguson possesses prototypical size at 6-foot-5 and 262 pounds while showing excellent athleticism for a man of that stature.
OL Andre Dillard, Washington State University
The offensive line for the 2018 Cardinals gave up 51 sacks, seventh-worst in the league. The rushing attack performed even worse behind this group, averaging a league-low 3.4 yards-per-carry. Dillard comes from a pass-heavy offense that, in 2018, allowed just one sack on 677 pass attempts. He appeared in 42 games during his four seasons at WSU, starting the final 39 games at left tackle.
WR Antoine Wesley, Texas Tech University
With the status of future Hall of Fame WR Larry Fitzgerald not certain, it’s time for Arizona to start looking for other options. Wesley possesses elite size for the position, 6-foot-5, 200 pounds, and comes from the program where new head coach Kliff Kingsbury spent the last six seasons. Wesley had his breakout campaign in 2018 (88 catches, 1,410 yards, nine touchdowns) and would look to continue that momentum in a potentially-familiar situation.
CB Blace Brown, Troy University
The Cardinals have been searching for a second CB to pair with perennial All-Pro Patrick Peterson for quite a few years. Blace Brown is coming off a senior season which saw him help lead the Troy program to a 10-3 record. Brown possesses the size (6-feet, 192 pounds) to play inside or outside. Look for Brown to continue his climb up draft boards as April gets closer.
DT Olive Sagapolu, University of Wisconsin
Arizona surrendered a league-leading 4.9 YPC on the ground in 2018. The massive nose tackle from American Samoa would go a long way in improving this statistic. Sagapolu is a 6-foot-2, 342-pound mountain in the middle of a defense. The former Badger projects to be a two-down player at worst at the NFL level and should wreak havoc against the opposing rushing attack.