Two Wildcats drafted Saturday

Arizona had two more defensive ends drafted when Ricky Elmore and D'Aundre Reed found new homes on Saturday.

Arizona saw its second player go off the board in the NFL Draft on Saturday when defensive end Ricky Elmore was selected with 32nd pick in the second round (197 overall). A player that had a very successful college career, Elmore slipped to the sixth round where the Packers selected him.

Green Bay runs a 3-4 defense, which means Elmore will likely be asked to play outside linebacker and provide pass rushing off the edge. In his career at UA, Elmore compiled 128 total tackles, 25.5 sacks, four pass breakup and three forced fumbles.

Elmore's slide has more to do with his numbers put up in workouts as opposed to actual production on the field. In a system like the on the Packers run - that has been known to develop their pass rushers - Elmore may be a perfect fit.

Elmore will have to work his way up the depth chart in order to earn significant playing time, but he will certainly have a chance to battle for a backup job right off the bat. The Packers' defense is one of the main reasons they were able to win the Super Bowl this past season, so cracking the rotation is going to take some work.

Green Bay starts Clay Matthews and Erik Walden on the outside with Frank Zombo, Diyral Briggs and Robert Francois as the primary backups. While Matthews is already one of the elite defensive players in the NFL, he is the only one in the group in the upper echelon of players at his position in the NFL. Elmore should be able to give these guys a run for their money when it comes to playing time.

Elmore led the Pac-10 in sacks in 2010 and his 21.5 sacks are the most of any Pac-10 player over the last two seasons. He was also named to the All Pac-10 second team this year and played a big role in the Wildcats three straight bowl appearances.

Elmore and now Houston Texan Brooks Reed combined to form the best defensive end tandem in the Pac-10 for the last two seasons. Now Elmore will look to work his way up the depth chart in Green Bay and perhaps form another great tandem with Matthews. He has a lot of work ahead of him, but Elmore and Green Bay seem to be a great match.

Arizona had its third player taken in the 2011 NFL Draft when defensive end D'Aundre Reed was selected with the 12th pick in the seventh round (215 overall) by the Minnesota Vikings. Reed spent most of his career at UA as the primary backup to Brooks Reed and Ricky Elmore, but has superior athleticism and at 6-foot-4, 261-pounds he has ideal size to play defensive end in the NFL.

Reed totaled 83 tackles - 11.5 for loss - and six sacks primarily as a backup. The only thing that held Reed back from bigger production was the players in front of him. Reed did the most with his opportunities, but was stuck behind two of the best defensive ends in the Pac-10 for the past three years. He is not only the third player drafted from Arizona, but he is also the third Wildcats' defensive end to be selected in the 2011 NFL Draft.

Where he caught scouts attentions was at the combine and at Arizona's pro day. He put up 225 pounds at the combine an impressive 30 times while running a 40 yard dash in 4.75 seconds. The two surprising showings allowed Reed's draft stock to increase significantly from a player that wasn't on anyone's radar to a prospect a team could take a chance on late.

The Vikings did just that with their second-to-last scheduled pick. He has a lot of quality players in front of him so it will most likely take some time for him to see the field. Minnesota starts Jared Allen and Ray Edwards at defensive end with Brian Robison and Everson Griffen as the primary backups. The addition of Reed gives the Vikings a raw player with the tools needed to develop into a quality defensive end down the road.

Reed definitely needs refining and he is going to a squad led by head coach Leslie Frazier and a solid coaching staff. With Karl Dunbar in place as the defensive coordinator and Mike Singletary coming aboard as an assistant head coach, Reed has quality leadership in place that can help him develop his game while waiting for his chance to play.


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