Save for the New England Patriots, perhaps no team in the NFL is more confident in its locker room culture than the Arizona Cardinals.
Over the past few seasons, the Cardinals have demonstrated a willingness to take chances on players with perceived character concerns in the NFL Draft, as evidenced by their selections of Tyrann Mathieu in 2013 and Robert Nkemdiche in 2016.
That's why it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that Arizona is doing its homework on Florida cornerback and potential first round selection Teez Tabor, a high upside athlete who has failed a drug test and was suspended in a separate incident during his time with the Gators.
According to Rotoworld's Josh Norris, Tabor went through a private workout for the New Orleans Saints and Arizona Cardinals Monday as teams continue their post-NFL Combine, pre NFL Draft evaluation process.
Pro Football Focus considers Tabor one of the top cornerback prospects in the NFL Draft, and following the defection of Marcus Cooper to the Chicago Bears during free agency, the Cardinals now have an opening at the cornerback spot opposite Patrick Peterson.
Though Arizona may still entertain the idea of having veteran Justin Bethel and second-year player Brandon Williams compete for the team's second starting cornerback job, if the Cardinals do elect to use the 13th overall pick on a cornerback, it's likely the player the franchise selects would have a leg up on the competition.
The biggest question for Arizona is whether or not the Cardinals will have the luxury of taking the best player available with their first round pick, or if the franchise will need to address an immediate team need. Either way, it's possible Tabor could fit the bill when the Cardinals are on the clock, even though Arizona may consider drafting a quarterback, wide receiver or inside linebacker as well.
The Cardinals' interest in Tabor apparently hasn't fallen off since his relatively average performance at the NFL Combine, where he posted a 4.62 second 40-yard dash time and didn't test in the three-cone drill or either of the shuttle drills. Tabor produced a good broad jump with a 120-inch jump, but the 6-foot tall cornerback only reached 31 inches in the vertical jump, leaving question marks about his ability to go up and compete for a ball at its highest point.
Even though Tabor's numbers were somewhat underwhelming for a potential top 15-pick in the NFL Draft, his play at Florida over the last three years helped him draw consideration as one of the top draft-eligible cornerbacks this year. What Tabor lacks in raw speed, he makes up for in pure football instinct, as Pro Football Focus's scouting report on Tabor said he "loves to read and jump routes," and he "reacts quickly to the short passing game."
Both of those skills are important for a Cardinals' cornerback to possess because the team plays so much man coverage, and they're skills that Williams, Arizona's third round draft pick last season, struggled with. Too often, Williams was late to react to routes and didn't consistently make plays on balls in the air, which could be why the Cardinals are intrigued by Tabor.
Though Tabor doesn't have the same kind of speed and athleticism Williams possesses, Arizona needs a proven playmaker at the cornerback position with a natural feel for coverges, which is another reason why Arizona is doing its homework on the Gators' product.