Trevor Ruszkowski/USA TODAY Sports

NFL Draft: Cardinals select Haason Reddick in first round

Instead of opting for a signal-caller with the 13th overall pick, the Arizona Cardinals elected to pursue help on the defensive side of the ball and selected Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.


The Arizona Cardinals have dreams of finding the franchise quarterback of the future.

But for now, those dreams are on hold.

When the Cardinals were on the clock with the 13th overall pick in the first round of Thursday evening's NFL Draft, signal-callers like Notre Dame's DeShone Kizer and Cal's Davis Webb were still available, but the team opted to pursue help on the defensive side of the ball, and selected Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.

At 6-foot-1 and 237 pounds, Reddick played as an edge rusher at the college level for the Owls but will likely be asked to switch to inside linebacker in Arizona's 3-4 scheme. 

Reddick began his career at Temple as a walk-on, but became a scholarship player and finished his four-year tenure with 149 tackles, 47.0 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. During Reddick's senior season, he racked up 22.5 tackles for loss and 9.5 sacks and was the leading force for the Temple defense off the edge.

Reddick rose up draft boards this offseason following a fantastic performance at the NFL Combine, where he ran a 4.52-second 40-yard dash, a 7.01-second time in the 3-cone drill and a 4.37-second time in the 20-yard shuttle. Additionally, Reddick posted 24 reps on the bench press, a 36.5-inch vertical jump and a 133.0-inch broad jump. 

Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians had his first head coaching gig at Temple, Reddick's alma mater, in the 1980s, and that was the only head coaching job Arians held before being hired in Arizona. 

The Cardinals elected to draft Reddick despite having a handful of other highly-rated defensive prospects fall out of the top-10 in this year's draft. When Arizona was on the clock with the 13th overall pick, Alabama's Reuben Foster, Ohio State's Malik Hooker and Alabama's Jonathan Allen were all still available thanks to an early run on offensive skill position players. 

By the time Arizona was on the clock, three teams --the Chicago Bears, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans-- had already worked to trade up and select quarterbacks as the Bears landed North Carolina's Mitch Trubisky with the second pick, the Chiefs took Texas Tech's Patrick Mahomes with the 10th pick and the Texans chose Clemson's Deshaun Watson with the 12th pick. Aside from three quarterbacks going in the top 12, three wide receivers, Corey Davis, Mike Williams and John Ross as well as two running backs, Leonard Fournette and Christian McCaffrey were all selected in the top 10. 

Arizona is not scheduled to pick again until Friday evening when the Cardinals hold the 45th overall pick in the second round of the draft and the 77th overall pick in the third round, but there's plenty of speculation that suggests the franchise will consider trading back into the latter half of the first round to secure a quarterback of the future. 


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