A Scout's Report: Undrafted Rookies, Part I

The Cardinals have needs at more then one position. While some were filled in last weekend's draft, there is hope that help could come from a pool of undrafted free agents. The team signed 13 college players after the draft concluded. James Jones breaks them down with insight from Tom Marino, a former pro scout with 35 years experience.

Marcus Brown, CB, McNeese State– Expected to be one of the best defensive backs in his conference coming into 2007, Brown failed to live up to the hype. However, he moves fast to the ball and is a sure tackler. He has good speed and ball instincts, as well. With Michael Adams and Ralph Brown projected to make the team, the cornerback unit could use an infusion of talent.

Here is Marino's take on Brown: "Explosive football player with all the measureables one looks for at the position, but was disappointing in his man-cover skills. Fast-twitch muscle fiber. Big run and cover guy. Marcus has "little man" quickness, a compact pedal and supple hips. Really liked his pedal and transition skills. Marginal to get off blocks. Got beat over the top on more then one occasions in games viewed. Too much size, quicks and athletic ability to ignore."

Peter Clifford, OT, Michigan State The Cardinals have stalwarts at the tackle position with Levi Brown, Elton Brown and Mike Gandy already on the roster. Nonetheless, there is room for depth. Clifford is a versatile lineman who can man both the tackle and guard spots on the offensive line. He was a fifth year senior in 2007 who at 6'7", 316 pounds could be another piece in coach Russ Grimm's improving unit.

Here is what our scout had to say: "Team's best offensive linemen. Big, tough, but extremely limited as a player. Out of his element on the left side. Not very strong and can't bend his knees, but is a very tough, competitive individual. Marginal free agent prospect."

Thaddeus Coleman, OT, Mississippi Valley State– Again, with the tackle position being strength of the team instead of a weakness, players like Coleman might find it difficult to earn a roster spot come September. If nothing else, he can come in and show what he can do in an attempt to wow coaches and perhaps make the practice squad.

Here are Marino's thoughts on him: "This is one big sucker with some athletic ability, but is going to have to improve his position technique and also will need to retool his body. Not near as strong (particularly in his lower body) as he will need to become to play professionally. A very game young man but is not a natural knee bender. Probably going to have to start from scratch with this player. Outstanding practice squad potential. Priority free agent."

Notes from the Nest

Of the 13 undrafted free agents signed by the Cardinals, Marino had scouting reports prepared for 11 of them. The remaining eight will be unveiled later this week.

As for the two players Marino didn't scout, James Jones steps in to fill in the blanks:

Jason Banks, DE, Grambling– Banks is in a tough spot because he plays a position that was overloaded on draft day. Despite that fact, he has raw talent and pass-rushing potential. Banks was one of five Grambling players to be selected to play in the first American Heritage Bowl in Fullerton, Calif., last January.

Bryan Robinson, DT, Wesley College– Defensive tackle is a spot in flux since the offseason injury to Gabe Watson. Robinson doesn't have the ideal size for a pro defensive tackle; however, he has displayed a non-stop motor and the leadership that could speak volumes for his future. He was the ECAC Southwest Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. He was also one of 51 players chosen to play in the 2007 Aztec Bowl.

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