A Scout's Report: Undrafted Rookies, Part II

AZRedReport.com's James Jones continues to serve up the inside scoop on this year's class of undrafted free agents. Jones paired up with Tom Marino, a former pro scout with more than 30 years experience, to dissected the undrafted players signed by the Cardinals. Here's a look at four more rookies in part two of this three-part series.

Dionte Johnson, FB, Ohio State Being named one of three Buckeyes captains entering the 2007 season was viewed as a blessing and an honor for Johnson, as the designation came from his teammates. Arizona played with fullbacks Terrelle Smith and Tim Castille last season, so there is ample room to upgrade. Johnson, who comes from a pro-style offense, could make a name for himself.

Here is what Marino thinks about him: "Didn't think he adjusted well on the move as a lead blocker. Very much a straight-line player. He is a tough, willing player, but I just don't think he has the movement. No receptions as a college player."

LB Ali Highsmith
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Ali Highsmith, LB, LSU Highsmith is an amazing athlete with great sideline-to-sideline ability. He's a deft tackler, as well. He boasts a non-stop motor, something he will need to showcase this spring and summer if he has aspirations of making the team. Arizona restocked at outside linebacker this offseason, but there appears a spot to be won on the inside behind Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes.

Here is Marino's take on Highsmith: "A highly productive college football player who was short in stature, did not run well and was slow to react at times. Not impressive from an athletic standpoint, but you have to give him his due (made big plays at critical times). Not a take-on guy, but effectively slipped blocks and got to the ball inside. Secured well as a tackler. Coverage skills marginal (limited depth with questionable route recognition and reactions). Not athletic enough for "Will" backer."

FS Dennis Keyes
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Dennis Keyes, FS, UCLA With good size to go along with his excellent instincts, Keyes has a realistic chance to make the roster. He is adept at stopping the run, something that is all to uncommon at the free safety position. He is also very solid in zone coverage. With the team thin at the safety spot, Keyes could make an immediate impact.

Marino had this to say about Keyes: "Good athlete with good size, feet, body control and the ability to change direction. I liked his range and ability to makes plays on the ball. Anticipated well and gets himself into the throwing lanes. Was UCLA's leading tackler in '07, but wasn't a consistent wrap-up tackler in my opinion (missed far too many in the open field). My biggest concern was his lack of long speed. Has a lot of positive attributes and should factor as a backup at free safety."

Keilen Dykes, DT, West Virginia Arizona would appear to be set with Gabe Watson and Alan Branch at nose tackle. However, the staple of the offseason is competition, which is something that Dykes can provide. With his powerful build and low center of gravity, he could compete for a place on the practice squad.

Here's how Marino sees him: "A very tough, strong nose who was a very effective run-stopper. Plays very hard, is unselfish and was a consistent performer. Could also play a three technique. Is a run-stopper who had a good feel for blocks and restricted the "A" gap. Has adequate range, but needs to protect his lower half more effectively. Marginal pass-rusher who showed limited counter skills. Blue-collar player who will contribute to winning football games. Round 4-5 value."

Click here to read Part I of this series, featuring CB Marcus Brown, OT Peter Clifford, OT Thaddeus Coleman, DE Jason Banks and DT Bryan Robinson.

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