Cardinals Draft Analysis: RB Tim Hightower

Everyone expected the Arizona Cardinals to draft a running back, but not many expected that pick to come as late as round five.'s Samantha Fillerup takes a closer look at that selection, Richmond's Tim Hightower, and examines whether the Cardinals waited too long to fill their running back needs.

Who He Is

Tim Hightower (6'0", 226 pounds) is a running back from the University of Richmond. In 2007, he carried 327 times for 1,924 yards and 20 touchdowns. He also chipped in 32 catches for 228 yards and three scores.

What To Like

Hightower features the ability to pick up tough yards inside and can also bounce runs to the outside. His low pad level allows him to push the pile forward and plow past smaller defenders. Hightower has dependable hands and can make defensive backs miss in space. In addition, he also demonstrates excellent vision and instincts.

What Not To Like

Hightower lacks breakaway speed, which is the same fatal flaw as the man he is destined to replace in Edgerrin James. Making matters worse is Hightower's lack of elusiveness. Additionally, Hightower tends to spin to elude his defenders, a tactic he will find less successful against NFL players.

Who Else Was Available

The Cardinals chose Hightower over a number of other talented prospects, although none were at a position of greater need. Among them were fullback Owen Schmitt (Seattle Seahawks) and free safety Dominique Barber (Houston Texans).

Looking Forward

Hightower joins running backs Edgerrin James, Marcel Shipp and J.J. Arrington on the Cardinals roster. Arizona drafted Hightower to add depth and keep James fresh late in the season. Look for Ken Whisenhunt to also take advantage of Hightower's skills as a receiver.

High on Hightower

Looking for more on Hightower? Click here for an exclusive Q&A with Hightower. For an interview about Hightower with former pro scout Tom Marino, click here.

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