Cardinals Look to Liven Things Up on D-Line

The Arizona Cardinals feature an aging defensive line. That said, there is plenty of young blood available for their choosing. The Cardinals fancy a top defensive tackle draft prospect who has plenty of reasons to think high on draft day but is overly cautious about where he is projected. Find out who he is and why the Cardinals are interested.

The Arizona Cardinals have plenty of reasons to be inclined to tab a top contender Defensive Tackle B.J. Raji out of Boston College, but then again a lot of teams do. Although not all the clubs used one of their formal meetings with him at the NFL Scouting Combine.

Raji is arguably the best available at his position and could be taken off the boards in the top-five. Raji is cautiously optimistic, but he says his film speaks for itself as does his consistent prevailing performance at the Senior Bowl. But he's not sucked into all the draft hype.

"I get so many texts and calls," Raji said. "I don't pay too much attention to it. I know those guys are experts or whatever, but they really have no say when it comes to draft day. I kind of watch that over the years, so I'm not trying to get my hopes up too much."

Raji understands draft day is a wild card.

"You see guys fall, guys who are supposed to be top-10 picks," Raji said. "They go from that to the end of the first. I'm not going to put down anybody. It's none of my business, but it happens every year."

The Cardinals would like to see Raji fall and fall hard to No. 31. Here's what they'll get:

"I think they'll get an overall defensive tackle who can do both – get to the quarterback, stop the run," Raji said. "A team leader by example, a good guy on and off the field."

Raji is continually making strives toward his projected status.

"One of my goals was to improve on my strength. I kind of went up in that," Raji said. "I kind of f eel on the whole, I'm getting a lot better. I'm feeling better. I'm moving well. Hopefully, I'll show people what I can do."

What Raji can do is compile 42 tackles, while registering eight sacks.

"Actually, the best way I play football is to try to be myself. So, I'm calm before games, listen to my music. I don't make it all crazy, because that's how it is in real life. I play my best when I'm myself."

Amberly Richardson-Dressler is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America


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