Restocking the Linebackers: Darryl Sharpton

Who's in your Fave 5? Darryl Sharpton knows his. Except he only has three and one of them is Arizona Cardinals' defensive lineman Calais Campbell. caught up with Sharpton this week and learned about his Senior Bowl week experience. The Cardinals are in need of depth at linebacker. Can Sharpton help bridge the gap created by the retirement of Bertrand Berry?

A former member of the Hurricanes, Sharpton has the intentions of breaking into the NFL in a big way. He is a projected 4th-5th round pick with decent speed (4.63 40), but below average size (6'0, 229lbs). He is widely considered a top 10 linebacker prospect.

When asked what he had to prove the most for the combine, Sharpton responded with this comment.

"My speed. I'm pretty sure everyone knows how physical I am. I need to show my speed and my ability to read offenses and make plays…I am going to try to run the best 40 I can and show everybody how fast I am. That's going to be one of my focuses along with all the other drills, along with my hips and getting back in coverage."

An aspect of Senior Bowl week that always interests players is the chance to test their skills against an entirely new level of competition. The amount of talent on the field increases dramatically as the best players from every major conference converge on Mobile, Alabama. Sharpton definitely has his favorites when it comes to opponents.

Is there anyone on the offensive side of the ball you are excited to practice against?

Ben Tate

"There are a whole bunch of guys. I watch a lot of football and you see all these guys on Saturdays...Now, we get a chance to play against them. It's great to see Ben Tate (Auburn), Dexter [McCluster] from Ole Miss, it's good to play against all those guys that we've been following throughout the whole year."

Sharpton may also have incentive to sign with the Cardinals, that being an opportunity to reunite with "Top Three" friend Calais Campbell. Both players roamed the defensive side of the ball at the University of Miami for the 2006 and 2007 seasons. asked Sharpton about his friendship with Campbell.

"Calais is one of my top three friends. I talk to Calais probably twice a week. He's passionate about the game. Football is his life. He's a great player. His physical gifts allow him to do a lot of things. He's tall; he's strong; he has range. He can just power off the ball and sack quarterbacks. He's made a lot of plays like that with me and I'm watching him on Sundays now making the same kind of plays."

How would you feel about reuniting with him in Arizona?

"That would be great. I'm as open as a sprung bear-trap."

Sharpton has met with a quite a few NFL teams, but has yet to meet with the Cardinals. At this point, he is just taking a "wait and see" approach as the NFL draft inches closer and closer. With Karlos Dansby in limbo, Berry retired, and Chike Okeafor getting a bit older every day, the Cardinals may not have that luxury.

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