The Arizona Cardinals made some waves in the third round when they took troubled ex-LSU cornerback Tyrann Mathieu. The move was perhaps the best possible destination for Mathieu as it provides him with a strong support system to get him on the right path and keep him there. But one other major thing it does, is make the Cardinals defense even better than it was already, and Bruce Arians didn’t stop getting Todd Bowles defensive toys to play with on the third day of the draft.
Arizona grabbed sleeper pick Alex Okafor with their fourth round choice on Saturday, making him the newest member of what is quickly becoming one of the young, promising defenses in the NFL today.
Okafor struggled a bit to get his name recognized as widely as he’d have liked, but that doesn’t mean the Cardinals are getting a bad prospect in the former Texas linebacker. Okafor was projected pretty high in the middle of the draft offseason, but slipped here due to some issues teams had with his play in certain schemes.
But Okafor gives the Cardinals some depth and talent at linebacker, and that’s something that’s needed all over the roster in the NFC West. The wild, wild, West division in the NFC features stars all over the place and the Cardinals know that the offenses in Seattle, St. Louis and San Francisco are only getting better. Mathieu was a direct response to the Rams drafting Tavon Austin, and Okafor will be able to help hold down the middle of the field against speedy slot receivers and big tight ends.
He may have been another name to slip in the draft, but the Cardinals grabbed another quality prospect in Alex Okafor.