It is not often that the number two ranked defense considers having to upgrade. Especially with their first pick in the draft. That is exactly what the Arizona Cardinals did. They selected Hasson Reddick, LB with the 13th overall pick. This selection gives the Cardinals exactly what they need, an athletic defensive presence.
Hasson Reddick played his college ball at Temple Universty. He was originally a walk-on that was asked to leave the team. His persistence eventually won him a spot on the team. As a senior, he finished third in the nation in tackles with 22.5. He also led Temple with 10.5 sacks. This is what led to his high stock in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Reddick is a flexible, explosive, quick linebacker. He has torpedo like radar. Once he locks onto a target he is there in an instant. Of his 22.5 tackles during his senior season, 21.5 were for a loss. He loves to play in the opponents backfield.
The flexibility that Hasson Reddick portrays is not weak. It allows him to play small so that he can fit himself into gaps and pursue running backs and quarterbacks. He has experience playing at all three levels of the defense. He is prototypical for that so called “hybrid” player that a lot of teams are looking for. Sort of like the role that Deone Bucannon plays.
Hasson Reddick is also an excellent pass rusher. He has an abundance of moves to get around blockers and pressure opposing passers. Again, once he locks on his target, once it is on his radar.
As I mentioned earlier he has played some defensive back. He was pretty good at it too. This will allow the Arizona Cardinals to play him in pass coverage. He can be an excellent cover linebacker. He could even be a mismatch against some opposing tight ends.
With this selection, the Arizona Cardinals helped themselves in a positive way. Not only did they fill an area of need, they did so with an athletic freak. Once Hasson Reddick finds himself in the ways of the NFL he is going to be a legit individual for a long time.
Editor’s Note: This article can be also be seen in our upcoming NFL Preview Edition.