The Arizona Cardinals pick at number 24 in the 2015 draft. A promising 2014 season was derailed by injuries at the quarterback position to starter Carson Palmer and backup Drew Stanton. Arizona lost in the Wild Card round to Carolina complete with a miserable offensive performance turned out by third stringer Ryan Lindley. Palmer will be returning from his second ACL injury and it’s a stretch to think he’ll return to his previous form under head coach Bruce Arians. Larry Fitzgerald restructured his contract with the only team he’s ever played for to provide more cap flexibility for the organization. Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, and impressive rookie John Brown make a nice wide receiver core in the dessert. Running back Andre Ellington had an injury filled 2014 season and will look to regain his rookie year form as the Cards every down back. Pro Bowl guard Mike Iupati was snagged away from the division rival 49ers to help the Cardinals average offensive line. Iupati is one of the more underrated signings of the offseason especially since Arizona’s offensive line has been substandard the past few years. Defensively the Cardinals lost coordinator Todd Bowles who became the new head coach of the Jets. James Bettcher is the new DC and has been with head coach Bruce Arians in Indianapolis as well. Darnell Dockett, who missed all of 2014 with an ACL, was released by the team and signed with San Francisco. Dockett would have been welcomed back paired along with Calais Campbell, but the cap situation dictated otherwise. Sean Weatherspoon and Lamar Woodley were signed at linebacker to provide veteran depth. Darryl Washington could return from his season long suspension in 2014 as well. Cornerback Antonio Cromartie followed Bowles to the Jets leaving an opening for the starter opposite Patrick Peterson. Speaking of Peterson he recently announced he has Diabetes and was the source for his decline in play last season. Look for Peterson to bounce back and have a big 2015 campaign. The Cardinals are in a division with NFC Champion Seattle as well as San Francisco and St. Louis. This is one of the more physical divisions in football and the Cardinals fall in line with that mold. With the 24th pick in the 2015 Birds Scoop Mock Draft the Arizona Cardinals select…
Bud Dupree- Outside Linebacker (Kentucky)
Dupree is one of the most if not the most freakish athlete in this draft class. He posted an eye popping 42 inch vertical at the combine to go along with a 4.56 forty yard dash. Dupree is praised by scouts for his power and ability to dominate tight ends at the point of attack. He also possesses an explosive closing burst to pair with his physicality. The Kentucky alum displayed the ability to drop into coverage and play zone which he could be asked to do as outside 3-4 linebacker in the Cards scheme. Dupree received a positive grade for his character and was a team captain in 2014 so Bruce Arians should not have a problem. At this point he relies more on his athleticism to win battles than specific technique most great pass rushers develop. Some scouts have knocked Dupree for his lack of instinct and hesitation at times which can be a result of that. He tends to take bad angles to the ball carrier which needs to improve as an edge setter on defense. Dupree will need to develop a go to pass rush move which could prove lethal with his incredible athletic gifts. At the moment the outside linebackers listed on Arizona’s roster are Lamar Woodley, Matt Shaughnessy, Alex Okafor and Lorenzo Alexander. Woodley is the most senior member in the league out of that group and will be playing his first year in cardinal red. Dupree certainly fits a need as the other names are more rotational type linebackers that typically see limited snaps. Woodley would be able to teach Dupree a great deal since both are considered to be physical type outside linebackers.
Next Pick: 25th Overall Carolina Panthers
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