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Campbell Is Second-Round Pick

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The Cardinals took Miami defensive end Calais Campbell in the second round.

The Cardinals were looking at running back in the second round, but adding more size to the defensive line was too hard to pass upon.

So the Cards declined to take running backs like Jamaal Charles of Texas or Ray Rice of Rutgers and took Miami (Fla.) defensive end Calais Campbell, a 6-foot-7 monster who struggled during his junior year after impressing many as a

sophomore.

"He is at a position, I just don't think you have enough of those type of players," general manager Rod Graves said.

With defensive linemen Antonio Smith and Bertrand Berry each playing on one-year contracts for now, Campbell will fortify the defensive line's depth both for 2008 and in the future.

The general thought on Campbell is that he will take time to adjust to the pro game, but like first-round pick Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he is a player considered to have potential to shine.

Campbell had six sacks as a junior after posting 10½ sacks as a sophomore.

"He didn't quite play as well this year as he did last year but we still think he is a good player," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "He is a guy who has skill getting to the passer, in addition to being 6-foot-8 and 290 pounds, which is hard enough to find.

"We just were very excited he was there."

Graves said on the Cardinals' draft board, Campbell was in the top 30, making it even better to get him with the 50th pick.

"The chance to add to depth, along with his tools and skills, it was just too hard to pass up," Graves said.

Campbell blamed his dropoff in his junior season to poor technique, but said he had a good interview with Cardinals defensive line coach Ron Aiken at the scouting combine and said he thought Aiken "is a good teacher."

"I feel I have the perfect fit," Campbell said. "I feel that playing with Antrel Rolle and Edgerrin James, I have a couple of 'Canes that can help me with everything.

"I love the Cardinals."


Contact Darren Urban at askdarren@cardinals.nfl.net. Posted 4/26/08. Updated 4/26/08.

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