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Cardinals Target Elite Athletes In Draft

GM Steve Keim added league-high four players with athleticism score in 90s

Purdue wide receiver Rondale Moore (4) holds off Vanderbilt safety Dashaun Jerkins (33) during the second half of an NCAA college football game in West Lafayette, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019. Purdue defeated Vanderbilt 42-24. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
Purdue WR Rondale Moore was one of four 'elite' athletes chosen by the Cardinals in the draft.

It will take time to see if the Cardinals' draft picks build successful careers, but there is no question they have the tools.

General Manager Steve Keim put an emphasis on physical traits with his selections over the weekend, drafting a league-high four players with an athleticism score higher than 90, per NextGen Stats.

Florida cornerback Marco Wilson, who the Cardinals traded up to grab in the fourth round, led the way with an athleticism score of 99. He ran a reported 4.34-second 40-yard dash at his Pro Day with a vertical jump 43.5 inches, elite numbers for a player who is 6-foot-1 and 191 pounds.

Safety James Wiggins, a seventh-round selection, earned an athletic score of 96 after reportedly running a 4.44-second 40-yard dash with a 38-inch vertical and 10-foot-7-inch broad jump. Wiggins put up those numbers despite tearing his ACL prior to the 2019 season.

Linebacker Zaven Collins, the first-round pick, was given an athletic score of 94. Even at 6-foot-5 and 260 pounds, Collins had the best career coverage grade (93.6) of any linebacker prospect, per Pro Football Focus. He ran a 4.67-second 40-yard dash and had a 35-inch vertical jump at his Pro Day.

In its pre-draft write-up, PFF said "Collins has throwback thumper size combined with modern athleticism."

Second-round choice Rondale Moore rounded out the group with an athletic score of 92. Keim said the diminutive wide receiver ran a 4.29-second 40-yard dash at Pro Day, and his 20-yard split, vertical jump and three-cone drill numbers were also elite.

Moore forced 37 missed tackles in 2018, which was the most in a season for a wide receiver dating back to 2014, according to Pro Football Focus.

It takes more than pure athleticism to succeed in the NFL, but this Cardinals quartet has it in spades.

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