Defensive end Ed Stinson (left) was the Cards' fifth-round choice and wide receiver Walter Powell was taken in the sixth round.
Many times an impressive senior season or NFL Scouting combine performance can rocket a prospect up the draft charts. Ed Stinson believes his ascension is coming, just a little later than some of the others.
The Alabama defensive end was the Cardinals' fifth-round choice on Saturday, a round lower than he envisioned heading
into the draft. Stinson said a groin injury contributed to his drop, but believes he has the tools to deliver on the potential which made NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock peg him as a third-round pick.
"I just played the whole season with it nagging and stuff like that, and it just started to get worse and worse," Stinson said. "I just fought through it and did what I could do for the team because they didn't have another end that controlled the edge and stopped the runs. I just went ahead and did it for the team."
Stinson had groin surgery in May of 2013 and said it bothered him from the second game through the end of the season. He had 8½ tackles for loss and three sacks as a junior, but those numbers dipped to two tackles for loss and 1½ sacks as a senior. His forte is stopping the run, which doesn't always show up in the numbers.
Stinson was the team's second defensive line selection in the draft, following third-round choice Kareem Martin, and they are expected to add depth to the position behind starters Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett.
"This guy is a powerful player," General Manager Steve Keim said. "He's explosive through his hips and does a nice job chasing down the line of scrimmage laterally, but he's not going to become a 7-, 8-, 9-sack-a-year guy. We really have two different style players but are really good fits for us because they can play in the rotation and fit in different spots for us."
CARDINALS CHOOSE ANOTHER RECEIVER
Keim signed wide receiver Ted Ginn in free agency and added John Brown in the third round, but went to the well once
more, picking Murray State's Walt Powell in the sixth round. Coach Bruce Arians called Powell "as physical a wideout as there was in the draft" and believes he can be an asset on special teams while competing for the fifth receiver spot.
Powell ran a 4.63-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting combine but had an injured foot, and improved it to 4.45 at his Pro Day. Eight teams attended it, which didn't include the Cardinals, who told Powell they had an accurate reading from the game film. Despite their absence, Powell said he had a feeling Arizona was one of his possible destinations.
"I heard I was one of those guys they liked at receiver," Powell said. "I kind of had it in the back of my head that the Cardinals were going to draft me."
Powell had 66 catches for 837 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2013. He said the Cardinals "liked my ability to make guys miss, and my ability just to catch the ball and get straight upfield and to just be a playmaker."
BROWN, STINSON REUNITED IN ARIZONA
Stinson grew up with Brown in Homestead, Fla. They took very different routes to the NFL, as Stinson played four years for national powerhouse Alabama while Brown bounced around to three different small schools.
Stinson said Brown – who ran the second-fastest 40-yard dash among wide receivers at the NFL Scouting combine – was anything but a speed demon when they were young.
"I'm telling you, when he was younger, he wasn't fast at all," Stinson said. "When he was younger, he was the slowest kid on the block… I guess he got tired of people telling him he's too small."
MOBILE QB FITS IN NFC WEST
Fourth-round draft pick Logan Thomas was a freshman quarterback at Virginia Tech in 2009, which was exactly 35 years after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians was named the Hokies' MVP as a senior QB. During the 2011 season, Thomas rushed for 11 touchdowns, tying Arians' single-season school mark (11, 1974) for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback.
Thomas' rushing ability stood out to the front office as they evaluated his film.
"The one element he brings to the table that we don't have on our roster and a lot of teams in this division do have, is when things break down for a young quarterback he can make things happen with his feet," Keim said. "When you watch him on tape, there are some games like the UCLA game where he breaks out on the perimeter and he's got about eight guys on his back and he carries them 10 more yards. There's some stuff he does that's pretty impressive."
Get to know the 2014 Arizona Cardinals draft class.