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In Fourth Round, Cardinals Draft Dadrion Taylor-Demerson

Team adds to secondary depth with player nicknamed 'Rabbit'

Safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson smiles as he takes the call from the Cardinals when they drafted him in the fourth round on Saturday.
Safety Dadrion Taylor-Demerson smiles as he takes the call from the Cardinals when they drafted him in the fourth round on Saturday.

When Dadrion Taylor-Demerson arrived in Tempe for one of the Cardinals' 30 draftee visits it happened to be on the first day of the voluntary veteran workouts earlier this month, and the Texas Tech safety happened to walk past Pro Bowler Budda Baker as he headed into a meeting.

"I introduced myself," Taylor-Demerson said, "but it was so brief I doubt he'd remember me."

That'll change quickly, after the Cardinals took the Taylor-Demerson in the fourth round of the draft on Saturday and bringing in a player who self-described as having "a lot of attributes, just like my man Budda."

Baker and fellow veteran Jalen Thompson are entrenched at the position for the Cardinals, but after Andre Chachere played significant snaps last season, adding depth was necessary.

Taylor-Demerson was certainly thrilled, although he admitted he had been hoping the Cardinals would've taken him with one of the plethora of third-round picks on Friday. He trained for the Combine in Arizona, his best friend growing up lives in Mesa, former Texas Tech athletic trainer Drew Krueger is now the Cardinals' head athletic trainer, and, he noted, he's always worn a red jersey when he's played football in his life.

"This is where I wanted to be at, man," Taylor-Demerson said.

His nickname is "Rabbit," a long-time moniker since he was a child running around the field "like a rabbit" as his youth coach once noted and backed by his 4.41 40 time at the Scouting combine. A running back his entire life until he reached Texas Tech, Taylor-Demerson didn't really want to abandon his offensive roots, but found that it worked out well for him.

The 5-foot-10, 200-pounder had four interceptions this past season and 10 in his college career and was named All-Big 12 in 2023. He was also the Shrine Bowl's defensive player of the week in January.

"His best attribute is his range and ball skills," GM Monti Ossenfort said. "He has a nose for the football. We think he'll be able to play the deep half of the field and then we'll see what else he can do."

His ascension to a fourth-round NFL pick as a safety is impressive. The Oklahoma City native was headed to Utah State as a running back until a change in coaches led to his scholarship offer being pulled. He found his way to Texas Tech, only to have them want him on defense.

Taylor-Demerson's initial reaction? "Are you kidding me? Have you not seen my offensive tape?"

Now he's playing safety alongside Baker and Thompson, trying to make an impact differently than he once thought.

"I've always been doubted," Taylor-Demerson said. "Small guy, didn't know what to get. But I've been blessed with opportunity, and when I get there I'm a high-character guy, phenomenal athlete. I show up and do what I've got to do.

"I'm excited to get to Arizona and add to that defensive room."