Feb 25, 2012; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Courtney Upshaw who is projected to be a top ten draft pick speaks at a press conference during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The Big Blue View 2012 Community Mock Draft has reached pick No. 13, where 'ManningHam and Cheese' is playing the role of general manager for the Arizona Cardinals. Here is the selection.
No. 13, Arizona Cardinals -- Courtney Upshaw, OLB, Alabama
With the 13th pick in the 2012 BBV Mock Draft, Arizona selects Courtney Upshaw, DE/OLB Alabama. The Cardinals could have gone a couple of ways with this pick, mainly a franchise tackle to help keep Kolb upright, or a premier pass rusher on what was one of the NFL's worst defenses at getting pressure on the QB. With the 2 clear cut best OTs gone in Kalil and Rieff, the Cardinals elect to help their anemic pass rush. Ingram would have been the pick here, as Arizona believes he is the better all around pass rusher, but Seattle swooping in at the last minute leaves them with Upshaw.
Upshaw has a relentless motor, great strength, can hold up extremely well against the run, is good at shedding blocks to get to the ball carrier, and has a knack for being in the right spot. At Alabama, he played the hybrid end/linebacker role, showing an ability to play standing up, and with his hand in the dirt. Because of his size (6'1", 273), many scouts are questioning whether he can be an end in the NFL. Luckily for Arizona, they employ the 3-4 defense, where the rush is expected to come from the OLB position, something Upshaw should excel at. Some have likened him to a Lamar Woodley type, and if it's accurate, the Cardinals have finally gotten the edge rusher they sorely need in their 3-4 scheme.
Tossed back and forth on this pick, deciding whether to go with the pass rusher, or take Jonathan Martin to shore up the LT position, which is Arizona's other glaring weakness. With pass rushers always at a premium, and a starting caliber LT a little easier to come by than a premier edge rusher, Upshaw made the most sense. Look for Arizona to take a tackle with their second round pick. -- ManningHam and Cheese
-- 'Simms-McConkey' is now on the clock for the Dallas Cowboys