If it’s not evident enough already, Deone Bucannon‘s selection at No. 27 to the Arizona Cardinals in the first round of the NFL Draft has us incredibly excited!
For me, it’s about a little bit more, as I predicted his stock would rise into the first round here on ACU after his terrific NFL Combine day. I really thought many draft pundits would raise the bar on where Bucannon was to be selected as well, but his stock never really even rose into the top 50 on the legitimate draft boards and the like leading up to the draft. A few pundits gave a few thoughts on a surprise for the AP First-Teamer, but he was never seriously touted as a day 1 puzzle piece.
Part of it could be that he was just not known very well being from tiny lil’ ole Washington State, part of it could be the lack of career wins or the Pac-12’s general public perception defensively. I guess we’ll never know but the Arizona Cardinals put it all to rest at 27.
Suddenly, Mel Kiper Jr. was in love!
“Maybe the fastest safety in the class… this kid is a thumper… the hardest hitting safety in the class”
The ESPN crew mentioned how awesome it was that Deone had come from nothing to this moment and while watching tears of joy pour from Buc’s face while he hugged his family proclaimed “that’s what the NFL Draft is all about right there! The emotion, the realization, that’s good stuff right there.”
While those are all true statements, they made it seem like Bucannon was a surprise first round pick. While I didn’t see him going to the Cardinals, I guarantee there were at least a few teams who considered him before their selections earlier. The Packers may well have picked him at No. 21 overall had Clinton-Dix not still been available and I did not expect that he would be, but he was. Indeed, the Packers likely would’ve taken Bucannon there if that was the remaining option.
Then there were the Eagles. When they traded back to 26, I thought to myself “that’s where he’ll be going, they love him, he fills a major need and they know he’ll still be available.” But then they made the most head-scratching move of the first round in my opinion, opting for DE Marcus Smith from Louisville. So I said to myself, “ok well, onto New England!”
Turns out the Cardinals couldn’t possibly wait to shore up their back end with the very next selection. It’s now up to Deone to make the draft experts look really stupid for glancing him over time and time again.