3 important things to know about Cardinals 1st-round draft pick Haason Reddick

Posted at 8:02 PM, Apr 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-27 23:18:42-04

According to coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim, the Arizona Cardinals took the best player available to them Thursday night when they selected Haason Reddick with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

It's a remarkable story considering no college program wanted Reddick, a 6-foot-1, 237-pound linebacker with a tremendous combination of strength and speed, when he came out of high school.

Here are three important things Cardinals fans should know about the newest addition to their roster.

1. He didn't have a single scholarship offer.

Reddick's wasn't on the radar of a single college football program when he came out of Haddon Heights High School in New Jersey.

Why? Because he barely played football his last two years of school. Reddick played just four games in those two years due to various injuries, but he was invited on to Temple's football team as a walk-on in 2012. He didn't receive a scholarship until after his junior season.

Reddick methodically made a name for himself at Temple, improving upon his stats in each of his four seasons with the Owls. In 2016, only two NCAA football players recorded more tackles for loss than Reddick's 22.5, and his 10.5 sacks were second-best in the American Athletic Conference.

Cardinals general manager Steve Keim said Reddick is "one of the very best stories in this draft when you talk about a guy who has overcome adversity."

2. He's versatile.

The Cardinals were thrilled when Reddick was available Thursday night because they love the versatility he'll bring, as he's a man capable of playing multiple positions on defense.

"I love 2-for-1 players," Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said about Reddick. "When we get a guy who can play two positions equally great, that's huge for us."

Cardinals insider Kyle Odegard said Reddick is likely to play inside linebacker in Arizona despite playing outside linebacker for most of his collegiate career. Reddick also has experience as a defensive back, which was the position he played when he began his career at Temple.

Arians compared Reddick's game to that of Broncos linebacker and three-time All-Pro selection Von Miller, and Reddick himself said he tries to emulate the Super Bowl 50 MVP.

3. He played for the team Bruce Arians used to coach.

Arians' head coaching career began at Temple in 1983 when he was just 30 years old. He was the head coach there for six seasons, and he coached eventual first-round picks John Rienstra and Paul Palmer, before joining the Kansas City Chiefs as an assistant coach in 1989.

"It's an interesting stat that the two players drafted in Temple history in the first 20 (draft picks), I coached, and I just drafted one, so he's the third one," Arians said Thursday night, adding he used his connections on the current Temple coaching staff to learn more about Reddick.

"They love this guy. They can't say enough great things about him as a person, and on the football field it speaks for itself," Arians said.

And since this year's NFL Draft is being held in Philadelphia, where Temple is located, Reddick's selection was naturally cheered by the fans in attendance.