58. Markus Golden, D/OLB Missouri
With Bennett, Ajayi and Rollins still on the board at #58, the Cards pounced on the BRS's 7th-ranked OLBin Golden. In a nutshell, he can best be described as a short-armed but productive and relentless "energizer bunny." He's not considered elite in any area of the game, but has posted solid Total Tackles, Tackles Behind the LOS and Sack totals that exceed what you'd expect from a guy with slightly above average physical ability.
He's listed by some as a DE, but is on ly 6-2 255 with 31.1" arms.
Here's what some of the draft guides have to say about him:
Pro Football Now (Arkush): (Rates him 9th as a DE). "Relentless motor...plays the run well...very good in pursuit...good instincts and reactions...sets the edge...good outside pass rusher." Very productive at Mizzou but undersized...tight hipped/short arms.
Lindy's: Rates him #7th as a n OLB). "6-2 255...Despite only being in for 40% of Mizzou's defensive plays ilast season, recorded 55 tackles, 13 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks...and broke up 8 passes....Had even gaudier numbers at Hutchison CC before transferring to Mizzou...well-rounded skill set...can beat blockers in space...quick eyes to read & adjust...energetic and relentless/finishes with violence...made big plays with counter-move...wins with quickness...ses hands well/delivers powerful punch.aware in the passing game...but a bit straight-linish with average suddenness...short compact frame at position where length is becoming a key component...not elite off the edge...might be better suited at DE."
Beckett's Draft Guide - (14th-ranked LB)..."pas rusher with great snap-anticipation...decent against the run...had 10 sacks in 2014 (not consistent with Lindy's sack total)...a bit stiff and struggles changing direction..."
Pro Football Draft Guide - (Ranks as #8 3-4 OLB).... "Collegiate OLBwithgood quickness, strong base and great motor....does damage with power and effort...relatively short-armed....Dropping into coverage will be an isse but has the tools to be a well-rounded starter."
Bottom Line: Most fans have special ideas about "how they'd do it" if they were GM, but that doesn't make them smarter than Steve Keim. I looked down the homestretch as the Cards neared #55 (&, after the trade, #58) drooling over the possiblity that Bennett, Ajayi or Rollins were still on the board and could be a Cardinal. The selection of Golden, therefore, was a bit of a come-down, but that doesn't make me right. The Cards needed help on the outside - preferably with someone who'd be sound in all aspects (including as an edge rusher). The Golden pick, therefore, appears to have provided us with an OLB who's consistent, well-rounded though less than spectacular but who can get the job done. Onward to #86!