Getting defensive: Cards add muscle, speed to secondary

The Arizona Cardinals added to their nest Thursday night.

General manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians got defensive selecting Washington State strong safety Deone Bucannon with the 27th pick in the first round.

The Cardinals, originally slotted to select 20th, traded down with the New Orleans Saints swapping first-round picks and acquiring the Saints third-round pick (#91 overall).

A four-year starter for the Cougars, the 6’1, 211-pounder brings not only physicality but speed and cover skills to a division which features some of the best pass-catching tight ends and slot receivers in the NFL.

“We took the best player on our board,” Keim told the assembled media following the selection. “Just so happens he has phenomenal physical tools.”

Keim went so far as to compare some of those physical tools to former Cardinal Pro Bowl safety Adrian Wilson who went so far as to welcome Bucannon to Arizona on social media.

“It’s an honor and a blessing,” Bucannon said of the comparisons to “A-Dub.” “That’s the level I want to get to. That’s one of the guys that you want to emulate.”

Keim said Bucannon may have been bypassed by some teams because he didn’t play at an elite program like some of the others drafted before him.

Bucannon agreed with the assessment.

“I feel very overlooked,” he explained. “I can only control what I can control. I don’t want to let the Arizona fans or my coaching staff down.”