The first round of the 2017 NFL Draft saw the Bears, Chiefs and Texans move in front of the Arizona Cardinals to select quarterbacks (Mitchell Tribusky- Bears, Patrick Mahomes- Chiefs and DeShaun Watson-Texans). The Cardinals stayed put with their number 13 overall selection, and picked Temple linebacker Haason Reddick.
Reddick racked up 10.5 sacks during his senior season at Temple. In addition, he finished third in the nation with 22.5 tackles for a loss. His measurables from the NFL combine came in at 6’1″ 237 pounds, and he ran a 4.52.
More on Reddick:
- Haason Reddick is from Camden, NJ.
- Injuries ended Reddick’s junior and senior years at Haddon Heights High School and he went to Temple as a walk-on cornerback. He did not receive a scholarship until his junior season was complete.
- After Reddick’s 2012 redshirt freshman season, he was told he would not have a spot on the team the next year, but a coaching change brought in Matt Rhule to Temple, who liked him and moved him to the defensive line.
- In all, Reddick played for four seasons with Temple as he started 32 of 46 games. He racked up 150 tackles, 18 sacks, 46 tackles for a loss and five forced fumbles.
- As a senior for the Owls, Reddick started all 14 games with 65 total tackles and 22.5 tackles for a loss. His 22.5 tackles for a loss set an AAC single-season record.
- Reddick graduated from Temple in December with a degree in Criminal Justice.
Head coach Bruce Arians and General Manager Steve Keim addressed the media following the 13th selection.
Quotes from Arians and Keim:
- “We’ll find a place for him whether its early as a rusher, or if its a stack backer,” Keim said about Reddick’s versatility at the linebacker position. “He has got enough skills to be a difference maker for us and we’ll find the right place for him on our difference.”
- “Certainly a guy we were focused on from the very beginning,” Keim said. “One of the very best stories in this draft when you talk about a guy who has overcome adversity and had a tremendous experience at Temple, when you look at a guy who has overcome being a walk-on, earning a scholarship and then dominating the way he did at Temple this past year.”
- “Two-for-one is a big thing in our room,” Arians said. “We love two-for-one players. When we get a guy who can play two positions at equally great, that’s huge for us. He will have a huge impact in a lot of different positions. He gives us unbelievable flexibility in sub-defense.”
- “Supply and demand is an issue at that position [quarterback] and whether you like the or not that value is extremely high,” Keim said. “I wouldn’t have been shocked if you told me three were sitting there still on the board at 13 and if three went, I wouldn’t have been shocked. This draft in particular was extremely hard to forecast the top 12 picks.”
- “Again he [Reddick] checked every box at the combine,” Keim said. “His workout was off the charts. At the senior bowl, he stepped in with all the top talent and played different positions—dominated. And then you talk about the character… he was an A football character, he loves it, all the connections we have at Temple, everybody signed off on this kid… I felt like it was a pretty easy pick.”
- “I hate saying it, but Von Miller,” Arians said about who Reddick reminds him of. “He’s just a little bit smaller than Von. But he’s got that unbelievably speed and can turn the corner. But he has also played inside and you can see that stack linebacker ability that he has. I don’t like comparing them like that, but that’s the one guy I can think of.”
Haason Reddick joined the media via conference call after being selected to join the Arizona Cardinals.
Quotes from Reddick:
- “I think it [Senior Bowl] boosted it and it opened up people’s eyes,” Reddick said. “I was kind of under the radar going into the senior bowl and then half the people saying hold on this kid was a D-end [defensive end] and now he’s playing off ball backer and he’s doing good at it. I think it opened up their eyes and made them go back.”
- “When they told me I was going to be playing inside linebacker, the first thing in my mind was, ‘well hey there goes a new position that I have to go dominate’,” Reddick said.
- “I don’t compare it to anybody but I would definitely say coming out of college, I would say I tried to imitate Von Miller’s game,” Reddick said.
- “I’m not worrying about being compared to anybody, I’m not trying to be like anybody,” Reddick said. “I’m just trying to be Haason Reddick at the end of the day and Haason Reddick wants to be the best player that he can be.”