The Arizona Cardinals used the second of two fifth-round selections to draft Auburn linebacker Owen Pappoe. He is an ultra-athletic playmaking linebacker who sounds like he is ready to play already.
What grade do the Cardinals get for selecting him?
The Cardinals went with plus athletes with every selection on Day 3.
Pappoe is undersized but insanely athletic. His bench press, 40, 10-yard split of the 40 and broad jump are all at least in the 90th percentile among linebackers.
He is built like new Cardinals linebacker Kyzir White and is and is as fast as Isaiah Simmons.
While we have seen years of high draft picks and big contracts going to off-ball linebackers, Pappoe matches philosophically what Jonathan Gannon wants from his linebackers.
He has the upside of a starter as a Day 3 pick. It is completely possible to see him replacing Isaiah Simmons in the starting lineup in a year, assuming Simmons’ fifth-year option is not exercised.
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