The Cardinals could have gone with a quarterback with the 27th overall pick on Thursday, but instead of drafting Carson Palmer's eventual replacement, Arizona decided to bolster its secondary by taking Deone Bucannon.
The Cardinals didn't just get Bucannon either, they also got an extra draft pick in the process. Arizona traded down from No. 20 to No. 27 with the Saints and New Orleans gave up the 91st pick in the draft to make the move.
CBSSports.com senior writer Pete Prisco probably would've taken Northern Illinois safety Jimmie Ward, but he thinks the Cardinals did alright with Bucannon.
Bucannon: Had to get safety to upgrade back end. Good football player who'll hit you. Like Jimmie Ward more, but that's nitpicking. GRADE: B— Pete Prisco (@PriscoCBS) May 9, 2014
Bucannon was all over the field last season for Washington State. The safety picked off six passes in 2013, a number that ranked No. 1 in the Pac-12 and No. 6 in the country.
The knock on Bucannon, according to NFLDraftScout.com, is that he has trouble changing directions, "Bucannon das a high, choppy backpedal and is stiff in the hips, limiting his ability to change directions fluidly. This leaves him vulnerable to double-moves and ball-carriers with the agility to cutback against the grain," Rob Rang wrote.
Bucannon played well enough during his college career though to do something that hadn't been done in over a decade at Washington State: Get drafted in the first round.
The 2014 draft marks the first time in 11 years that someone from Washington State was taken in the first round. The last time the Cougars produced a first-round pick was in 2003 when the Seahawks took Marcus Trufant with the 11th overall pick.