The NFL Draft has certainly become a process over the last few years with the extended three day coverage. But Saturday was a big day for the Arizona Football program as three Wildcats, Ka’Deem Carey, Shaquille Richardson and Marquis Flowers, were all drafted. It was also announced later in the night that receiver Terrence Miller had signed a rookie free agent deal with the New York Jets.
For Arizona fans, all eyes were on Ka’Deem Carey throughout the NFL Draft. He broke nearly every record at Arizona, however his off-field issues and 4.7 40-yard dash definitely raised some concern, sliding him down draft boards all across the league. NFL Draft “expert” Mel Kiper Jr. didn’t even have Ka’Deem in his top 10 running back board, despite leading the nation in yards per game and rushing for 100+ yards in 16 consecutive games, a feat that hadn’t been accomplished in over a decade. However anyone who watched Ka’Deem at Arizona knows that the Chicago Bears got a steal in the 4th round with the 117th pick in the draft. The Bears have a go-to running back in Matt Forte, but Ka’Deem can definitely come in and take a few carries off his back. To make things even better, the tradition of Bear Down will follow Ka’Deem to Chicago.
Shaquille Richardson’s draft stock rose immensely at the East-West Shrine Game. He impressed all week at practice and finished the game with a sneaky interception, perking the interest of many NFL scouts. Although scouts were concerned about his footwork, it was his size (6-1) and speed (4.5 40-yard dash) propelled him up draft boards. And of course who could forget this fabulous play against Oregon? Richardson went to Pittsburgh to work out for the team a few weeks ago and with the 157th pick in the draft, the Steelers took Richardson, where he’ll be joining former Arizona corner, Robert Golden.
Marquis Flowers was an anchor for the Arizona defense this past year, always flying towards the ball. Marquis come into the program under Mike Stoops as a free safety, but made the switch to outside linebacker when Rich Rodriguez came to town. Coming in at 6-2, Flowers ran just above 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. Although he was versatile at Arizona, he’s going to need find his niche with the Bengals. As a safety he struggles a bit in coverage and as a linebacker he might be a little too small so it’ll be interesting to see where the Bengals place him. Richardson and Flowers will be going from teammates at Arizona, to AFC North rivals, having to play each other twice a season.
Terrence Miller slipped through the cracks of the draft but got to choose his fate as he signed with the New York Jets, just hours after the draft. A pretty smart choice for him as the Jets have quite possibly one of the worst receiving corps in the league, making it a little easier to stand out in training camp. He was granted a medical redshirt in 2012 and was poised to make a statement in 2013 didn’t get many targets this season with BJ Denker.
We wish all of our Wildcats the best of luck in the NFL!