The Arizona Cardinals selected Florida OT D.J. Humphries at No. 24, a move that may finally solidify their troublesome right tackle spot. The Cardinals moved aggressively last offseason to land left tackle Jared Veldheer in free agency, but they failed to find a counterpart for him on the other side of the line. Bobby Massie allowed a team-high seven sacks, as well as 27 hurries, from that position. Humphries is a little rough around the edges, but NFL teams were enthralled with his upside over the past few months. He's athletic and plays with an edge, both traits that coach Bruce Arians will appreciate—Veldheer has them. This pick will help Arizona in 2015; it could really pay off a couple years down the road.
Strengths: Plays with nimble feet, which is perhaps the main reason that NFL teams may envision him as a long-term left tackle. Covers a lot of ground on run plays, both laterally and in getting to the second level. Quickness to stay with just about anyone on the edge, including DE/OLB hybrids that try to win with speed. Posted strong marks in footwork drills at the combine. Never wants to be a bystander during a play and will seek out contact even if defenders have vacated his area. Shows potential to develop into an above-average pass-blocker. Holds his own in the power game and drops in a hurry. The total package is there in spurts—size, agility, aggressiveness. He just needs a little more time to unlock it all consistently.
Weaknesses: Start with the experience and health questions. Humphries surprised a lot of people when he declared for the draft, mainly because he started fewer than 20 games in college. After struggling to stay on the field in both 2013 and ‘14, can he be trusted to make it through an NFL season? Proper technique comes and goes. When all the parts are not moving in sync, Humphries winds up lunging and shooting his hands seemingly at random, hoping to stay in control. Defenders that play low to the ground are problematic because of his blocking posture.
Player comparison: Duane Brown