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Cards all smiles about new tackle

The Arizona Republic


The Arizona Republic

The Arizona Cardinals liked what they saw of offensive tackle Levi Brown on videotape and were impressed by what they heard from him during an interview at the scouting combine in February.

The final test came March 22, when offensive line coach Russ Grimm traveled to State College, Pa.

“He worked me out at my pro day and really tried to kick my butt,” Brown said Saturday, not long after the Cardinals took him with the fifth overall selection in the NFL draft.

The Cardinals came away so impressed that they had Brown rated nearly even with Wisconsin’s Joe Thomas as the top tackles in the draft. When the Cleveland Browns took Thomas at No. 3, the Cardinals hoped to trade down and still get Brown. With no trade offers, they took him anyway.

“I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you that I like the physical mentality or the physical nature of the way he plays,” head coach Ken Whisenhunt said of Brown. “I think it is a good fit for what we are trying to do and what we are trying to establish with this football team.”

In the second round, the Cardinals did a most unusual thing, at least for them: They moved up.

The Cardinals traded up five spots with Oakland for the first pick of the round, the 33rd overall. The Cardinals sent their second-rounder and their fourth-round pick (105th overall) to Oakland and took Alan Branch, a 6-foot-5, 334-pound defensive tackle from Michigan.

Branch was expected to go in the first round and has a reputation for not playing up to potential.

The Cardinals did not agree and found no good reason for Branch to drop out of the first round.

The Cardinals followed that by picking linebacker Buster Davis of Florida State in the third round. Davis is small (5-9, 239 pounds) but was productive in college.

Arizona’s fifth-round pick, Steve Breaston, broke the career kickoff- and punt-return records at Michigan. He ranked fifth in career receptions with 156.

In the seventh round, Arizona chose tight end Ben Patrick, who played three seasons at Duke before transferring to Delaware.

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