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|The Arizona Cardinals' 2018 draft made its reputation on Day 1 with the selection of a player who the team hopes will become the long-sought franchise quarterback of years to come. If the Cardinals got no one in this draft besides Josh Rosen Eddie Vanderdoes Jersey , fans would have called it a rousing success.
And offense turned out to be the theme. Only one of the six players drafted by the Cardinals plays defense, even though their new coach Steve Wilks was defensive coordinator last year at Carolina.
The choices were simply a function of the names on the Arizona draft board, general manager Steve Keim said.
"In a perfect world, coach and I would have been thrilled to have balance and to fill some positions defensively if those guys warranted those picks," Keim said. "But we had such high grades on those offensive players, we didn't want to stray away from the board."
In the second round, Arizona went with homegrown wide receiver Christian Kirk from Texas A&M in the second round.
The Cardinals picked center Mason Cole out of Michigan in the third round and, with their first choice Saturday dipped into the FCS ranks to grab running back Chase Edmonds of Fordham.
It marked only the second time in the draft's modern era (which began in 1967) that the Cardinals have used their first four picks on the offense. The other was in 1993.
Finally, in the sixth round, Arizona went defense, grabbing cornerback Chris Campbell of Penn State. The Cardinals' final pick came third to last in the seventh and final round when they selected offensive tackle Korey Cunningham of Cincinnati.
But this draft was, first and foremost, about that long-awaited young quarterback for Arizona.
When Carson Palmer retired at the end of last season, there were no QBs on the roster. Now they have Sam Bradford, Mike Glennon and Rosen Earl Mitchell Jersey , who will begin his new job in earnest at the rookie minicamp in two weeks.
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No Arizona draftee could have been happier than Kirk, who grew up in the Phoenix area, starring at Saguaro High in Scottsdale before choosing Texas A&M over staying home at Arizona State. Now he's coming home and keeps describing the situation as "surreal."
Kirk said he got to know star receiver Larry Fitzgerald when he played on the same Pop Warner team as Kurt Warner's son. Warner would sometimes bring Fitzgerald along to games and they struck up a friendship.
"I think I was probably in the fourth grade at the time, third or fourth grade, and every time they came out, it was just so crazy," Kirk said.
Kirk will use his old No. 13. That was the Hall of Famer Warner's number, too.
"Exactly, I have to rock it well," Kirk said. "I have a lot to live up to."
Keim said that as he evolves through his fifth year on the job, he's paying more attention than ever to off-the-field character and the player's love of the game as he assesses who should be selected. He noted all but Campbell in this year's class were team captains.
The idea was to go with "strong character guys" that match what Wilks calls his team's DNA.
"I've almost promised myself that we would take guys, even if they're a little less talented, but they have that makeup," Keim said. "... Especially in our first draft together, we wanted to make a statement."
Almost every year Jahleel Addae Jersey , the Cardinals dip into the talent at the FCS level, or lower.
This year it was Edmonds, the all-time leading rusher in the Patriot League for yards and touchdowns who could be in a crowded competition for a backup spot behind 2016 All-Pro David Johnson, as well as a kick and punt returner.
"I'm just looking forward to whatever role Arizona asks me," he said. "Whether it's being a special teams player, being a third-down back, on the slot, something like that. I'm looking forward to it."
Keim called Edmonds' production "off the charts" and said he would have set the FCS career rushing record had he not been injured during his senior season.
Some prior Arizona draftees from the FCS ranks or lower include Johnson, taken in the third round out of Northern Iowa in 2015; wide receiver John Brown, selected in third round out of Pittsburg State (Kan.) in 2014; and cornerback/special teams player Justin Bethel, picked in the sixth round out of Presbyterian in 2012.
Oh, and quarterback John Skelton out of Fordham in the fifth round in 2010. He's no longer around.
Look for defensive players to be signed as undrafted free agents, as well as maybe some late veteran signings. Arizona still needs to find a cornerback to play opposite Patrick Peterson and is looking for depth at linebacker as the team transitions from a 3-4 base formation to a 4-3. The Cardinals also could use some depth at tight end.
Amid chants of "Nova! Nova!" Villanova students and fans loudly welcomed their men's basketball team back to campus Tuesday night, a day after the Wildcats claimed their second national championship in three years. Players were treated like rock stars as they made their way into the ancient Jake Nevin Field House for a celebration.
"What's better than this?" coach Jay Wright said as the crowd roared.
Behind Donte DiVincenzo's career-high 31 points off the bench, Villanova routed Michigan 79-62 on Monday in San Antonio to win the school's third national title.
Junior forward Eric Paschall held the championship trophy and the bleary-eyed players wore hats lodged with strands of the nets they cut down a night earlier. Jalen Brunson Christian Okoye Jersey , the national Player of the Year, led the fans in a chant of "Di-vin-cenzo" before he was introduced last among the players.
"The chances of a red-headed Italian with Rollie Massimino 'RVM' on his chest, coming off the bench to score 31 points in the national championship game," Wright said before the crowd drowned him out, referring to the late Wildcats coach who led the school to the 1985 title.
The top-seeded Wildcats (36-4) won all six of their NCAA Tournament games by double digits, bucking the trend of upsets thanks to depth, buzzing offense and improved defense.
Go Cats!" junior guard Phil Booth yelled.
Rain forced the celebration to be moved inside from the football stadium, but it didn't dampen the enthusiasm at the Catholic school of about 6,500 undergraduates in suburban Philadelphia.
The tributes began immediately as the Wildcats landed, when the Philadelphia fire department delivered a water cannon salute as their plane taxied.
On their Main Line campus, fans, many of whom had a blue "V'' painted on their cheeks, stood in the rain in a line that snaked around the corner waiting for the doors to open.
Included in the crowd was Ron DiPietro, class of 1972, who said he turns 68 Wednesday. DiPietro clutched a gray 1985 Villanova national title T-shirt on a coat hanger.
"Too much firepower Deatrich Wise Jr Jersey , well-disciplined, wonderful team," DiPietro said. "They blew everybody out, let's face it."
The pep band and cheerleaders entertained the crowd before the team arrived. The balcony seats in the 1,500-seat arena were nearly full, with hundreds more on the floor crammed near a barrier to the stage. A banner hung that read "Congratulations 2018 men's basketball national champions."
Fans yelled "One more year!" to both Brunson and Mikal Bridges as they were introduced by Wright. Neither player wanted to comment on their futures, but Wright indicated returning to school was wishful thinking.
"We're going to talk about it this week with those guys," Wright said. "But both of them are going to graduate and both of them have a chance to become first-round picks."
Next up, a parade Thursday in Philadelphia that will end with a rally outside City Hall as the region basks in its recent sporting success. The Eagles won their first Super Bowl two months ago.
"I'm proud of the Eagles and I'm proud we're even part of it with them," said Wright, an Eagles season-ticket holder. "I'm really happy for the city of Philadelphia."
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