Stats, measurables misleading for Cardinals 3rd-round pick Myjai Sanders

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When the Arizona Cardinals selected Cincinnati edge defender Myjai Sanders with the 100th overall pick of the 2022 NFL draft, many people wondered why.

On the surface, he was an edge rusher who only had 2.5 sacks in 2021 and weighed only 228 lbs. He did not have great athletic testing numbers.

It seems like a reach to select him in the top 100 picks of the draft.

The Cardinals feel there is a lot there beyond the stats and measurements.

“You look at his numbers, they’re really ho-hum,” Cardinals vice president of player personnel Quentin Harris said on The Dave Pasch podcast. “But if you really study the tape and really study how disruptive this guy is…you’re getting a guy that is a tempo-setter. He plays with his hair on fire, tons of upside.”

The weight is another story. While he weighed in at the NFL combine at 228 lbs, that was in part because he got sick and lost weight right before the combine.

“He plays at 240,” Harris said. Sanders said he was at 248 on his conference call following his selection in the draft. Looking at him, though, you see a very thin player.

He had a ton of quarterback pressures last season for Cincinnati. Harris said Sanders must improve at finishing on rushes at the quarterback. “He missed about seven sacks,” Harris said of Sanders in 2021.

“He’s just going to have to slow down a little bit,” he added.

And that is a good thing. Bruce Arians always said he preferred having to tell players “whoa” rather than “sic’em.”

Sanders should hopefully get rotational pass-rushing opportunities this coming season.

The Cardinals believe he could be a more productive pro player than college player. We will see if that ends up being the case.

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