Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 4/27/13
The Cardinals addressed their need for a pass rusher in the fourth round Saturday, picking up Texas defensive endoutside linebacker Alex Okafor with the 103rd pick overall. The 6-foot-4, 268-pounder, who stepped into the starting lineup at Texas following the departure of current Cardinals starter Sam Acho in 2011, racked up 19.5 sacks and 29 tackles over his final two seasons. As a senior last season, Okafor had 68 tackles, 12.5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles while earning unanimous All-Big 12 first-team honors. In the Alamo Bowl, he set a bowl game record with 4.5 sacks and totaled six tackles for loss in Texas' win over Oregon State. While most analysts projected Okafor as a 4-3 defensive end, he is expected to play outside linebacker in the Cardinals' 3-4. The Cards currently have Acho and O'Brien Schofield as starters at the position, but neither contributed as significantly as hoped to the pass rush last season, with each posting four sacks. Quentin Groves, a part-time starter last season who also posted four sacks, left in free agency, and no other outside linebacker on the roster had a sack last season. Later in the fourth round, with the selection acquired from the Chargers on Friday in a second-round trade, the Cardinals added a guard for the second time in the draft, taking James Madison's Earl Watford. The 6-foot-3, 300-pounder joins first-round pick Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina as part of the Cards' overhaul to an offensive line that was among the worst in the NFL in 2012. Watford, the first draft pick out of James Madison since 2010, was a first-team All-Colonial Athletic Association pick as both a junior and senior. He was considered by analysts to be one of the more athletic, mobile guards in the draft, garnering playing-style reviews similar to Cooper's. The Cardinals went into the final day of the draft with six picks.
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