The 13th pick in the first round, Haason Reddick spoke to the press for the first time in Arizona.
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At his introductory news conference, Arizona Cardinals draft pick Haason Reddick answers a question about what he is going to do with his first NFL contract.
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers reacts to the introductory press conference for Haason Reddick and what the Cardinals might do next.
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Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley assess the Arizona Cardinals’ selection of Haason Reddick in Round 1 of the NFL draft and discuss the needs the team still has to address.
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Check out how Cardinals fans were feeling during the team’s 2017 NFL draft party.
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With plenty of defense options on the table and all the quarterbacks gone, the Cardinals elected to go linebacker and Kent and Bob break down the reasons why.
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The Cardinals have made 18 picks in the first round of the NFL draft since 2000. Take a look at the standouts.
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With the 13th overall pick in this year’s draft, can the Cardinals afford to repeat their strategy with their last two first-round picks?
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Kent Somers have the latest on the Cardinals draft and the reinstatement of Daryl Washington.
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The Cardinals are hosting draft parties Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at the Great Lawn outside of University of Phoenix Stadium.
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The Cardinals have the No. 13 pick in Thursday’s NFL draft. Several players are linked to the team in many mock drafts.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Jay Dieffenbach discuss possible Cardinals strategy in the NFL draft, views on picking a quarterback and more.
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Bob McManaman selects his top five defensive backs for the 2017 NFL draft.
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Bob McManaman ranks the top special teams players in the upcoming draft.
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azcentral sports’ Bob McManaman chooses the top five linebacker prospects in the 2017 NFL draft. (Photos by USA Today)
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Arizona Cardinals’ general manager Steve Keim and head coach Bruce Arians have found some of their best players in the third round.
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Arizona Cardinals Larry Fitzgerald and Chandler Jones discuss the importance of giving back and some bets amongst Cardinals players before the Larry Fitzgerald Celebrity Softball Game on Saturday at Salt River Fields. Patrick Breen/azcentral sports
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Cardinals GM Steve Keim has a tough task when it comes to finding quality talent and character to add to the team through the draft.
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azcentral sports Cardinals insider Kent Somers talks with Arizona Cardinals defensive tackle Fostee Rucker. || Video by Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Cardinals defensive tackle Frostee Rucker discusses learning from last year’s expectations and adding Karlos Dansby and other veterans. Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Breaking down the top three games of the Cardinals’ 2017 season.
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Shot Clock: azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and Bob McManaman discuss the Cardinals’ potential use (or overuse?) of running back David Johnson.
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Arizona Cardinals president Michael Bidwill talks about golf and the NFL draft at Cardinals annula golf outing. Video: Rob Schumacher/azcentral sports
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Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians is ready for the 2017 NFL schedule to be announced.
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Cardinals General Manager Steve Keim talk about the upcoming NFL draft. || David Kadlubowski/azcentral.com
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azcentral sports’ Jay Dieffenbach and Dan Bickley discuss Carmelo, a dancer, and the Cards’ quiet, classy young superstar.
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azcentral sports’ Kent Somers and the Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald discuss Fitzgerald’s charity softball tournament on Saturday.
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The Cardinals’ Larry Fitzgerald joined azcentral sports’ Kent Somers to discuss the team and the upcoming season.
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Scott Bordow sizes up the first day of strength and conditioning for the Arizona Cardinals at their training facility in Tempe. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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USA TODAY Sports’ Tom Pelissero recaps the NFL owners meeting and the proposed league rule changes.
USA TODAY Sports
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Bob McManaman and Kent Somers at the NFL owners meetings on Wednesday, March 29, 2017. Bruce Arianas likes full-time officials, centralized replay and says there’s 1 QB in upcoming draft who’s plug-and-play. Video: Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Coaches of the National Football Conference take questions from the media in Phoenix on March 29, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Cardinals insider Kent Somers and other reporters talk with Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians at the NFC coaches breakfast on Wednesday at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix. Video by Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Bob McManaman of azcentral sports talks to AFC coaches at the annual NFL owners meeting at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix, Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Bob McManaman and Kent Somers at the NFL owner’s meetings: Coaches of AFC teams meet the media at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix on Tuesday, March 28, 2017. Video: Tom Tingle/azcentral sports
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Cardinals coach Bruce Arians discusses free agency, quarterbacks and cornerbacks in the draft on Wednesday night. Kent Somers/azcentral sports
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Cardinals GM Steve Keim discusses this year’s rookie quarterback class ahead of the NFL draft on Wednesday night. Kent Somers/azcentral sports
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Cardinals introduce Haason Reddick
First buy for Cardinals’ Haason Reddick? A house for his mom
Somers talks Reddick and possible 2nd and 3rd round picks
Shot Clock: Tap brakes on Haason Reddick pick?
Sights and sounds from Cardinals draft party
Kent Somers and Bob McManaman talk Cardinals draft of Haason Reddick
Cardinals’ top first round NFL draft picks since 2000
Can Cardinals afford to be patient with another first-round pick?
Cards face choices with draft, Daryl Washington
What to know about the Cardinals’ draft party
NFL mock drafts: Popular picks for Arizona Cardinals
Shot Clock: Cardinals trade up for QB?
Top 5 defensive backs of 2017 NFL draft
Top 5 special teams players of 2017 NFL draft
NFL draft’s top 5 linebacker prospects
Keim, Arians striking gold in draft’s third round
Larry Fitzgerald, Chandler Jones talk about Celebrity Softball Game
Cardinals looking for ‘football character’ in NFL draft
Kent Somers talks with Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker
Cardinals DT Frostee Rucker on expectations, adding Karlos Dansby
Top 3 games in Cardinals schedule
Cards playing dangerous game with RB Johnson?
Cardinals president Michael Bidwill talks about golf, NFL draft
Bruce Arians wants to know date of London game
Keim on Cardinals’ NFL draft prep
Shot Clock: New face of Cardinals franchise?
Larry Fitzgerald holding 7th annual charity softball tournament
Larry Fitzgerald 1-on-1 with Kent Somers
Cardinals begin strength and conditioning program
Goodell says he’ll be in New England for opener
NFL meetings in Phoenix: On Bruce Arians, new rules, the draft
NFC coaches take questions at NFL owners meeting
Kent Somers talks with Bruce Arians at NFC coaches breakfast
Bob McManaman talks to AFC coaches
At the NFL owner’s meetings: AFC head coaches meet the media
Cardinals’ Arians talks free agency and draft
Cardinals GM Keim on draft’s QBs
Go ahead, try to knock that chip off his shoulder. Budda Baker dares you. Go ahead, call him smallish and too undersized to make it in the NFL. Baker can’t wait to prove you wrong.
He usually gets the last word, anyway, which is one of the reasons why the Cardinals traded their fourth- and sixth-round picks to the Bears on Friday night to move up nine spots in the second round of the NFL draft to grab the Washington safety, plus Chicago’s seventh-round pick.
Despite his size – 5-foot-10, 192 pounds – the Cardinals are convinced they just found themselves another ball-hawking, playmaking defensive back in the mold of the Honey Badger, Tyrann Mathieu. And that can’t be a bad thing at all.
“It means a lot to me just because you don’t see that a lot and it showed how much interest that they had in me to move all the way up from the 45th pick to the 36th pick,” Baker said on a conference call.
When the selection was made and coach Bruce Arians called Baker with the news, he told the prospect, “We’ve got the most dynamic secondary in the league now!”
A four-star recruit out of Bellevue, Wash., Baker was always told he was too small to be dynamic. It’s a perception he’s had to battle his whole life, but when he hears all the talk, he said he simply has to think of his mother, Michelle, and it makes him turn into a warrior.
Or as Mathieu already tweeted out, “Young savage.”
Baker’s mom is a cancer survivor and has been dealing with multiple physical challenges, including Crohn’s disease and diabetes.
“For me, I just always feel like the smaller guy people don’t really talk about or certain things like that,” Baker said. “Also, I try to think about my mother battling certain illnesses … and I just feel the anger within her. I always hear people talking about how it’s hard running these gassers and then I think about my mom and how she has doctor’s appointments every day, getting stuck with IV’s, taking certain pills every day.
“When people say that, it just makes me mad because I feel like all that stuff is easy but when you’re in the hospital constantly, that’s hard.”
So Mom is the motivation?
“Of course,” he said. “She’s the rock in the family, the foundation. She’s what makes everything tick.”
BOIVIN: Haason Reddick’s journey has lessons for all
On the football field, Baker is what makes everything “tock.” He can play anywhere in the secondary and is the sort of “hybrid” type player the Cardinals absolutely love. They will often utilize up to seven defensive backs in certain passing situations and move their safeties and corners all over the place to not only cover target areas, but to disrupt passing routes and confuse opposing quarterbacks.
“That’s a great thing for me,” Baker said.
Instead of celebrating with his mother, Baker said he planned to spend the rest of Friday night studying film of the Cardinals’ defense with his former position coach in college, Jimmy Lake. Talk about dedication from a 21-year-old.
That’s Baker, though. He started all 14 games he played for the Huskies as a true freshman back in 2014, finishing with 80 tackles, and he ended his collegiate career as a consensus All-American.
“That’s the type of kid he is,” Arians said, when told Baker planned to watch film of the Cardinals all night. “Betch (defensive coordinator James Bettcher) and (defensive backs coach) Nick (Rapone) could hardly get him off the phone; he was wanting to know the whole playbook.”
Arians also recalled a story about Baker and a bunch of his teammates having a foot race to the top of the Space Needle in Seattle.
“He was the first one up there,” the coach said, “and he was barking at everybody as they’re coming up the steps.”
In an effort to further improve his draft stock and continue his development, Baker worked out in the offseason with former longtime NFL cornerback Ronde Barber and Earl Thomas, the safety for the Seahawks.
“I learned a lot,” he said. “Both guys talked about our size because we have similar body styles, but Ronde more. He taught me how to watch film a lot, constantly watch film and study your opponent. Earl Thomas also taught me about breaking – certain breaks take my eyes to the receiver first, then the target first and then the ball. Certain little things that will help me better for this league.”
If he can resemble the player that Mathieu has become, Baker will be off to one hell of a start. Like his new bosses, Keim and Arians, Baker believes he and the Badger have similar styles to their game. Baker’s about an inch taller and about 15 pounds heavier, but they wear the same jersey number – 32 – and play with the same passion
“I feel like we do, yeah,” Baker said. “We also have the same type of body type. Of course, I will also say that we are different, but we share the same traits.”
Earlier in the day, Mathieu sent out a tweet that read, “Some real 1st rounders will be drafted today.” Baker retweeted it and said those words will stick with him for a long time.
“It was crazy,” Baker said. “I thought about that when they called me. That was just crazy because I follow Tyrann on my feed because, like I said, I was a fan of him, still am. I saw that, so I had to retweet it because that’s how I felt. It was cool.”
Reach McManaman at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @azbobbymac and listen to him live every Wednesday night between 7-9 on Fox Sports 910-AM on The Freaks with Kenny and Crash.