Five Arizona players moving onto the NFL

Arizona Sports News online

So…five out of nine Arizona players in the NFL isn’t bad is it?

The first Arizona State and Arizona players picked were the ones expected to be, in Brock Osweiler and Nick Foles.

The final three chosen were cornerback Omar Bolden, who went to the Broncos in the fourth round, wide receiver Juron Criner, who went to the Raiders in the fifth round as a compensatory selection.

Last, but certainly not least, cornerback Trevin Wade heads to Cleveland and will be a Brown. Wade was also a compensatory selection in the seventh round.

Osweiler and Foles are going to two solid organizations in Denver and Philadelphia respectively, and will both take on developmental roles under Peyton Manning and Michael Vick.

There’s no telling how long Manning will stay under center in Denver, as his surgically repaired neck hasn’t been placed under threatening circumstances quite yet. All indications point to Manning rebounding well and leading the Broncos, while Osweiler watches and learns intently, waiting for his time to shine in the league.

Foles situation is very interesting in the fact that his footwork and mobility leave a lot to be desired, and he’s going to a team with one of THE most mobile and explosive quarterbacks that the game has ever seen in Vick.

There’s no questioning Foles’ arm strength, which is nearly unparalleled, along with his short-to-intermediate accuracy, but to me, it will be interesting to see how quarterbacks coach Doug Pederson and Vick with work with Foles to bring him along and what kind of quarterback the Eagles get from said development.

Can you ever envision a Nick Foles who can move around like Michael Vick? Would be an interesting sight…

He doesn’t need to be another Vick, as far as mobility goes. Even though he is a pocket passer, he would be well served to be a bit more mobile as well, along with perfecting his accuracy on deep throws.

Osweiler and Bolden obviously have a history together in Tempe, Ariz., which now continues in the “big boys” league.

The Broncos took a gamble on Bolden, considering he missed the entire 2011 season with an ACL tear, but the tape they did see of Bolden must have led them to select him.

The great thing that Bolden will inherit is some great teaching by cornerback Champ Bailey, one of the best cover corners in the history of the league.

Bolden was a great cover corner for the Sun Devils when he was healthy, and should do more of the same in the NFL, should he remain healthy and do what he does best: shutdown the opposition.

Criner no doubt has the skills to be a great receiver at the next level, but the big question mark on him is if he’ll show up each and every Sunday, especially knowing that he’s not going to be Carson Palmer’s No. 1 target.

What Criner has to do is embrace the opportunity that’s afforded him, and run with it. His time will come. Just show the Raiders and the rest of the league exactly what you’re made of and people will turn heads quickly.

How many of us would give it all up to be a wide receiver in the NFL? I think a lot of us would…

Wade was eight spots away from becoming “Mr. Irrelevant,” but thankfully for him that distinction doesn’t lie on him.

There are quite a few pluses for Wade going to Cleveland: they have a very young secondary, and learning the ropes from a young talent like Joe Haden can only enhance Wade’s progress and being that it’s a very young secondary, Wade should have a good opportunity to get some playing time there, as Haden experienced in his rookie season.

The Browns are banking on having a focused Trevin Wade, not the Trevin Wade who lost focus in his junior season. If he can come into camp 100% in it, then he’s got a great shot of doing big things.

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