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Arizona Cardinals Select Temple Owls LB/DE Haason Reddick

Reddick joins former Temple Head Coach Bruce Arians in Arizona.

NFL Draft - Red Carpet Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Haason Reddick - DE/LB

40-Yard Dash: Bench Press: Vertical Jump: Broad Jump:
40-Yard Dash: Bench Press: Vertical Jump: Broad Jump:
4.52 sec 24 reps 36.5 in 133 in

Bruce Arians will always have an affection for the Temple Owls. That is why it is no shock that the Arizona Cardinals selected Haason Reddick with the 13th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Reddick is the first defensive player from a Group of 5 school to be selected in this year's NFL Draft. The Temple Owls star will join Arians, who lead the program from 1983-1989. Reddick also becomes the highest defensive player to be drafted from Temple, passing Muhammad Wilkerson of the New York Jets - he went 30th overall in 2011 - for that honor.

The highest draft choice in Temple history still belongs to John Rienstra, who was taken with the 9th overall pick in 1986 by the Pittsburgh Steelers. His coach in college? Arians.

It is only fitting Reddick is the highest defensive player to be taken in school history as he is the true definition of what it means to be "Temple Tuff." His story from walk-on to first-round pick is a great story about perseverance. He received no scholarships as a senior in high school and applied to both Rutgers and Temple. He was not accepted into Rutgers which brought him to North Broad, ultimately making Matt Rhule's squad. That cost Reddick's mother nearly $100,000 in tuition to keep him in school until receiving a scholarship his senior season.

He began his collegiate career as a defensive back, but once he was moved to defensive end, he created havoc for Temple's defense. He was phenomenal in his senior season, in which he finished third in the nation with 22.5 tackles for loss and leading the Owls with 10.5 sacks. His coverage skills were also on display as he had an interception in the American Athletic Conference Championship game against Navy.

His experience as a defensive back is why he was so highly coveted by NFL teams. While undersized by NFL standards for a defensive end, he should thrive at linebacker. His athleticism is off the charts as he broke several marks for defensive lineman at the NFL Combine. He was arguably the star of the Senior Bowl, where he showed scouts he had no problem transitioning to linebacker. Throughout the offseason evaluation process, his name continued to rise on draft boards.

Reddick will be a jack-of-all-trades for defensive coordinator James Bettcher. The Cardinals will be able to use him in blitz packages as an edge rusher on one play and cover a running back and tight end on the next down. He can line up all across the formation which will force offenses to account for him on every play.

The Cardinals have a grinder in Reddick. He told us in a recent interview that his end "goal is to get that yellow jacket." He is determined to make an impact in the NFL and Arizona will be the beneficiary. If he continues to work as hard as he has to get to this stage in his life, the final stop for this underdog's NFL career could be in Canton.