The Cardinals went offense with their two picks in the sixth round.
They added speed to their offensive attack on the outside with their first of the two by adding 6-0, 205 pound wide receiver out of Texas A&M, Ryan Swope. He attended Westlake High School near Austin, Texas which is the same school that produced quarterbacks Drew Brees and Nick Foles.
The former Aggie ran and 4.34 second 40 yard-dash time at the NFL Scouting Combine back in February and could pose to be a vertical threat for the Bruce Arians offense that loves to take shots down the field. He made a name for himself with his great ability of breaking tackles out of the slot and gaining a lot of yards after the catch.
“I am blessed to be here and blessed to be an Arizona Cardinal,” Swope said. “It’s a great opportunity.”
As a junior in 2011 at Texas A&M, Swope set school records in receiving yards (1,207) and receptions (89) when catching passes from eventual first-round draft pick Ryan Tannehill. His numbers when down a little bit in 2012 receiving passes from eventual Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel with 72 catches for 913 yards and eight touchdowns.
“Most definitely. I see that instantly,” mentioned Swope when asked if he can fill the role of being a deep threat. “I think it is a huge honor to get this opportunity and I am going to definitely make the best of it.”
One area of concern for Swope is that he has sustained four concussions over his career on the football field to this point. Many believe he would have been selected much earlier if not for his concussion history. But for Swope, he mentioned that the head injuries are not a problem and he never missed a game because of it.
“I am 100% right now,” explained Swope. “I have had a few head injuries but very minor and never missed a college game because of it…I have always been a fast healer, they have never been real serious, they’ve been real minor.”
“My head feels great, my body feels great and I am just ready to go out there and compete,” he added.
Of course Swope now has an opportunity to play along side and learn from one of the best wide receivers in the game in Larry Fitzgerald.
“That’s a dream come true for me,” Swope stated. “I grew up watching him play. He is just an incredible player. I am anxious to meet him.”
Next the Cardinals selected Clemson running back Andre Ellington with the 187th overall pick just one round after selecting Stanford running back Stepfan Taylor.
“It’s a relief,” said Ellington. “I was waiting around wondering why my name hadn’t been called yet but i knew when it was called, I knew it would be to the right team. I was fortunate for it to be the Arizona Cardinals.”
The 5-9 199 pound former Tiger rushed for over 1,000 yards twice in his career and started 33 of 49 games wearing the orange and purple. Like Taylor, Ellington is seen as a very solid pass blocker at the running back position which new coach Bruce Arians is a big fan of.
“It’s just a mentality I think that I was always worked on,” Ellington mentioned. “I am not afraid to go out there, put my helmet on and take on guys that are bigger than me.”
Ellington was named second-team All-ACC as a junior and first-team All-ACC as a senior where he averaged over 114 all-purpose yards per game with nine total touchdowns. He is a threat as a pass catcher as well. Seeing as he had 14 catches as a senior and five of those went for more than 20 yards. He also made a name for himself at Clemson as a special teams player as he 24.7 yard kickoff-return average, returned one kick for touchdown, blocked a punt and had six special teams tackles in his career.
“I am the type of guy that will come in there and do whatever they need from me to make that play,” Ellington explained. “I have big play ability. That’s what I thrive off of. I feel like I am a guy that can come in there and give the offense a spark on offense or on special teams.”