The 2020 Arizona Cardinals were an exciting team that exceeded expectations and competed for a playoff spot. If the Cardinals want to take the next step, they need to put together a good recruiting class. With their first pick in the middle of the first round, there’s no reason why they can’t bring in top talent.

The Cardinals said goodbye to former All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson this season, so they’ll want to fill that void so their defense doesn’t lose ground. The Arizona Cardinals selected Caleb Farley, a 6-foot-2, 200-pound cornerback from Virginia Tech.

Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley, an expected first-round pick, missed his pro day due to back surgery, but here, courtesy of @Bommaritos, is his final 40 of 5. March, when coach Pete Bommarito said he clocked Farley at 4.28 in the 40. pic.twitter.com/cibdZeGUGJ

– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 29, 2021

Corresponds to data sheet

Caleb Farley turned down the 2020 college football season because he lost his mother during the 2018 season, saying he couldn’t afford to lose another loved one. In the game following the death of his mother, Farley recorded two interceptions for sacks as his team defeated Florida State. When I watched the game live, it was clear that Farley was the best player on the field, and it didn’t make much difference.

He eventually signed with Rosenhaus Sports and NFL super agent Drew Rosenhaus for the 2020 college football season. While his former Virginia Tech teammates prepared for the season, Farley prepared for the draft and his NFL future.

Farley has all the qualities you look for in a press defender: Athletic, excellent ball skills, great speed, instincts and solid size/frame. Simply put, he fits the mold of the modern NFL cornerback.

Receivers coming out of the NFL Draft, players with dimensions like DK Metcalf or A.J. Brown, must be covered by a cornerback with dimensions. I’m not saying Farley will immediately make such threats when he comes into the league, but the combination of his size and athletic ability gives him an edge over others.

In 23 games for the Hokies, Farley recorded six interceptions, 56 tackles, 19 pass deflections and one defensive touchdown. He started week one of his first season and could have an impressive career at Virginia Tech, but his best football is still ahead of him.

Farley has had a few injuries, most recently back surgery, but if he can stay healthy, he will be a productive cornerback in the NFL. His instinctive style of play fits well with the aggressive attacking approach of most teams who are now taking vertical positions on the opponent’s defense. Farley takes risks, plays the ball like a receiver, is a pursued tackler and has the athletic ability and speed to make in-game adjustments without losing too much ground.

Virginia Tech CB Caleb Farley’s agent, @DrewJRosenhaus, told him after today’s medical recap in Indianapolis that Farley passed his back exam well and is still expected to be a first-round pick.

– Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) April 9, 2021

With a strong cornerback class this year, I think Farley will give the Cardinals the best matchup with Patrick Peterson they can find in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. His style of play, his ability to make plays and his athletic ability have gotten him this far, and the very idea that he can play the same secondary role as Buddha Baker should excite Cardinals fans. Caleb Farley’s potential is huge, and the Cardinals should pick the Virginia Tech player if he’s still available.

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