Former Washington State safety Deone Bucannon only had to suffer through one nervous draft day, hearing his name called late on Thursday evening when the Arizona Cardinals made him the 27th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The strong safety is the first Cougar selected in the draft's first round since Marcus Trufant went No. 11 to the Seattle Seahawks in 2003.
The Cardinals moved down in the draft by trading the No. 20 pick to the Saints in exchange for the No. 27 as well as a third round pick.
In college Bucannon was known for his big hits and he led the Pac-12 with 114 tackles, as well as leading the Cougars with five interceptions. He'll fit right in with the physical NFC West division as the Cardinals hope try to build a defense resembling the 49ers and the Super Bowl champion Seahawks.
Last year Arizona ranked sixth in overall defense, allowing just 317.4 yards per game and a best-in-the-NFL 84.4 rushing yards per game. The Cardinals intercepted 20 passes last season, tied for fifth in the league.
Bucannon joins a strong secondary, headlined by All-Pro cornerback Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie at the other corner spot and Tyrann Matthieu at safety. The addition on Thursday of an All-American at the other safety spot rounds out what could be one of the NFL's most complete defensive backfields.
We hope to have more from Bucannon later tonight.