Cardinals’ surprise pick gives Draft one of its most emotional moments

Can Deone Bucannon be to the Cardinals what Kam Chancellor is to the Seahawks?

Mark J. Rebilas

Johnny Manziel entered Thursday night’s first round of the NFL Draft the most-publicized prospect in the field. So naturally, when his slide out of the top 20 began, cameras increasingly focused on the Heisman winner, trying to catch his emotions in the green room at Radio City Music Hall as each name that wasn’t his was called.

But on the other side of the country, a different story was developing. Oh sure, it included a guy getting picked in the 20s, and some pretty good video, to boot. But that’s about where the similarities end.

With the football world still buzzing over the Browns’ selection of Manziel at No. 22, the Arizona Cardinals, who had themselves passed on Manziel when they traded down from No. 20 to No. 27 with the Saints, gave us one of the stunners of the first round.

Deone Bucannon.

Yeah, Deone Bucannon.

Not found on many — if any — first-round mock drafts, Bucannon is a safety from Washington State and a two-time All-Pac-12 selection known for his ferocious hitting. More than one pundit has compared him to Seattle safety Kam Chancellor.

Some fans feel the same way, too.

You know . . . the guy who just won a Super Bowl. And Bucannon will team with Cardinals defensive backs Tyrann Mathieu, Patrick Peterson and Antonio Cromartie to form a formidable secondary in the desert.

But perhaps best of all, rather than entrance music, high-priced suits and hand shakes with the commissioner, Bucannon treated us to this scene with his family in California when his name was called (check the 35-second mark). Nothing says the joy of Draft day like crying with mom.