TE Niklas the second-round choice

Posted by Darren Urban on May 9, 2014 – 5:50 pm

Bruce Arians said at the Scouting combine he wants his tight ends to block first, catch second. And it the second round of the draft, the Cardinals took a tight end who is big enough to fulfill that role. Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas, at 6-foot-6 and 270 pounds, had 32 catches for 498 yards and five touchdowns this season, but that probably won’t be his priority in Arizona.

“He should become the best blocking tight end in football, if he decides he wants to,” NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said.

The Cardinals now have newcomer John Carlson, Jake Ballard and Rob Housler as the top tight ends. There is no question Niklas will get his time in the two-tight end sets the Cards use. He’s got room for growth. He was recruited to Notre Dame as a defensive end and moved to linebacker before getting chance at tight end. He played both offensive line and defensive line in high school. He was used almost exclusively as a blocker in 2012, so his receiving skills should only improve.

His nickname is Hercules, so he’s got that going for him.


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24 Responses to “TE Niklas the second-round choice”

  1. By CN Punk on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Absolutely love the pick!

  2. By SteveG on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Nasty and nice…….

  3. By steve on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    The Chargers jumped ahead of the Cards to take the pass rusher Attaochu from Georgia Tech. I wonder if he might have been Keims choice had he been there. They passed on Kony Ealy to take this TE, hope it works out.

  4. By Claire on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Is a blocking TE a good value in the second round??

    Last time I checked, we have an immediate need for depth on our defensive line (abraham and dockett aging, questions around DWash). Kony Ealy was still around …

    If we use Niklas as an offensive weapon, it’d make some sense. But then why sign Carlson and Ballard??

    I trust in the bald men … but this has me scratching my head a bit …

    Make me feel better about it, Darren!

  5. By Mike Ellingboe on May 9, 2014 | Reply


    If Niklas is as similar to Heath Miller as he seems, this is a pick all Cards fan will like, a lot.

  6. By Ottis Anderson Fan on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    I like the pick. He’s a nephew of HOF OT Bruce Matthews. Great pedigree!

  7. By Sean on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    I totally trust in Keim/Arians, as I love Bucannon, but I hope we get a center in the 3rd round. Sendlein is “serviceable”, but he’s ranked very low as far as centers go, & if we’re really going to be dominant up front, we need a guy that can blow people up that has intelligence. Someone that can keep the pocket clean for Palmer, which Lyle has struggled to do. I know Sendlein is popular & doesn’t get brought up much, but we definitely need an upgrade.

  8. By Darren Urban on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Sean —

    RE: Sendlein

    He doesn’t get brought up much because the coaches love him and he’s not going anywhere. If there had been a time for that it would’ve been when Arians arrived but this staff likes him as much as the last one.

  9. By Dynosoar on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Best Player Available vs Position of need. I have to say, what if the best player available also plays a position of need? Then we have a win-win. If San Francisco also needed a Safety (and they picked a smaller, slower safety a couple of minutes after us), then Bucannon wouldn’t have been there in the second round, so taking BPA means taking them when they’re there, not hoping he’ll still be there next round. I’m not saying he’s BPA or that Safety is a position of need, but Keim and Co thought so.

    Now my question (and I don’t have enough information yet to know) is Niklas BPA, position of need or is he also both and a win-win? I hope he’s both. He definitely has the size. Gronk who?

  10. By G Witt on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    I love the pick!!
    Does the name Rob Gronkowski ring a bell?? He was drafted in 2010 out of Arizona by the Patriots at #42 in the second round.
    He’s 6’6″ tall and weighs 265 and has set all kinds of records for a TE.
    I hope Niklas gets a chance to do the same for the Cardinals.

  11. By blakeucla on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    REALLY.. REALLY . like the trade on the first day dropping just 7 spots and then GETTING another 3rd round pick instead of a 4th round pick, come on just a drop of 7 places and got a GREAT PICK at that …. gotta love these move that these guys are making 🙂

  12. By Eric G on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Loved the picks until Brown. Don’t understand a wr, but hey, I’ll reserve judgement until training camp.

  13. By sbrown on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Eric G –
    the Brown pick is the “speed” guy that BA wants to have. remember last year that was to have been Swope, but could not stay healthy.
    At the Combune, Brown ran a 4.37 , 40 Yard time…that is big time fast. He also can return punts and kick offs. I like the pick, more weapons for the O / ST to use.

  14. By Rich on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Brown is a nice choice, but on day 3. I like everything we’ve done so far….except maybe the reach for Brown. Hopefully he “lights it up”!

  15. By Dr. G. on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Well, since BA recently said that we could go out and play right now before the draft, it is now obvious that Keim and BA have addressed only their wish list of needs thus far… and some reaches….

    John Brown at #91 fits the long ball stretch-the-field sprinter that they want along with Ginn. And he will play special teams and return punts/kicks too… I wonder if he can cook lasagna? He will probably be the smallest guy on the team, but maybe one of the best athletes…we’ll see if PP challenges him to some things.

    Now, to me, it looks as if the team is ready to battle in the NFC West if camp goes well and our injured players return full strength and God forbid as few injuries as possible… This is a brutal game to stay healthy…. Our best to the men… Go CARDS!

  16. By victor swain on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    yea, I don’t understand a WR either….D- FENCE wins Championships !!!

  17. By Smack28 on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Check out John Brown’s story. He is another one of these guys that plays with a purpose.

  18. By CN Punk on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    I love every pick we have made. We have exactly what we wanted. I for one cannot wait to see the gems that found tomorrow and after the draft. I don’t think we will need many if any FA after we get the UDFA rookies. Camp cannot get here soon enough.

  19. By jetstreamgreen81 on May 9, 2014 | Reply

    Love Bucannon in the first. Blocking Te in the second with Ealy there? I hope it works but I wanted Ealy there. Martin with first 3rd, hope he ends up like Calais. Brown???????? Speed yes but I think it was a big reach there. Hope it works out but not liking the draft so far this year after such a good one last year. I would have preferred a RB before blocking TE. I want to be excited but really disappointed with todays players. I really hope I am wrong. If we were going TE in the 2nd I would have preferred a trade up for AS Jenkins who TB got. I really hope I am wrong. Need to get OL depth, OLB and bpa after that tomorrow.

  20. By ored on May 10, 2014 | Reply

    good point on safetys,9ers would most likely have grabbed bucannon,if not did’nt see him lasting til our2nd pick.i think for the value and position of need,it was a good pick,it’s not an exact science and we need to maintain some flexability.i also thought the brown pick was a good place for ellington,but they liked brown more,can’t argue there,never seen him play.

    keim said our board was picked pretty clean and i do think more teams were sticking to a board much like ours and going for value,even dallas passed on johnny and went with line help.been watching tampa bay also since they grabbed one of our guys,seems they are relying on their free agent pickups and lovie for defense and going all in on offense in the draft.

    i think this year puts us right on schedule for steves plan,hard to imagine what next year will bring.

  21. By LadyBird04 on May 10, 2014 | Reply

    Saw the clip – this young man can actually catch a ball and goes after it even when not perfectly placed (look out Housler). He has the family pedigree to play in the league – like Arians said, it doesn’t take long to get on a plane. First two picks look like they’ll be starters before the year ends. It’ll be good to see our offense working without adding a lineman when we are running the ball as this guy can block as well.

  22. By Big Ken on May 10, 2014 | Reply

    I know some of the tight ends will not make the roster. I wonder if BA is going to give new looks and plays on offense? I get the feeling he’s got something cooking.

  23. By dynasty1717 on May 10, 2014 | Reply

    Bucannon was an excellent choice. After that the draft picks have left a lot to be desired. It appears that Keim has listened a little too closely to Arians and is drafting on need more than BPA. No way a blocking tight end is the BPA at pick 52. If so, then the top 120 big board is really off this year. DE in the third could work out well, but TE and WR choices could be mistakes. They should have taken Tom Savage with their last pick in the third. Best arm in the draft, can take a hit, good accuracy, and would provide decent value as a late third round pick.

  24. By William Barry on May 10, 2014 | Reply

    I think we hit on all cylinders in this year’s draft, we get bucannon, he’s a great role model and will be a great player. We switch to offense and get a great TE with size 6’7″ who can catch, block, run down field, and score touchdowns. then we grab another rush DE in Kareem Martin, ( a steal here), and then we get the QB who we can develop, logan, Then we get in round 5, an excellent run stuffer in Stinson, who plays the run very well. Great picks so far…..I’m so sick of hearing about Rams w/1 two punch, what about ours (Defense/Offense)???SF is just trading up and down, and not looking carefully about players. It not so great to draft 15 players, all of whom are average.

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