Arizona Cardinals bring in RB Pierre Strong After Losing Chase Edmonds

The Arizona Cardinals are keen to bounce back from their disappointing playoff exit that followed a very respectable 2021/22 regular season. They re-signed running back James Conner to a three-year deal but unfortunately lost Chase Edmonds, with the RB joining the Miami Dolphins.

The Cards still have Eno Benjamin, though; they have also re-signed Jonathan Ward and have brought Jaylen Samuels in. It appears they may be intent on adding to the position by way of the draft.

According to The Draft Network’s Justin Melo, the team scheduled a visit with South Dakota State running back Pierre Strong.

The senior is a great prospect given his speed and, should he join, would likely increase the team’s chances of winning. Fans would be better off for this, especially on the betting front as Arizona sports betting is live now.

A 5ft 11in, 205 lb star, Strong ran the 40 in 4.37 seconds. The Arkansas native rushed for 1,686 yards and scored 18 touchdowns last season. He led the FCS with 7.0 yards per attempt.

Strong is one of the players who has done some steady climbing up the NFL Draft ladder. The player was well aware he needed to meet certain criteria in order to realize his dreams of playing in the NFL and has since accomplished all of the goals he set for himself.

With the draft coming before the end of April, it remains to be seen which round he will land in. Dane Brugler of The Athletic has tipped him to go to the Indianapolis Colts in the fifth round while ESPN’s Jordan Reif has him going to the Kansas City Chiefs in the fourth.

PFF ranks him as the No.40 overall prospect while Draft Scouts have him as the No.11 overall, No.6 running back, and a projected third-round selection.

Strong worked hard to attain his current status. He was already a multiple-time All-American having registered two 1,000-yard seasons as a freshman and sophomore in 2018 and 2019. He knew he had to keep on improving after the spring 2021 campaign in which he rushed for 707 yards and scored three TDs in 10 games.

“I had that urgency where my dreams and aspirations were to make the NFL, so I knew what I had to do,” he told HERO Sports. “I wanted to lead the FCS in rushing and be First Team in everything. Coming from a smaller school, it’s already tough. I knew I had to lead in everything. I had that in my mind … I really invested my time and sacrificed things to be where I needed to be. I invested all of my time in the summer coming out of the spring season. I was always taking football seriously, but coming into your senior season you’re going to take it to another gear. I wrote down my goals and I achieved those goals.”

The 2018 MVFC Freshman of the Year wasn’t highly recruited out of Little Rock, Arkansas, and had no FBS offers. He had a few from the FCS, including from SDSU, Central Arkansas, and Missouri State. However, he was on the radar of all of the programs in the country by the summer of 2021.

He never considered switching to an FBS program despite it being an option

 “I’m a loyal guy,” he explained. “If I’m locked in with someone, I’m locked in. A lot of people around me wanted me to, but I just said, ‘Nah I’m with the Jacks.’ … The bond with my brothers on the team, I never thought about leaving or anything because you have to look at it too from the other side.

“The grass isn’t always greener. If I go to another school, now I may not get the touches like I had before or I’m not getting into the game and then I’m getting frustrated. All those things come into play. But I wasn’t going to leave somewhere that took a chance on me coming out of high school when not a lot of people took a chance with me.”

While improving his draft value by switching schools was a possibility, Strong met all of the goals he set for himself playing for South Dakota. As mentioned above, he led the FCS in rushing yards and had the most rushing touchdowns of any running back in the FCS. He made it to the All-Missouri Valley Football Conference First Team, as well as the All-American First Team.

He rushed for 138 yards and two TDs on only 13 runs in the first game of the season against FBS school Colorado State. The performance translated into a 42-23 win for SDSU. It’s when he felt like NFL scouts were paying real attention.

“I wrote down my goals and said I wanted to run this. I said I wanted to jump this. I said I wanted to do this,” he said. “But at the time back in January, I was like, ‘Dang, this is going to be some hard goals to reach.’ But I wrote it down, so I’m not going to erase it. But it was like God was with me the whole way. He shined his light on me. I put my head down and was grinding for three months straight and I got the combine results I wanted. God put me in the right place and around the right people.”

Getting drafted by the Cardinals would mean he might have one of the best quarterbacks in the game passing to him but folks wouldn’t be so sure about the te

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