Arizona finally addresses line, selects OT Massie

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The Arizona Cardinals waited until the third day of the NFL draft to address the team's greatest need, selecting offensive tackle Bobby Massie of Mississippi in the fourth round.

The 6-foot-6, 320-pound lineman slipped farther in the draft than a lot of people had predicted, going to the Cardinals Saturday as the 112th player chosen overall.

"It just makes me hungry," Massie said in a conference call. "I was projected to go higher and earlier in the draft. It just makes me hungry. I'm just ready to strap on the pads and show teams why I should have been drafted earlier."

Arizona general manager Rod Graves and coach Ken Whisenhunt said the team resisted going for an offensive lineman in the first two days of the draft, opting instead to go with players higher on the team's draft board. The Cardinals selected wide receiver Michael Floyd of Notre Dame in the first round and cornerback Jamell Fleming of Oklahoma in the third round.

The Cardinals' second-round pick had been shipped to Philadelphia as part of the trade that brought quarterback Kevin Kolb to Arizona.

Massie played right tackle in college, the same position he will be competing for with Arizona. The Cardinals, plagued by inconsistent line play, re-signed left tackle Levi Brown in the offseason and signed free agent Adam Snyder, who can play either guard or tackle.

"I have the opportunity to prove myself," Massie said. "I want to get in, learn the system, and get around the guys, my teammates. My goal is to potentially be the starter by the time the season starts."

Massie, from Lynchburg, Va., had a year of college eligibility remaining but chose to leave Ole Miss after the team went 2-10 last season, leading to the firing of coach Houston Nutt. Massie started all 12 games last season on an offense that struggled mightily, finishing 114th nationally at 281.25 yards per game.

Overall, he appeared in 37 games at Mississippi, starting the last 29 of them. He blocked for 14 100-yard rushing performances but said he considers pass blocking his biggest strength.

"For my size, I'm athletic for a big guy," Massie said. "I need to work on staying low in the running game and staying on linebackers in the second level."

He said he didn't know why he had slipped in the draft.

"A lot of teams that talked to me and told me they were going to draft me ended up passing," Massie said. "That's just how the draft goes. I'm just proud to be in Arizona."

He said he didn't know much about the Cardinals.

"I know they throw the ball a lot," Massie said, "so I'll keep the quarterback upright."

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