15 thoughts - draft

Gandhi

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For the first time in like seven or eight years I did not participate in an online draft, so I cannot do a writeup on it this year. Instead, I thought I would post some thoughts about the draft.

1 – In the first round, unless cornerbacks Patrick Surtain, Alabama or Jaycee Horn, South Carolina is there, I am trying like crazy to trade back and collect more draft picks.

By the way, according to most pundits, it is likely that five quarterbacks, four pass catchers, and two offensive linemen are selected within the first 16 picks. Then comes the “fact” that some teams don’t need a cornerback.

Case in point: it is not that inconceivable that Surtain or Horn will last to the #16 pick.

2 – I like the offensive line right now. From left to right, Humphries, Pugh, Hudson, maybe Josh Jones, Beachum is good with me. But, if they see the second coming of Steve Hutchinson or Joe Thomas on the board, by all means, don’t let the current lineup stop them from selecting him.

3 – I don’t think they are able to find better players than Rodney Hudson (third round), DeAndre Hopkins (fourth round) and Markus Golden (sixth round), but that doesn’t exclude that I am bummed that they miss those picks. I like the draft a lot and it excites me when the Cards’ pick is coming up, no matter if it the first round or the seventh.

4 – Many fans seemingly want that Keim trades back without remembering that it is not just up to him. You do in fact need a trade partner.

5 – Fortunately, especially the wide receiver- and cornerback classes are very deep this year.

6 – I hope we can agree that just because the Cards select, let’s say, the third wide receiver off the board it doesn’t necessarily mean he was the third best wide receiver on their board. Mel Kiper or Daniel Jeremiah or any other media-guy does in fact not design the Cards’ draft board. Do we have an agreement?

7 – It is very hard to justify selecting an injury troubled player in the first round, but have you seen cornerback Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech? My God, that guy has potential. If healthy, he is a potential cornerstone for the next many years. Talk about a lottery pick.

8 – I have been following the draft fairly closely for 12 years and I don’t remember having ever noticed more disagreements among draftniks, be it professional or amateur. It is most likely because of the unusual situation due to Corona, but I think there will be several surprises on draft weekend.

9 – I don’t think a runningback is ever worthy of a high selection, so who are you picking in the late rounds? I really like Chris Evans out of Michigan, and when it is all said and done, I am not sure he stays on the board until the sixth- or seventh round.

Kene Nwangwu out of Iowa State is my super sleeper, and interestingly enough, after his Pro Day some guys from a team called the Arizona Cardinals requested to do extra special teams workout with Nwangwu, and interviewed him after the session.

P.S. I can’t pronounce his name either, so don’t feel bad.

10 – Just remember that 32 fanbases think negatively about their general manager. Don’t worry. It is not just your team “he” screws up for. Huge parts of 32 fanbases seemingly think their team is doomed after draft night.

11 – I have always liked and feared the few seconds where Goodell or another announcer says “with the X pick the Arizona Cardinals selects…” Many hours of preparation (watching video clips, reading articles, studying statistic and data, trying to structure your thoughts) culminates in those three or five seconds, and you have absolutely no impact on the result. It is pretty intense.

12 – Drafting for the best player available is a myth and have been for many years. Every single team draft for need. Kingsbury and Keim will both tell you something else, but don’t believe them. For your own health.

13 – Certainly they could use more talent at tight end, but I don’t think it is a big need. They can scheme around that. It is not that important. Hell, with how they used Dan Arnold last year, they could use Fitzgerald the same way if they wanted. (Yeah, I went there. Sorry about that.)

14 – I don’t really understand the “you can’t judge the draft until three years from now”-mantra. Of course you can. It just depends on the perspective. If you base your judgement on if the players are good in the NFL, then obviously no, but if you judge by how your thought was when you approached the draft, then obviously yes.

15

Round 1 – Jaycee Horn, cornerback, South Carolina

My top ranked cornerback and, in my opinion, also the best cornerback fit for the Cards. Nuff said.

Round 2 – Elijah Moore, pass catcher, Ole Miss.

I am taking this guy over any pass catcher not named Pitts, Chase, Smith (well, not really since there are probably 100 Smith’s) and Waddle, but someone will slide down the board. And who cares about Moore’s size when no one can catch him anyway.

Round 5 – Jack Anderson, offensive guard, Texas Tech

I like to draft at least one offensive lineman each year, and why not select the guy that Kingsbury himself recruited specially to fit his offense and who became a key player on that offensive line-unit?

Round 6 – Chris Evans, runningback, Michigan

This would probably be my favorite pick of the draft.

Round 7 – Jonathon Cooper, edge rusher, Ohio State

I understand that we are all traumatized by the last adventure with a player named Jonathan Cooper, but I do think this version is a good fit for Joseph’s defense, that he has some upside, and thus that he is a good developmental prospect.

Round 7 – Avery Williams, cornerback, Boise State.

He probably can’t play defense in the NFL, but…

Special team stats through four seasons:

Nine touchdowns, including five punt returns, three kick returns and a blocked punt. Five blocked kicks (three punt, one field goal, one extra point). One forced a fumble while on kickoff coverage.


Happy draft, everybody!
 

Proximo

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I would pick Farley if he is on the board. I think he has by far the most potential to be a stud CB for years to come - he would actually be my first choice of all the CB's despite the injury risk. Other than that, I think I am trading down.
 

Garthshort

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Gandhi, your post was great. And it made so much sense, all 15 points. I'm hoping that with our first two picks we'll come away with two players that will be either starters or rotational players. I see CB as our greatest need and expect to get one in Round One or Two. And if we don't, because two guys, who we didn't think would be there, fell into our lap, then I think we'll have a post draft trade or FA signing. TE is another area that has to be addressed with the Draft, FA or Trade. JMO.

Again, thanks for a very nice read.
 

overseascardfan

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- I would say if Farley is there at #16 ARZ should take him.

- The "other" Moore, Elijah is actually a little taller version of Rondale not as fast but still ran a 4.35 40 at his pro day. Also, 17 reps on bench, pretty good for a 178 guy.

- As tempting as WR in 2nd round is, if Wyatt Davis is there at #49 I would take him. He starts at RG Day 1 and allows Kugler to keep Jones at OT where he has a chance to be starting RT.

- I like Seth Williams if ARZ doesn't go WR in Round 2.

- Deep pass rusher class could land one in Round 5.
 

Ohcrap75

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I love when you post these! Great work!

1. I would add WR's D Smith and Waddle. If both CB's are gone hoping one of the WR's have fallen instead. I think WR is second biggest need after CB since we run so many 4 WR sets.

3. I hate not having picks as well even if they were rightly traded. I basically split the NFL season into 2: On the field and Offseason. I have as much fun following the process of building the team as much as watching them play games. May be weird for some, but that's just me.

5. Both classes are deep. Although, most of the WR's that i like after round one are primarily slot receivers. I wish there were more options with size in mid to late rounds

9. I like Chris Evans too. My favorite RB after the top three is Khalil Herbert from Vatech. Decent size and speed, but has incredible vision and patience. Projected to go 4th or 5th

11. I got goose bumps reading this one. It's the equivalent to a last second field goal in the playoffs. Months of reading, watching and arguing leading up to the commish announcing the players name followed by pure joy (shots) or devastation (shots as well!).

15. I am a huge fan of Jaycee Horn. I think he one of the best CB prospects to come out in the last few years. Him, Chase and Pitts are the only three players I wouldn't mind trading picks to get. Almost all the teams starting at 8 could take a CB, so not sure how far we would need to go.
 

Solar7

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Good stuff as always. My thoughts to a few points:

1. Agreed, I want to move back unless it's Horn or Surtain. I know my hope of getting an RB is all but dead unless we move back, and even then I still think it's dead.

2. AVT would not make me mad but would really surprise me. I think that's the kind of pick that is helping another GM/HC a year from now, as RB and CB will suffer for it.

3. Yeah, I love the draft. Sad that I'll be able to half-ignore a good chunk of it.

4. Thanks for repeating this. Fans seem to think we just have that as a backup option. If there's no one WE want, other teams probably aren't that excited either.

7. See my point about AVT, but worse. I think Farley struggles massively year one, but will end up being great.

9. I don't even think it matters at round 5 or deeper. I'm sticking with what I have this late unless there's a special teams player in the late 6th or 7th. Nwangwu fits that bill, but I have no belief he contributes on offense. At this point I'd rather just see Eno Benjamin get some action than draft a 5th-7th guy.

10. Ours is statistically the worst in the draft in like the past 5 years or whatever... this isn't just just vocal overreactions... the proof is in the pudding. Time to put up or shut up - Keim needs two impact players this year, not guys that we think are maybe ready for a few snaps by week 8.

13. Freiermuth is definitely intriguing in the second, but I see other positions as a bigger priority. Still, we need at least one body in the late rounds, since we have no TEs under contract in 2022. Why not a Quinton Morris type?

Long story short on my end, I anticipate coming out of this draft having done something different than I would do. I really fear we'll blow another pick on a rookie WR that doesn't see the field early, or pan out in the long run. I want an RB but I don't think we have the picks or the position to make the move on anyone of relevance.

That said, if we manage to grab a Surtain/Horn or even Farley in the first round, I'll at least be content that we're going to have a good player for the future, regardless of the mess I think this year is going to be.
 

JeffGollin

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Due to COVID adjustments (i,e, no Combine etc.) GM's will be more inclined to "wing it", common knowledge will be scarcer and insider info will be harder to come by. Expect to see the word "who?" after more picks than usual.

The COVID factor is why so many mocks vary widely (kind of like trying to hit a moving dart-board blindfolded).
 

cardpa

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Unless Keim can move up higher into round two, Freiermuth will be gone by the time the Cardinals round two pick comes up.
 

az jam

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Always enjoy reading your 15 thoughts. IMO Surtain and Horn will be gone but Farley should be there. They should take him but check out the back surgery that he just recently had to make sure he will be OK. 2nd round will be really interesting as there will be several good players there. Would love to see one of the top 3 RBs drop and be available. (Harris, Etienne, Williams) else it will most likely be a WR. Should be fun draft to watch.
 

Totally_Red

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1. I'd take any of the top 3 cornerbacks including Farley or A-V-T at #16. One of those four should be there. Trade down in round 2.

Waddle may also be an option. Cardinals need a punt returner at some point in this draft.
 

QuebecCard

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Good stuff as always. My thoughts to a few points:


10. Ours is statistically the worst in the draft in like the past 5 years or whatever... this isn't just just vocal overreactions... the proof is in the pudding. Time to put up or shut up - Keim needs two impact players this year, not guys that we think are maybe ready for a few snaps by week 8.

The proof of a pudding is in the eating.

Take the time to check the first-round draft picks for all 32 teams over the past 10 years and you'll feel a touch better about Keim.
 

don7031

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A run on quarterbacks will make the numbers work out for the Cardinals. Someone the Cardinals can't pass up will be there at 16.

I know the focus has been on cornerback since the Cardinals ended with a whimper versus the Rams. But slotting Alijah Vera-Tucker in at right guard is the much better option. It doesn't matter who is playing cornerback or wide receiver if Kyler Murray limps through the back half of the season again.

The guy I don't want at 16 is workout warrior Micah Parsons. He is a Keim pick all the way. Off the chart measurables with no football instincts.
 

Gandhi

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- The "other" Moore, Elijah is actually a little taller version of Rondale not as fast but still ran a 4.35 40 at his pro day. Also, 17 reps on bench, pretty good for a 178 guy.

It was Elijah I mentioned :)

- I like Seth Williams if ARZ doesn't go WR in Round 2.

I like him too, but is he too much of what is on the roster already? I mean, I guess it would not be a bad thing to upgrade from Keesean Johnson, but would it be better to go after someone with a different skillset?
 
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Gandhi

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3. I hate not having picks as well even if they were rightly traded. I basically split the NFL season into 2: On the field and Offseason. I have as much fun following the process of building the team as much as watching them play games. May be weird for some, but that's just me.

I completely agree with this, OC!

9. I like Chris Evans too. My favorite RB after the top three is Khalil Herbert from Vatech. Decent size and speed, but has incredible vision and patience. Projected to go 4th or 5th

Good choice. I think one of the most underrated (maybe the most) aspects of a runningback is his ability to play with a low center of gravity, and I think Herbert does that very well.
 
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Gandhi

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13. Freiermuth is definitely intriguing in the second, but I see other positions as a bigger priority. Still, we need at least one body in the late rounds, since we have no TEs under contract in 2022. Why not a Quinton Morris type?

I think I feel with that as you do with runningbacks (where I agree with your overall premise, by the way – I just like Evans a lot) in that if they don’t get Pitts, I would rather just go for an undrafted guy or a veteran free agent. I don’t know. I guess I just don’t see tight end as a big need, simply because I don’t think they are valuable in Kingsbury´s offense.

I really fear we'll blow another pick on a rookie WR that doesn't see the field early, or pan out in the long run.

I agree with you on the point of this, but what you wrote made me think about how Chad Williams was actually on a team last year. Crazy, right? I was almost a little shocked when I saw it. Another super-bust, Brandon Williams, were also playing.
 
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