A Bias and Non-Bias - Draft Review

RugbyMuffin

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First things first, I think last season really pissed me off more than I even allow myself to acknowledge, and then to see the direction this team went from there, has made my general attitude towards the organization become even more bitter and sour.

I digress....yeet.

I was a big Bruce Arians fan, and he had the chance to have a team that would have won and competed for Super Bowls for about 3 to 4 years, but he was robbed of the last two years by injury, and unprofessional behavior by needed players on the roster.

Carson Palmer, Tyrann Mathieu, John Brown, David Johnson, Chris Johnson, Michael Floyd, and Daryl Washington.

Those players stay on the field and stay healthy for Arians throughout his time here, and I could only imagine what would have been the results. It didn't happen.

I was then certain....soooooo certain, that a change in atmosphere and a few changes to the offensive line would take an 8-8 team and bring them back to being competitive. Nope.... BIG nope.

Then there is Steve Keim, a very good GM when it comes to signing free agents. I hate his drafting of players. I think he over thinks things. His job is to provide clarity, and he allows the waters to be clouded, IMHO. Sometimes boring is good. You need a player with X, Y, and Z, and that has the skills and experience. Sometimes the big name that everyone sees, is what you need. Too many small players, from smalls schools. Too many project players. ZERO investment in certain positions on the field. It goes on and on, and he NEVER seems to learn from mistakes. It will be his downfall.

Now on top of that, I have been constantly pining about hiring a sub-.500 college coach, to be HEAD coach. Offensive trends come and go, so making Kingsbury the offensive coordinator ? I would be 100% behind. If the offensive trend dies out, get a new coach. But as a head coach ? I am sorry, but I am old school and a head coach is less of a head coach and more of a business manager. He has a vision and a plan for the entire team. But, this is where MY PERSONAL BIAS comes in. This an old school approach.

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BTW those clouds deserved it.


What did I want to have happen ? A more conservative approach, and bring in a guy like Jim Caldwell.

jim-caldwell-meme-jpg.29097


That one's for DVontel.

Yes, boring, but he was able to make the Detroit Lion competitive, and could have worked with Josh Rosen. A good blend of Caldwell and Kingsbury would have produced a good mix of old and new style on offense. This would include staying invested in Josh Rosen, who I believe would be able to play different styles of offenses need be.

I want to be clear, there is no doubt the NFL is going to more "college style" offenses, and I think any team that is not going in that direction is going to be left in the dust competitively. But, I think the Cardinals went a little overboard and forgot their is more to football than offensive X's and O's.

Where I am EXTREMELY happy, is with the defensive selection of Vance Joseph, and after some more research and reading this weekend, I realize I was not 100% correct on how Joseph runs his defense. Vance Joseph will definitely play press-man coverage and blitz, but not like Todd Bowles (who I was a HUGE fan of and still am). Joseph will be aggressive but not as aggressive as Bowles, there will be some zone-blitz schemes, think back to the days of Whisenunt.

Thus I want to look at this draft in two ways. In a way that if I believed in the system the Cardinals are going to implement on offense, and my bitter way.



1. Kyler Murray, QB:

There is no way to deny the talent of Murray. Look back to last year, I want Lamar Jackson more than any other QB. Murray is better than Jackson in every way. The Cardinals brought in Kingsbury, which was a huge risk, so why not do all you can to mitigate that risk buy giving the guy everything he needs. It is EXTREMELY rare a coach gets the exact QB that fits his system. Well, the Cardinals have done that. The Cardinals offense executes properly and Murray is going to take the league by storm. NFL defenses at this time are really buying into playing press-man and blitzing the QB hard. Well, you do that against Murray and he is going to DESTROY your team. With either his feet or his arm.

Bitter: This offense is not going to be around too much longer, we just poured all our resources into Josh Rosen who is going to figure out the offense and become a dangerous QB from the pocket. Murray is a talent without a doubt. He has all the ability to exploit pressure from the edge, and extend plays in the passing game. But, in the NFL there is a lot of pressure up the middle, the Cardinals SUCK as protecting up the middle, and people forget that Russell Wilson (Murray's comparative player) was hurt a lot because he was getting hit. If this offense fizzles out, is Murray going to be able to play in a different system ? The Cardinals have really pigeoned holed themselves, and this could be a disaster that spans at least five LONG years. Not to mention, the Cardinals currently need a pass rusher, and do not have one after Suggs who is injury prone at his age.



2A. Byron Murphy, CB:

A top 15 talent in this draft. On the mental, and character side, you are not going to find a better prospect. Hard nosed, competitive cornerback that plays more with his mind then his body. He will be a guy that is "in the right place, at the right time." While he is not the best at playing press-man, he does play zone well. While he is not the best against "pick plays", and bunch formations, he is an animal in the run game. He is a perfect fit for Vance Joseph, and has played on the outside in college, and will be out there for the Cardinals across from Patrick Peterson in no time.

Bitter: The Cardinals have enough slot/safety players. It has been way too long since they spent the resources on a cornerback that can play on the outside. They need some size in the secondary, it looks like Munchkin land out there. They keep throwing these small players out there and they keep getting hurt. Tyrann Mathieu, Budda Baker, and now Murphy. Who is going to cover the tight end ? Who is going to cover on the outside? Murphy is neither fast enough, nor big enough for the outside. The Cardinals can put him out there, but I do not see it working out. They can then put him at nickel back, but is he big enough ? YET, I do think Murphy will work out in Vance Joseph's system IF he stays healthy. And if he has success on the outside, this will be a FANTASTIC pick up. I wanted a bigger more athletic cornerback. Murphy was not on my radar, but that very well could be my fault for having a poor understanding of Joseph's system. Thus I am much happier with this pick and the value today then on Friday. That is what you get for being ignorant. LOL.



2B. Andy Isabella, WR:

The Cardinals needed two wide receivers in this draft. This was one of them. Isabella is going to be more of a role player, but an important role. He is not as fast as his 40 time, but quicker then a damn jack rabbit. Good hands, and is a great asset to the wide receiver room that has two NFL receivers in it, and one is Larry Fitzgerald who is great, but not getting any younger. The Cardinals SUCKED at moving the chains last year, and in the short passing game. This is going to help with that, A LOT. Somewhere he Marcell Shipp is smiling.

Bitter: Small player ? Check. Small School? Check. Looking over a big receiver that is NEEDED in Air Raid offense? Check. ......seriously? This is the Keim-y-est pick of the draft. Ok. that was Friday. Today looking at the whole draft, and realizing that ......you know.....just MAYBE the rankings of the players in January are more important that the hyped up ones in April are what you should be keeping mind, I REALLY like this pick. Later on, in the 4th round the Cardinals pick up Hakeem Butler, a key player for the Air-Raid offense. My OCD has me wanting to get the big receiver first, and the smaller receiver second (unless that small receiver was Deebo Samuel). Isabella and Butler bring key elements to this offense and compliment the offense very well. Fitzgerald, Kirk, Isabella, Butler, is a good group of receivers to run this offense.


3. Zach Allen, DE (3-4):

The Cardinals need to get some 3-4 defensive linemen after the 4-3 mistake. They have he beef they need, but that Josh Mauro type of 3-4 defense end is a key piece in this offense. Allen has the skills to play the position, and has that Kyle Vanden Bosch type fight and feel to him (KVB was a solid player, BTW). Allen is effort over skill, but he is plenty strong, and will do the dirty work, which is key. Not to mention he has high character and a good understanding of the game. He will be part of the rotation right away, and if he can hang with NFL talent may be starting sooner rather than later.

Bitter: Not really bitter about this pick. I just thought there were bigger needs, and better talent to be had out there. I have had my fill of try hard guys, and picking one in the 3rd round felt like a reach. That being said, I do like the player, and there was A LOT of value in this pick. If he was a little more athletic, he is a 2nd round talent, and high 2nd round talent, no doubt. I tip my hat to Kraing for making a good point that while there is not a gaping hole and need at the defensive line, there was a need to have some good depth. ......just you know, MAYBE, just MAYBE draft flippin' linebacker or tight end, or offensive linemen ? LOL. Keim hates linebackers apparent. Anyway, happy to have Allen on the roster, and if he has the athleticism to play in the NFL, he could be a steal.


4. Hakeem Butler, WR:

I am going to end this post on a high note. There is no bitter take on this one. I LOVE this pick, and in the 4th round?

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Yes, yes, I know all negatives. He has limited route running ability, and questionable hands. I am concerned about the hands, but he is 6'5" 225 lbs, runs a 4.5 and is a bull to bring down. Not to mention the minute this pick is made, it makes the Isabella pick in the 2nd round become a great pick. This pick is where Keim actually showed some professional savvy.

I am still learning about the "Air Raid" offense. I am a Cardinals fan, so while I do not agree with the direction, I am not going to be a stubborn ass about it (well, not a COMPLETE stubborn ass about it), and do want to know about what this team is trying to do, best I can. Hence why I come to this board, and enjoy different football mentalities debating topics.

I do know that you NEED, 100% NEED, above all else, a down field threat. Not only a downfield threat, but a downfield threat that can win "contested, or jump balls". Bruce Arians "no risk it, no biscuit" is essential in these college offenses. Yet, these new coaches are trying to make "50/50" balls, to be more like "75/25" balls in their favor.

Butler does not need to learn a bunch of routes. He needs to run down the damn field as fast as possible, and put the fear into the entire defense to stop him from picking up chunk plays. Butler can do this. He just has to catch the ball, that is the one concern here. Now, what then makes Butler REALLY scary, is when he catches the ball, he is terrifying for a defensive back to bring down. One missed tackle and this guy is GONE.


PICKS 5 thru 7:

Uh, who ? Honestly, I cannot comment on these players. I have no idea who they are. None where on my radar except Caleb Wilson, TE. Who I think is a good pick. He is a pass catching tight end that will move the chains, and knows how to find pockets in the defense. Not much of a blocker tho, but I do not think that is a problem in this offense. I was not able to get as deep in this draft this year since I had a lot of very positive things to work on life wise. Speaking of which I have a floor to fix, LOL.

I will read up on these guys, and maybe comment on some UDFA that are out there. But, most of these guys I am too ignorant on to comment on.



But, to sum it up. If you believe in the direction of the team the first four picks are really good. You should be happy with this draft. If the two defensive players show they can play at their positions and hold up, then you have four solid picks that are going to help shape this team's future.

If Murray holds up, and plays like he did in college, watch out. Things can go very positive, very exciting, and very entertaining in a big way, and sooner than we ALL think.

My old style thinking may have me in a place where, honestly, I am not really excited or interested in this team right now. I think this is going to be a HUGE failure. Yet, realize I say that as a fan. I want this team to win. I could care less about Josh Rosen, nice kid, wish him the best, but he is in Miami, he is no longer a factor (wanted Lamar Jackson anyway, LOL). I want the Cardinals to win, and do not think this is going to make that happen, yet that is just what I think. That doesn't amount to jack squat.

So, hopefully I am wrong, and this team serves me a big helping of crow and we win. Because all Cardinals fans want to see a 16-0 season and a Super Bowl win.
 

DVontel

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Nice write up.

I’m curious though.


What did Budda do to get labeled as another injured small player like Tyrann? I don’t think that’s fair.

I’m not understanding the obsession with wanting tall players so much. Especially CBs. I hate most tall(meaning 6’2+) CBs because most of them are raw & have awful change of ability.

Also, had we hire Jim Caldwell, there would have been no point of watching this team for the next 3/4 years. Just constant 7-9/8-8 season with maybe just 1st round exit sprinkled in there. We went conservative last season & you see how that went.
 

football karma

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fwiw: while Murphy played lots of zone at Washington

PFF had him the highest rated press man coverage guy in the draft
 

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Nice post RM. I agree that DC's will try to neutralize KM straight up the gut. That is the traditional approach to stopping a mobile type QB. In years past, we have been horrendous in that area. Even if it appears that we haven't from a personnel standpoint patched up that weakness, I'm sure that KK will scheme to make defenses pay should they take that approach. That's the beauty of a guy like Murray. He's far more than just a mobile, elusive QB.

Zach Allen: Being a huge Syracuse/ACC fan, I've seen a lot of this kid. The more I saw of him, the more I was impressed. They moved him around, and he just always brought it, and was always around the ball. He's super bright (dummies generally don't go to BC), and his technical skills are very good. Look, I loved Bosa, and hated that we would lose out on him. But, I kept thinking that Allen, although not Bosa, was a very good player, and might be the ideal pick after losing out on Bosa. I don't think he'll ever be the pass rushing threat that Bosa is, but he's a very good all around player. I jumped off the couch when we chose him. My wife & kids didn't see him play as often as I did. I loved our draft, but we all know that it can be a crapshoot. Other than drafting Murray, this guy was my favorite pick.
 

Goldfield

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Very good read loved it.

IMO injuries have very little to do with size. Gronk is 6’7” and hurt a lot. Darren Sproles super small at a position that gets hit the most. It’s the NFL everyone gets hurt
 

Krangodnzr

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Nice write up.

I’m curious though.


What did Budda do to get labeled as another injured small player like Tyrann? I don’t think that’s fair.

I’m not understanding the obsession with wanting tall players so much. Especially CBs. I hate most tall(meaning 6’2+) CBs because most of them are raw & have awful change of ability.

Also, had we hire Jim Caldwell, there would have been no point of watching this team for the next 3/4 years. Just constant 7-9/8-8 season with maybe just 1st round exit sprinkled in there. We went conservative last season & you see how that went.

Totally agree. Caldwell makes this team the most boring, uninspiring team that probably maxes out at 7-8 wins.

Tall corners suck 90% of the time. Anything over 6'0 and yeah, they suck. 6'2? Nearly all suck. 6'3? I can count on one hand the ones who weren't godawful players.
 

Krangodnzr

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fwiw: while Murphy played lots of zone at Washington

PFF had him the highest rated press man coverage guy in the draft

Yeah dude is a scrapper. He is that draft prospect that the more tape you watch, the more you like him.

What I like about him is that he excelled in man AND zone and on the outside and in the slot. I think, and no offense meant, you (@RugbyMuffin ) didnt like him because you weren't familiar with him.

@RugbyMuffin you mentioned certain positions that weren't addressed but like I've said elsewhere, players have to be able to clearly have a shot at making the team to get drafted.

After the first round or so, the ILB pool was horrible. Lots of 2 down backers, or small guys that only can play 3rd down. No true three down players, and none that could challenge even Zeke Turner who was a stud on ST. You might WANT an ILB, but that doesnt mean there is a good player there. The same can be said of the OL pool and TE as well.
 

Cardiac

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As usual very good write up Rugby and I appreciate how much thought and research you put into your posts.

Pats, Chiefs and Rams have all been incorporating the college offenses into their schemes so you are correct it is the trend and not getting on board would doom us. My perception is that KK's offense will be a blend of his O and traditional NFL O's. At least that is what the FO has stated.
 

JeffGollin

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Loved your write up. A couple of comments -

1. Suggs the only pass rusher? C Jones isn't exactly chopped liver.

2. If Harry was still available at #33 and Metcalf at #65, would we have taken either of the two instead of Butler?

When it comes to the draft, I tend to be more stoic (because if I could predict the future, I'd be sipping cool ones in the tropics). I like our picks and hope they meet expectations, but have no clue as to whether they'll actually do so.
 

perivolaki

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PICKS 5 thru 7:

Uh, who ? Honestly, I cannot comment on these players.

Don't forget that we traded one of those picks, 6th rounder, for Marcus Gilbert who will in all probability be our starting right tackle and a huge upgrade from Andre Smith.

Fans on here have a tendency to focus on the value we lost in the Rosen deal but tend to forget when we give up an, uh who, draft pick for a very important piece of the puzzle this year.
 
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RugbyMuffin

RugbyMuffin

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Nice write up.

Thanks, I wish I could have had more on the later round picks. And appreciate the follow ups.

What did Budda do to get labeled as another injured small player like Tyrann? I don’t think that’s fair.

Baker has been injured both years in the league, and he is a small player. I have not seen the benefit of his size, or that his intangibles make up for the lack of size and ability.

Maybe this year at free safety he find the position he can thrive in.

I agree that he probably does not deserve the label, but I am really hoping he is healthy this year and makes some big plays.

I’m not understanding the obsession with wanting tall players so much. Especially CBs. I hate most tall(meaning 6’2+) CBs because most of them are raw & have awful change of ability.

Bigger cornerbacks usually play press coverage better, and play the outside edge position against a taller receiver a lot better. Not saying they have to be tall either, but if you are going to blitz a lot, big part of that is not letting receivers get a good release.

At the safety position, some size helps with coverage on tight ends, a constant weak point for the Cardinals.

They do not ALL have to be tall or bigger players, but it helps to have at least one or two on the roster.

Size doesn't mean everything tho, they still have to be able to play the game.

Also, had we hire Jim Caldwell, there would have been no point of watching this team for the next 3/4 years. Just constant 7-9/8-8 season with maybe just 1st round exit sprinkled in there. We went conservative last season & you see how that went.

I think picking a coach with no head coaching experience was a risk, and that was last year. Caldwell can produce and compete. Not to mention would have been better suited to take what the Cardinals had at the time of the coaching search and get something out of it.

Right now, it matters on one thing, and that is how good Murray is going to be in Kingsbury's offense. One would hope the Cardinals realize they have to re-work this roster.

No more impatience with this and that next year. They need to invest in the offensive line, and start filling holes that are not the same holes that have been there year after year.

As for the remark about, no point of watching this team for the next 3 to 4 years ? I dunno about that, if the team is competitive and can at least play football at a professional level it is worth watching.

If what happens next year, is what I personally think will happen, there still will be no point in watching this train wreck for the next 3 to 4 years. The roster will be so void of talent and direction it would like following an expansion team that didn't get an expansion draft.

We will see. And it doesn't matter now, Caldwell is not the coach.
 
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RugbyMuffin

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Don't forget that we traded one of those picks, 6th rounder, for Marcus Gilbert who will in all probability be our starting right tackle and a huge upgrade from Andre Smith.

Fans on here have a tendency to focus on the value we lost in the Rosen deal but tend to forget when we give up an, uh who, draft pick for a very important piece of the puzzle this year.

The concern with Gilbert is much like most of our starters on the offensive line, they need to be available and not hurt.

Agree Gilbert is an upgrade.............if healthy.
 

Krangodnzr

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Loved your write up. A couple of comments -

1. Suggs the only pass rusher? C Jones isn't exactly chopped liver.

2. If Harry was still available at #33 and Metcalf at #65, would we have taken either of the two instead of Butler?

When it comes to the draft, I tend to be more stoic (because if I could predict the future, I'd be sipping cool ones in the tropics). I like our picks and hope they meet expectations, but have no clue as to whether they'll actually do so.

I dont think the Cardinals liked Metcalf because they had 2 shots in round two and they passed.

Metcalf just has not been productive.
 
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RugbyMuffin

RugbyMuffin

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After the first round or so, the ILB pool was horrible. Lots of 2 down backers, or small guys that only can play 3rd down. No true three down players, and none that could challenge even Zeke Turner who was a stud on ST. You might WANT an ILB, but that doesnt mean there is a good player there. The same can be said of the OL pool and TE as well.

That is something I disagree on. I have been saying the same thing for the last couple of drafts, but 2 down linebackers have their place, and there role.

Three down linebackers are very rare, so if you do not obtain one, you have to have role players. Put Zeke Turner out there in the nickel package, and draft an ILBer. Look around the league, there are plenty out there playing two downs and may not be all pro, but they a solid and hold up against the run.

Tired of watching our linebackers shoot the wrong gaps or get de-cleated in the run game.

I do agree with the offensive line, and tight end positions tho. The difference I see at linebacker is you can get a good solid linebacker in the 4th, 5th or 6th round, and a better talent than a UDFA linebacker.

To be fair to the Cardinals, the free agent Hicks is a GREAT linebacker, but being from the Philadelphia area, I can tell you, he is hurt a lot.
 
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RugbyMuffin

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Loved your write up. A couple of comments -

1. Suggs the only pass rusher? C Jones isn't exactly chopped liver.

Sorry. I should have stated that clearer. I kind of implied Jones, and was talking about the other side of the line. Chandler Jones is one of those examples where Keim thrives in free agency/trades. Jones is a beast, and you really cannot ask for a better outside pass rusher. Excited to see him back at OLBer too.

2. If Harry was still available at #33 and Metcalf at #65, would we have taken either of the two instead of Butler?

I am kind of glad the Pats took Harry, and the Cardinals didn't have an option there. And I really do not see too much of a difference between Metcalf, and Butler, except to get Butler at round 4 is great value.

And I will say again, when they drafted Butler, it made the Isabella pick look, oh so much better.

There is a chance for those two to compliment each other in a way that makes both of them thrive in this offense.
 

Krangodnzr

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That is something I disagree on. I have been saying the same thing for the last couple of drafts, but 2 down linebackers have their place, and there role.

Three down linebackers are very rare, so if you do not obtain one, you have to have role players. Put Zeke Turner out there in the nickel package, and draft an ILBer. Look around the league, there are plenty out there playing two downs and may not be all pro, but they a solid and hold up against the run.

Tired of watching our linebackers shoot the wrong gaps or get de-cleated in the run game.

I do agree with the offensive line, and tight end positions tho. The difference I see at linebacker is you can get a good solid linebacker in the 4th, 5th or 6th round, and a better talent than a UDFA linebacker.

To be fair to the Cardinals, the free agent Hicks is a GREAT linebacker, but being from the Philadelphia area, I can tell you, he is hurt a lot.

You're basically arguing to take a limited player over more complete players at other positions.

I didnt see one instance where an ILB was better than the player we took.
 
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RugbyMuffin

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I didnt see one instance where an ILB was better than the player we took.

Without really knowing anything about the 5th to 7th round picks, I will take your word for it.

Tre Lamar and a bunch of others ILBers were not even drafted so, that is telling
 
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