One Night Only! - The return of Rugbymuffin's Draft breakdown that no one asked for, 2024!

RugbyMuffin

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Hello ASFN,

It has been a minute, as the kids say.

Hope all is well with all of you, things are going very well on this side of the screen. I was surprised that I found myself interested in Cardinals football this offseason. The last few seasons I have had a VERY hard time finding the time to watch, and honestly care at all, about football, let alone the Cardinals.

Long story short, I got pretty sick, twice, and while sick the team was unwatchable both times, I did not like the players on the team, how the team competed (if you can call it that), and I said almost 5 ½ years ago, that an undersized QB, and a sub-.500 college coach could set this team back 7 years. Not to mention my sickness made me HIGHLY irritable and lack a lot of patience. World Cup Rugby, and Six Nation’s Rugby were fantastic of the last year or so as well, and caught my attention. My bowling improved, so I got back into that. Add all that together with Steve Keim sprinkles, and a Bidwill cherry on top, and you have complete disinterest.

So, I admit, while this was fun to write up, I am more than a little clueless when it comes to the state of the Cardinals team, and the NFL. Did I say fun? Yup. Last season, slowly but surely I started to enjoy watching this current Cardinals squad. Yet, I wait till Sunday night to watch the games, and watch the condensed 45 minute version of the game. It being less expensive to watch, less of a time investment, and watching at night instead of the middle of the day Sunday made the experience very enjoyable.

What about this team do I like? The running game, the competitive level of the team, the defense, players, James Conner, Kyzir White, Jalen Thompson, Michael Wilson, and Trey Mcbride were a lot of fun to watch!

I digress, below is an offseason breakdown. My opinion of what the Cardinals should do, and look into. So, you know what that means, everything in this post means jack squat. It is for fun, so have fun tearing it apart.

At the time of writing this (03-18-2024), I have one additional free agency move I would like the Cardinals to make, and that would be to sign Rasheem Green, DE. Green is your “standard” NFL DE, but the Cardinals really need this type of player to solidify the roster before the draft.



Let’s talk draft:

Round 1 (Pick 4):

Preferred Pick:

Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR


There is a chance Harrison, Jr. is not here at number 4. If he is, then this is a test for the new front office of the Cardinals. In the past? Keim, or Graves would either trade out, or draft some no name college player. Maybe it was to look smart? Maybe it was because they were inept? Who knows? A saying I tell people is “There is no medal coming in the mail for doing it the hard way.” Sometimes, things are easy. Just draft the best outside, #1 wide receiver in the draft and do not look back.


Alternative Pick:

The alternative here is to trade down, as I am not as much of a fan of M.Nabers, and hope you land a pass rusher first and foremost, but we do no need to pull a “Terrell Suggs” situation, and trade down if Harrison, Jr. is there. Yet, in my simulated world, there are no trades on draft day. I have to pick someone at 4.

Dallas Turner, DE

This would be a reach, but he is the best pass rusher in the draft in my opinion. Lean, fast, strong, experienced, and the only justifiable pick I can make with the 4th pick. Before the Cardinals signed Jonah Williams, I would take Joe Alt, all day every day, but Dallas Turner would be the pick now because pass rushing is hard to find.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen (apologies for the formatting but I was not spending anymore time on this, I tried, LOL!):
1st Round:
Pick 4: (4)
Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR6872%
Dallas Turner, OLB/DE1617%
Joe Alt, LT1112%




Round 1 (Pick 27):

Preferred Pick:

Chop Robinson, DE or Jer’Zhan Newton, DL or Byron Murphy II, DL


Defense, defense, defense, pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. If our head coach likes to rush four linemen and drop back into coverage, then he better start getting some pass rushers. Interior or on the edge, it does not matter. The current roster is lacking any type of pass rush threat. I like keeping Zavin Collins at DE, but Collins and Gardeck are not going to get it done.

When I started to hear about Jer’Zhan Newton, I was unware who he was. I saw some video, saw his first step, and was on the bandwagon. His quickness is off the charts, but that being said, he is raw and a risk. Yet, you cannot teach that type of quickness off the ball, so if here is here, that is the pick.

Byron Murphy II will be here at pick 27. Murphy II is the “safe pick” as he has the size, skill, quickness, and ability to be a premier defensive lineman. He can play the run and rush the passer. There is not much more to say than he would fill the role the Cardinals need for interior pressure and overall impact.

Chop Robinson, he would have to drop significantly from where he is projected, but there is a chance he will be there at 27. He would provide a solid pass rush, and there is a significant drop in pass rushing ability after him. He would be better in getting pressure than Rasheem Green by a long shot as well. In the off-chance Robinson falls to the Cardinals, he would be the pick over Newton, and Murphy II.


Alternative Pick:

Brian Thomas, WR or Jr, Xavier Legette, WR


Well, if I am picking Dallas Turner as my alternative 4th overall pick, I will have to go receiver at pick 27 right? Brian Thomas, Jr. could be the poster boy for boom/bust pick. I can see him being dominate in the league, and I could also see him being the next Charles Rogers. That being said, Thomas is ALMOST the complete package. The biggest question here being Thomas, Jr.’s hands, and head. I can deal with him being a bit of an airhead and that being the reason he drops passes. I cannot deal with him dropping passes because he has skillets for hands. Yet, logic dictates that you usually have a drop in skill as you get deeper into the draft. Brian Thomas, Jr. is the pick if he is there.

Xavier Legette. I will tell you how much I like Xavier Legette. Anytime he was available in the top of the 3rd round, I took him, regardless. Anytime I needed a wide receiver at pick 27 or in the second round he was the guy if he was there. The biggest reason? He reminds me of Anquan Boldin, with more speed, and less fire. Which if you think of it, is a perfect trade-off. Boldin’s emotions got the best of him sometimes, but I think it is also what made Boldin so good. Legette has the size and toughness of Boldin and more speed. He may be a reach at pick 27 in everyone else’s book, but not mine.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
1st Round:
Pick 27: (27)
Byron Murphy, DL2526%
Brian Thomas, Jr.1819%
Jer'Zhan Newton, DL1718%
JC Latham, OT1314%
Chop Robinson, DE1011%
Laiatu Latu, OLB55%
Xavier Leggette, WR33%
Quinyon Mitchell, CB33%
Nate Wiggins, CB11%





Round 2: (Pick 35):

Preferred Pick:

Cooper Beebe, OG


This is a very hard for me to make this pick. Even harder for me to make it the preferred pick. Not really a fan of Cooper Beebe. I do not see the allure. Yet, it is usually players like this, that I shun and then they breakout and become stars. The Cardinals interior offensive line is atrocious. Cooper Beebe would start day 1 at RG if he is ½ as good as they say.


Alternative Pick:

T’Vondre Sweat


I want to increase the overall size on the Cardinals roster, this could do it in one pick. This is a massive human being and the fact he can move the way he can at his size is impressive. This would be the “Fletcher Cox” of the Cardinals defense, well at least he would play in the same role on defense, as Fletcher Cox was an incredible player. Sweat would go a long way in helping the run game, and would free up other players. The biggest upside to Sweat is he provides a bit of a pass rush too. He is not going to put up sack numbers, but you can either try to block him one on one and watch the interior of the line slowly cave in, or double team him and free up other players.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
2nd Round:
Pick 3: (35)
Cooper Beebe, OG3032%
Byron Murphy, DL2425%
Bralen Trice, OLB/DE1415%
Jordan Morgan, OT88%
Xavier Leggette, WR66%
T'Vondre Sweat, DL66%
Jer'Zhan Newton, DL44%
Graham Barton, OT/G/C22%
Payton Wilson, ILB11%




Round 3 (Pick 66):

Preferred Pick:

Payton Wilson, ILB


Why Payton Wilson is rated so low on so many draft boards I do not know. Yes, inside linebackers are a position with declining value, but you still need inside linebackers. Fair enough to say, the Cardinals have proved if you have poor inside linebackers your defense suffers. Wilson has speed, skills, and everything you could want at the inside linebacker position. I doubt he is here in the 3rd round, but I sure was able to find him at this position in a lot of drafts.


Alternative Pick:

TJ Tampa, CB


This is the hardest alternative pick in the draft. Though I do not think Payton Wilson will be here, it would be too perfect if he was. I could put Cedric Gray here, who is another inside linebacker, just not at the skill level of Wilson. TJ Tampa would have to have quite a slide to be available at the top of the 3rd round. Yet, it happened more than a few times. TJ Tampa is your prototype 2024 NFL CB. Runs about a 4.5 forty yard dash, has good height at 6’2” and good size at 200 lbs. Plays the run well, and plays the pass well in a zone scheme. Man to man he will have to use his size to his advantage at the line as his speed and quickness is average for the NFL. I think the Cardinals will need to draft at least to cornerbacks in this draft. I have no issue taking Max Melton here as well, but to snag Tampa and Melton later on, would be great luck for the Cardinals.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
3rd Round:
Pick 2: (66)
Payton Wilson, ILB4042%
Xavier Leggette, WR1819%
Braelon Allen, RB1415%
Calen Bullock, S99%
TJ Tampa, CB66%
Max Melton, CB22%
Cooper Beebe, OG33%
Byron Murphy, DL22%
Trey Benson, RB11%




Round 3 (Pick 71):

Preferred Pick:

Calen Bullock, S


When I started looking at the draft, safety was not looked at as a need for the Cardinals. Budda Baker is a solid, yet very undersized safety. I see him as a “name bigger than his game” type player. Furthermore, I think Jalen Thompson is a better safety than Budda Baker. I would actually like to see the Cardinals find a safety for the future, and start to line up Budda Baker at the nickel back position, or even trade Baker for more draft capital.

Calen Bullock, has speed, size, and tackling ability that would complement Jalen Thompson’s game. Bullock has comparable speed to Thompson and a little more size as well. The Cardinals have been going the “undersized player with heart” route with the roster for far too long with little success. This will help to start increasing the size and strength of the overall roster.


Alternative Pick:

Braelon Allen, RB


Easily the most “fun” pick I have in this post. With the passing game getting more and more dominate in the modern NFL, the smaller and smaller the defensive players become. The rare freak athlete comes around now and again, but for the most part a 240 lbs linebacker is considered “big” in today’s NFL. Braelon Allen may weight 235 lbs at the combine but I guarantee he is 240+ lbs on game day. There is a reason James Conner does so well in the NFL. He has size, and speed at the running back position. Not to mention good hands, can block, and runs with attitude. Braelon Allen can continue this trend for the Cardinals in the backfield with drafting Allen. Allen is coming off an injury and with the running back position decreasing in value, there is a very good chance he can be found in the middle of the third round or later. In my pre-combine drafts, I chose him almost every time. I would be very surprised if Allen didn’t translate to the NFL, and if he does that, what better role to fill then one we already know is productive for the Cardinals, and that is having a power back with good speed in the backfield.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
3rd Round:
Pick 7: (71)
Max Melton, CB5053%
Calen Bullock, S1415%
Braelon Allen, RB88%
Payton Wilson, ILB88%
Adisa Isaac, OLB/DE88%
Cedric Gray, ILB33%
Braden Fiske, DL22%
Trey Benson, RB22%




Round 3 (Pick 90):

Preferred Pick:

Max Melton, CB


I will be honest, I am from New Jersey, and saw a lot of Melton because my father is a Rutgers fan. Mex Melton was the best player on the entire team. He was a play maker, and able to hold up against whomever was put across from him in the passing game. Not to mention had NO pass rush and still had success.

The Cardinals need cornerbacks, and this is a value pick in the third round. Whether he starts on the outside, or at Nickelback Melton can be an impact player. If the Cardinals chose him anywhere in the third round I would be thrilled. He just happened to be here at pick 90 more times than not, but every time I took the risk and waiting till this pick to take him, I was worried he would be gone, which happened a few times.

Alternative Pick:

Domonic Puni, C/G/T, Isaiah Adams, G/T


In my alternative draft, I have yet to address the offensive line. Both prospects shown here played tackle and played it well in college. They also have played other positions, which is important for a younger player who was drafted later on their draft day. I feel either of these players could make a push for the starting right guard position from day 1. Domonic Puni is another offensive linemen, much like Cooper Beebe, where there is a host of things I did not like about him, but in the end, those end up being the players that thumb their nose at me for 10 years in the league. Puni can play anywhere on the line, including center. Yet, he played left tackle his last year in college, and played at a very high level. Having a utility offensive lineman active on game day that can also go in as a left tackle? That is value. As much as I have personal reservations about Puni, is as much as I like Isaiah Adams. He is your more classic guard/tackle player. I do not think he could survive at left tackle, but I feel he could make due at right tackle. Where I think Adams will make his mark is at the guard position. It may take a little time for him to transition at guard, but even so, I see him at right guard day 1, and learning on the job.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
3rd Round:
Pick 26: (90)
Cam Hart, CB2829%
Cedric Gray, ILB1415%
Max Melton, CB1314%
Braelon Allen, RB1213%
Payton Wilson, ILB88%
Domonic Puni, OG66%
Calen Bullock, S66%
Isaiah Adams, OG/OT44%
Kamren Kinchens, S22%
Khyree Jackson, CB22%




Round 4 (Pick 104):

Preferred Pick:

Cam Hart, CB


Did I mention the Cardinals need to increase the size and strength of the overall roster? This is a boom or bust pick with Cam Hart. I like Marvin Harrison, Jr.’s game, and Cam Hart did very well against Harrison, Jr. when they matched up.

The knock against Hart is he is a coverage specialist. That means he will make “business decisions” out on the field when tackling. Yet, at 6’3”, and 202 lbs, he has the length and size to match up against bigger wide receivers. The Cardinals need cornerbacks, and desperately need some size at the position.


Alternative Pick:

Kyree Jackson, CB


While Jackson can tackle better than Cam Hart, that is about it. Jackson has the size the Cardinals need at the position, but has average abilities. The Cardinals need cornerbacks, and desperately need some size at the position. Jackson is better than most left at this point, and easily the most talented “big” cornerback left. At least when it comes to playing against top level competition in college.

The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
4th Round:
Pick 4: (104)
Isaiah Adams, OG/OT3537%
Cam Hart, CB2829%
Khyree Jackson, CB99%
Devontez Walker, WR88%
Javon Solomon, OLB/ILB77%
Marist Liufau, ILB44%
Domonic Puni, OG22%
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB/DE22%




Round 5 (Pick 138):

Preferred Pick:

Isaac Guerendo, HB


This is the Latavius Murray special, let me explain. Latavius Murray has been in the NFL for 10 years now. He was an unknown coming out of college, except for the fact we was a big back, with speed.

Isaac Guerendo is 6’0” and 221 lbs, and ran a 4.33 forty yard dash.

There are two types of running backs in the NFL. Special backs that can make a player miss and create yards after contact. The other are running backs that hit the hole and go. The “other” running backs are a dime a dozen, and the only thing that sets the apart is speed.

This is a hit or miss prospect, but the upside of speed and power is too much to pass by.


Alternative Pick:

Kitan Oladapo, S


Oladapo is a solid safety, with solid skill, good measurable, and would be good in special teams while having a good chance at being a solid backup safety, and special teams player. I also like Millard Bradford, or Jaylon Carlies at this spot, but there is a good chance those players do not even get drafted.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
5th Round:
Pick 3: (139)
Isaac Guerendo, HB2526%
Kitan Oladapo, S1011%
Javon Solomon, OLB/ILB88%
Isaiah Adams, OG/OT77%
Cedric Gray, ILB77%
Cam Hart, CB55%
Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE55%
Tyrice Knight, ILB55%
Spencer Rattler, QB44%
Khyree Jackson, CB44%
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB/DE33%
James Williams, ILB/S22%
Dillon Johnson, HB22%
Christian Jones, OT22%
Justin Eboigbe, DL22%
Keith Randolph, DL22%
Dwight McGlothern, CB22%




Round 5 (Pick 162):

Preferred Pick:

Ainias Smith, WR


I am going back to the Cardinal roots on this one. An undersized playmaking wide receiver with speed, and quickness.

Ainias Smith was a dynamic player at Texas A&M. He could take a screen pass to the house and create something from nothing. Bringing in Smith would be competition for Greg Dortch. Both can play the slot receiver role, and take part in punt and kick returning duties.

When Ronald Moore, thankfully, was traded it did leave this role in the offense vacant. Between Dortch and Smith, this role should be re-filled.


Alternative Pick:

Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE


I have not seen a tight end with this much promise since Leonard Pope! But seriously, this is a big tight end that you are hoping can be a solid player in the ground game. The size is there at 6’7” and 267 lbs but blocking takes effort and technique. The bonus with Spann-Ford is he can be a threat in the redzone and a nice compliment to Trey McBride in the passing game. Do not expect Spann-Ford to do too much in the passing game but that is all the Cardinals need.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
5th Round:
Pick 27: (163)
Ainias Smith, WR3032%
Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE1213%
Xavier Thomas, DE/OLB99%
Isaiah Davis, HB88%
MarShawn Lloyd, RB66%
Dwight McGlothern, CB55%
Jarius Monroe, CB55%
Dillon Johnson, HB44%
Devaughn Vele, WR44%
Marist Liufau, ILB33%
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB/DE33%
Jaylen Wright, HB22%
Chris Braswell, OLB22%
Bub Means, WR22%




Round 6 (Pick 186):

Preferred Pick:

Brennan Jackson, DE


Go back to the top of this post where I say the Cardinals should sign Rasheem Green in free agency. Why? Because I do not think the Cardinals are going to obtain an elite pass rusher (unless Harrison, Jr. is not there at pick 4 and they trade down or pick a pass rusher at 4).

The pass rush will need to be by committee, the additions of Rasheem Green and Brennan Jackson would provide some depth. Both have good size, and if Brennan Jackson can match Rasheem Green’s play then this would be a successful pick in the 6th round.

The problem with Brennan Jackson is that he has all the buzz words to be a bust. “Football intelligence” “High Motor, High effort”. With Jackson it is all about translating his college game to the pro game. If that were to happen, he would be a steal.


Alternative Pick:

Tyrice Knight, ILB


It’s KEIM TIME! It is not that picking small school players is an issue, just when you do it in the first round, and seem like you do it every year. The Cardinals need some linebackers, and some depth at linebacker. Sometimes, you just have to embrace negatives that are consistent in your life experience. The Cardinals will need at least 3 or 4 linebackers a year. One or two will always get hurt…..unless you are Karlos Dansby, he never seemed like he was hurt.

It is the sixth round, and time to see if you can find some depth better than the Monte Beisel’s, Nick Vigil’s, Tanner Vallejo’s, and Joe Walker’s, of the world. Not to say those linebackers are bad, just that you can do better.

I like Tyrice Knight’s game, though he played for UTEP, so there is a question of if he can translate to the NFL. Knight is only 6’0” but has some size at 233 lbs, and enough speed to play the position in the NFL. He tackles everything in sight, and has experience playing the inside linebacker position, no need to “transition” Knight from safety, or outside linebacker, or guard or whatever the Cardinals usually do at inside linebacker. ……..I just looked at the Cardinals draft history at linebacker since moving to Arizona…..the bar is NOT set very high. They are due to say the least, so I say a 6th for Knight is going to be their comeuppance at the position.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
6th Round:
Pick 10: (185)
Brennan Jackson, OLB/DE3032%
Tyrice Knight, ILB2223%
Dylan Laube, HB88%
Ro Torrence, CB77%
Khalid Duke, OLB/DE55%
Ryan Watts, CB55%
Malik Dunlap, CB44%
Jase McClellan, RB44%
Tanor Bortolini, C/G33%
Nathaniel Watson, OLB/ILB33%
Shyheim Battle, CB22%
Demani Richardson, S22%




Round 7 (Pick 226):

Preferred Pick:

Zach Heins, TE


Can we go back and bottle up 2019 Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams’ season and make a player out of it? Because that is what I am looking for. With all hope that Trey McBride isn’t going to be another “flash in the pan” player for the Cardinals, and they have a LONG history of that happening, then McBride has solidified the tight end position for the first time since the Cardinals have been in Arizona.

Yet, they need a blocking tight end. While Kip Reiman is the player that has impressed at the combine and brought his name to the forefront, I think it will cause another team to reach for a player that is primarily a blocking tight end that can catch few passes here or there.

Enter Zach Heins, the lesser known blocking tight end that can catch more than a few passes. 6’6”, and 264 lbs with some decent hands. He can probably be had as an undrafted free agent allowing the Cardinals to pick a WR, CB, or ILB here, but if they was to insure they have a quality prospect for the tight end position when it comes to blocking then they should take advantage of the 7th round pick (which is more or less your 1st player on your UDFA list, if you ask me).


Alternative Pick:

Cornelius Johnson, WR


Johnson is all over draft boards, from late second round pick to the bottom of the undrafted free agent bargain barrel. Johnson is more or less like Kitan Oladapo at safety. Checks all the boxes for your average NFL late round wide receiver prospect. There is nothing to flashy about Johnson but nothing too concerning as well. I cannot find too many UDFA prospects at wide receiver with better upside, so why not take him with the 7th round pick and see what happens?


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
7th Round:
Pick 6: (225)
Zach Heins, TE3840%
Tip Reiman, TE2425%
Cornelius Johnson, WR1011%
Ladarious Henderson, OG88%
Messiah Swinson, TE55%
AJ Barner, TE44%
Ro Torrence, CB44%
Shyheim Battle, CB22%



Summary:
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Top five UDFA prospects:
1. Ro Torrence, CB
2. Messiah Swinson, TE
3. Will Putnam, C/G
4. Millard Bradford, S
5. Michael Dunlap, CB

Have a good one ASFN!

I may be back later with a fun post about the Cardinals history. Till then, be well.
 
Last edited:

Crimson Warrior

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My brother from another mother Rugby Muffin! Hurray!

Will say a couple of extra prayers for your health my friend, and so good to see you back! We need you here to help us keep the franchise on the right track! haha. :)

What an awesome post too! Do you agree that MJH is the best player in this draft?
 

CardNots

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Hello ASFN,

It has been a minute, as the kids say.

Hope all is well with all of you, things are going very well on this side of the screen. I was surprised that I found myself interested in Cardinals football this offseason. The last few seasons I have had a VERY hard time finding the time to watch, and honestly care at all, about football, let alone the Cardinals.

Long story short, I got pretty sick, twice, and while sick the team was unwatchable both times, I did not like the players on the team, how the team competed (if you can call it that), and I said almost 5 ½ years ago, that an undersized QB, and a sub-.500 college coach could set this team back 7 years. Not to mention my sickness made me HIGHLY irritable and lack a lot of patience. World Cup Rugby, and Six Nation’s Rugby were fantastic of the last year or so as well, and caught my attention. My bowling improved, so I got back into that. Add all that together with Steve Keim sprinkles, and a Bidwill cherry on top, and you have complete disinterest.

So, I admit, while this was fun to write up, I am more than a little clueless when it comes to the state of the Cardinals team, and the NFL. Did I say fun? Yup. Last season, slowly but surely I started to enjoy watching this current Cardinals squad. Yet, I wait till Sunday night to watch the games, and watch the condensed 45 minute version of the game. It being less expensive to watch, less of a time investment, and watching at night instead of the middle of the day Sunday made the experience very enjoyable.

What about this team do I like? The running game, the competitive level of the team, the defense, players, James Conner, Kyzir White, Jalen Thompson, Michael Wilson, and Trey Mcbride were a lot of fun to watch!

I digress, below is an offseason breakdown. My opinion of what the Cardinals should do, and look into. So, you know what that means, everything in this post means jack squat. It is for fun, so have fun tearing it apart.

At the time of writing this (03-18-2024), I have one additional free agency move I would like the Cardinals to make, and that would be to sign Rasheem Green, DE. Green is your “standard” NFL DE, but the Cardinals really need this type of player to solidify the roster before the draft.



Let’s talk draft:

Round 1 (Pick 4):

Preferred Pick:

Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR


There is a chance Harrison, Jr. is not here at number 4. If he is, then this is a test for the new front office of the Cardinals. In the past? Keim, or Graves would either trade out, or draft some no name college player. Maybe it was to look smart? Maybe it was because they were inept? Who knows? A saying I tell people is “There is no medal coming in the mail for doing it the hard way.” Sometimes, things are easy. Just draft the best outside, #1 wide receiver in the draft and do not look back.


Alternative Pick:

The alternative here is to trade down, as I am not as much of a fan of M.Nabers, and hope you land a pass rusher first and foremost, but we do no need to pull a “Terrell Suggs” situation, and trade down if Harrison, Jr. is there. Yet, in my simulated world, there are no trades on draft day. I have to pick someone at 4.

Dallas Turner, DE

This would be a reach, but he is the best pass rusher in the draft in my opinion. Lean, fast, strong, experienced, and the only justifiable pick I can make with the 4th pick. Before the Cardinals signed Jonah Williams, I would take Joe Alt, all day every day, but Dallas Turner would be the pick now because pass rushing is hard to find.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen (apologies for the formatting but I was not spending anymore time on this, I tried, LOL!):
1st Round:
Pick 4: (4)
Marvin Harrison, Jr., WR6872%
Dallas Turner, OLB/DE1617%
Joe Alt, LT1112%




Round 1 (Pick 27):

Preferred Pick:

Chop Robinson, DE or Jer’Zhan Newton, DL or Byron Murphy II, DL


Defense, defense, defense, pass rush, pass rush, pass rush. If our head coach likes to rush four linemen and drop back into coverage, then he better start getting some pass rushers. Interior or on the edge, it does not matter. The current roster is lacking any type of pass rush threat. I like keeping Zavin Collins at DE, but Collins and Gardeck are not going to get it done.

When I started to hear about Jer’Zhan Newton, I was unware who he was. I saw some video, saw his first step, and was on the bandwagon. His quickness is off the charts, but that being said, he is raw and a risk. Yet, you cannot teach that type of quickness off the ball, so if here is here, that is the pick.

Byron Murphy II will be here at pick 27. Murphy II is the “safe pick” as he has the size, skill, quickness, and ability to be a premier defensive lineman. He can play the run and rush the passer. There is not much more to say than he would fill the role the Cardinals need for interior pressure and overall impact.

Chop Robinson, he would have to drop significantly from where he is projected, but there is a chance he will be there at 27. He would provide a solid pass rush, and there is a significant drop in pass rushing ability after him. He would be better in getting pressure than Rasheem Green by a long shot as well. In the off-chance Robinson falls to the Cardinals, he would be the pick over Newton, and Murphy II.


Alternative Pick:

Brian Thomas, WR or Jr, Xavier Legette, WR


Well, if I am picking Dallas Turner as my alternative 4th overall pick, I will have to go receiver at pick 27 right? Brian Thomas, Jr. could be the poster boy for boom/bust pick. I can see him being dominate in the league, and I could also see him being the next Charles Rogers. That being said, Thomas is ALMOST the complete package. The biggest question here being Thomas, Jr.’s hands, and head. I can deal with him being a bit of an airhead and that being the reason he drops passes. I cannot deal with him dropping passes because he has skillets for hands. Yet, logic dictates that you usually have a drop in skill as you get deeper into the draft. Brian Thomas, Jr. is the pick if he is there.

Xavier Legette. I will tell you how much I like Xavier Legette. Anytime he was available in the top of the 3rd round, I took him, regardless. Anytime I needed a wide receiver at pick 27 or in the second round he was the guy if he was there. The biggest reason? He reminds me of Anquan Boldin, with more speed, and less fire. Which if you think of it, is a perfect trade-off. Boldin’s emotions got the best of him sometimes, but I think it is also what made Boldin so good. Legette has the size and toughness of Boldin and more speed. He may be a reach at pick 27 in everyone else’s book, but not mine.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
1st Round:
Pick 27: (27)
Byron Murphy, DL2526%
Brian Thomas, Jr.1819%
Jer'Zhan Newton, DL1718%
JC Latham, OT1314%
Chop Robinson, DE1011%
Laiatu Latu, OLB55%
Xavier Leggette, WR33%
Quinyon Mitchell, CB33%
Nate Wiggins, CB11%





Round 2: (Pick 35):

Preferred Pick:

Cooper Beebe, OG


This is a very hard for me to make this pick. Even harder for me to make it the preferred pick. Not really a fan of Cooper Beebe. I do not see the allure. Yet, it is usually players like this, that I shun and then they breakout and become stars. The Cardinals interior offensive line is atrocious. Cooper Beebe would start day 1 at RG if he is ½ as good as they say.


Alternative Pick:

T’Vondre Sweat


I want to increase the overall size on the Cardinals roster, this could do it in one pick. This is a massive human being and the fact he can move the way he can at his size is impressive. This would be the “Fletcher Cox” of the Cardinals defense, well at least he would play in the same role on defense, as Fletcher Cox was an incredible player. Sweat would go a long way in helping the run game, and would free up other players. The biggest upside to Sweat is he provides a bit of a pass rush too. He is not going to put up sack numbers, but you can either try to block him one on one and watch the interior of the line slowly cave in, or double team him and free up other players.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
2nd Round:
Pick 3: (35)
Cooper Beebe, OG3032%
Byron Murphy, DL2425%
Bralen Trice, OLB/DE1415%
Jordan Morgan, OT88%
Xavier Leggette, WR66%
T'Vondre Sweat, DL66%
Jer'Zhan Newton, DL44%
Graham Barton, OT/G/C22%
Payton Wilson, ILB11%




Round 3 (Pick 66):

Preferred Pick:

Payton Wilson, ILB


Why Payton Wilson is rated so low on so many draft boards I do not know. Yes, inside linebackers are a position with declining value, but you still need inside linebackers. Fair enough to say, the Cardinals have proved if you have poor inside linebackers your defense suffers. Wilson has speed, skills, and everything you could want at the inside linebacker position. I doubt he is here in the 3rd round, but I sure was able to find him at this position in a lot of drafts.


Alternative Pick:

TJ Tampa, CB


This is the hardest alternative pick in the draft. Though I do not think Payton Wilson will be here, it would be too perfect if he was. I could put Cedric Gray here, who is another inside linebacker, just not at the skill level of Wilson. TJ Tampa would have to have quite a slide to be available at the top of the 3rd round. Yet, it happened more than a few times. TJ Tampa is your prototype 2024 NFL CB. Runs about a 4.5 forty yard dash, has good height at 6’2” and good size at 200 lbs. Plays the run well, and plays the pass well in a zone scheme. Man to man he will have to use his size to his advantage at the line as his speed and quickness is average for the NFL. I think the Cardinals will need to draft at least to cornerbacks in this draft. I have no issue taking Max Melton here as well, but to snag Tampa and Melton later on, would be great luck for the Cardinals.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
3rd Round:
Pick 2: (66)
Payton Wilson, ILB4042%
Xavier Leggette, WR1819%
Braelon Allen, RB1415%
Calen Bullock, S99%
TJ Tampa, CB66%
Max Melton, CB22%
Cooper Beebe, OG33%
Byron Murphy, DL22%
Trey Benson, RB11%




Round 3 (Pick 71):

Preferred Pick:

Calen Bullock, S


When I started looking at the draft, safety was not looked at as a need for the Cardinals. Budda Baker is a solid, yet very undersized safety. I see him as a “name bigger than his game” type player. Furthermore, I think Jalen Thompson is a better safety than Budda Baker. I would actually like to see the Cardinals find a safety for the future, and start to line up Budda Baker at the nickel back position, or even trade Baker for more draft capital.

Calen Bullock, has speed, size, and tackling ability that would complement Jalen Thompson’s game. Bullock has comparable speed to Thompson and a little more size as well. The Cardinals have been going the “undersized player with heart” route with the roster for far too long with little success. This will help to start increasing the size and strength of the overall roster.


Alternative Pick:

Braelon Allen, RB


Easily the most “fun” pick I have in this post. With the passing game getting more and more dominate in the modern NFL, the smaller and smaller the defensive players become. The rare freak athlete comes around now and again, but for the most part a 240 lbs linebacker is considered “big” in today’s NFL. Braelon Allen may weight 235 lbs at the combine but I guarantee he is 240+ lbs on game day. There is a reason James Conner does so well in the NFL. He has size, and speed at the running back position. Not to mention good hands, can block, and runs with attitude. Braelon Allen can continue this trend for the Cardinals in the backfield with drafting Allen. Allen is coming off an injury and with the running back position decreasing in value, there is a very good chance he can be found in the middle of the third round or later. In my pre-combine drafts, I chose him almost every time. I would be very surprised if Allen didn’t translate to the NFL, and if he does that, what better role to fill then one we already know is productive for the Cardinals, and that is having a power back with good speed in the backfield.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
3rd Round:
Pick 7: (71)
Max Melton, CB5053%
Calen Bullock, S1415%
Braelon Allen, RB88%
Payton Wilson, ILB88%
Adisa Isaac, OLB/DE88%
Cedric Gray, ILB33%
Braden Fiske, DL22%
Trey Benson, RB22%




Round 3 (Pick 90):

Preferred Pick:

Max Melton, CB


I will be honest, I am from New Jersey, and saw a lot of Melton because my father is a Rutgers fan. Mex Melton was the best player on the entire team. He was a play maker, and able to hold up against whomever was put across from him in the passing game. Not to mention had NO pass rush and still had success.

The Cardinals need cornerbacks, and this is a value pick in the third round. Whether he starts on the outside, or at Nickelback Melton can be an impact player. If the Cardinals chose him anywhere in the third round I would be thrilled. He just happened to be here at pick 90 more times than not, but every time I took the risk and waiting till this pick to take him, I was worried he would be gone, which happened a few times.

Alternative Pick:

Domonic Puni, C/G/T, Isaiah Adams, G/T


In my alternative draft, I have yet to address the offensive line. Both prospects shown here played tackle and played it well in college. They also have played other positions, which is important for a younger player who was drafted later on their draft day. I feel either of these players could make a push for the starting right guard position from day 1. Domonic Puni is another offensive linemen, much like Cooper Beebe, where there is a host of things I did not like about him, but in the end, those end up being the players that thumb their nose at me for 10 years in the league. Puni can play anywhere on the line, including center. Yet, he played left tackle his last year in college, and played at a very high level. Having a utility offensive lineman active on game day that can also go in as a left tackle? That is value. As much as I have personal reservations about Puni, is as much as I like Isaiah Adams. He is your more classic guard/tackle player. I do not think he could survive at left tackle, but I feel he could make due at right tackle. Where I think Adams will make his mark is at the guard position. It may take a little time for him to transition at guard, but even so, I see him at right guard day 1, and learning on the job.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
3rd Round:
Pick 26: (90)
Cam Hart, CB2829%
Cedric Gray, ILB1415%
Max Melton, CB1314%
Braelon Allen, RB1213%
Payton Wilson, ILB88%
Domonic Puni, OG66%
Calen Bullock, S66%
Isaiah Adams, OG/OT44%
Kamren Kinchens, S22%
Khyree Jackson, CB22%




Round 4 (Pick 104):

Preferred Pick:

Cam Hart, CB


Did I mention the Cardinals need to increase the size and strength of the overall roster? This is a boom or bust pick with Cam Hart. I like Marvin Harrison, Jr.’s game, and Cam Hart did very well against Harrison, Jr. when they matched up.

The knock against Hart is he is a coverage specialist. That means he will make “business decisions” out on the field when tackling. Yet, at 6’3”, and 202 lbs, he has the length and size to match up against bigger wide receivers. The Cardinals need cornerbacks, and desperately need some size at the position.


Alternative Pick:

Kyree Jackson, CB


While Jackson can tackle better than Cam Hart, that is about it. Jackson has the size the Cardinals need at the position, but has average abilities. The Cardinals need cornerbacks, and desperately need some size at the position. Jackson is better than most left at this point, and easily the most talented “big” cornerback left. At least when it comes to playing against top level competition in college.

The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
4th Round:
Pick 4: (104)
Isaiah Adams, OG/OT3537%
Cam Hart, CB2829%
Khyree Jackson, CB99%
Devontez Walker, WR88%
Javon Solomon, OLB/ILB77%
Marist Liufau, ILB44%
Domonic Puni, OG22%
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB/DE22%




Round 5 (Pick 138):

Preferred Pick:

Isaac Guerendo, HB


This is the Latavius Murray special, let me explain. Latavius Murray has been in the NFL for 10 years now. He was an unknown coming out of college, except for the fact we was a big back, with speed.

Isaac Guerendo is 6’0” and 221 lbs, and ran a 4.33 forty yard dash.

There are two types of running backs in the NFL. Special backs that can make a player miss and create yards after contact. The other are running backs that hit the hole and go. The “other” running backs are a dime a dozen, and the only thing that sets the apart is speed.

This is a hit or miss prospect, but the upside of speed and power is too much to pass by.


Alternative Pick:

Kitan Oladapo, S


Oladapo is a solid safety, with solid skill, good measurable, and would be good in special teams while having a good chance at being a solid backup safety, and special teams player. I also like Millard Bradford, or Jaylon Carlies at this spot, but there is a good chance those players do not even get drafted.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
5th Round:
Pick 3: (139)
Isaac Guerendo, HB2526%
Kitan Oladapo, S1011%
Javon Solomon, OLB/ILB88%
Isaiah Adams, OG/OT77%
Cedric Gray, ILB77%
Cam Hart, CB55%
Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE55%
Tyrice Knight, ILB55%
Spencer Rattler, QB44%
Khyree Jackson, CB44%
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB/DE33%
James Williams, ILB/S22%
Dillon Johnson, HB22%
Christian Jones, OT22%
Justin Eboigbe, DL22%
Keith Randolph, DL22%
Dwight McGlothern, CB22%




Round 5 (Pick 162):

Preferred Pick:

Ainias Smith, WR


I am going back to the Cardinal roots on this one. An undersized playmaking wide receiver with speed, and quickness.

Ainias Smith was a dynamic player at Texas A&M. He could take a screen pass to the house and create something from nothing. Bringing in Smith would be competition for Greg Dortch. Both can play the slot receiver role, and take part in punt and kick returning duties.

When Ronald Moore, thankfully, was traded it did leave this role in the offense vacant. Between Dortch and Smith, this role should be re-filled.


Alternative Pick:

Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE


I have not seen a tight end with this much promise since Leonard Pope! But seriously, this is a big tight end that you are hoping can be a solid player in the ground game. The size is there at 6’7” and 267 lbs but blocking takes effort and technique. The bonus with Spann-Ford is he can be a threat in the redzone and a nice compliment to Trey McBride in the passing game. Do not expect Spann-Ford to do too much in the passing game but that is all the Cardinals need.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
5th Round:
Pick 27: (163)
Ainias Smith, WR3032%
Brevyn Spann-Ford, TE1213%
Xavier Thomas, DE/OLB99%
Isaiah Davis, HB88%
MarShawn Lloyd, RB66%
Dwight McGlothern, CB55%
Jarius Monroe, CB55%
Dillon Johnson, HB44%
Devaughn Vele, WR44%
Marist Liufau, ILB33%
Zion Tupuola-Fetui, OLB/DE33%
Jaylen Wright, HB22%
Chris Braswell, OLB22%
Bub Means, WR22%




Round 6 (Pick 186):

Preferred Pick:

Brennan Jackson, DE


Go back to the top of this post where I say the Cardinals should sign Rasheem Green in free agency. Why? Because I do not think the Cardinals are going to obtain an elite pass rusher (unless Harrison, Jr. is not there at pick 4 and they trade down or pick a pass rusher at 4).

The pass rush will need to be by committee, the additions of Rasheem Green and Brennan Jackson would provide some depth. Both have good size, and if Brennan Jackson can match Rasheem Green’s play then this would be a successful pick in the 6th round.

The problem with Brennan Jackson is that he has all the buzz words to be a bust. “Football intelligence” “High Motor, High effort”. With Jackson it is all about translating his college game to the pro game. If that were to happen, he would be a steal.


Alternative Pick:

Tyrice Knight, ILB


It’s KEIM TIME! It is not that picking small school players is an issue, just when you do it in the first round, and seem like you do it every year. The Cardinals need some linebackers, and some depth at linebacker. Sometimes, you just have to embrace negatives that are consistent in your life experience. The Cardinals will need at least 3 or 4 linebackers a year. One or two will always get hurt…..unless you are Karlos Dansby, he never seemed like he was hurt.

It is the sixth round, and time to see if you can find some depth better than the Monte Beisel’s, Nick Vigil’s, Tanner Vallejo’s, and Joe Walker’s, of the world. Not to say those linebackers are bad, just that you can do better.

I like Tyrice Knight’s game, though he played for UTEP, so there is a question of if he can translate to the NFL. Knight is only 6’0” but has some size at 233 lbs, and enough speed to play the position in the NFL. He tackles everything in sight, and has experience playing the inside linebacker position, no need to “transition” Knight from safety, or outside linebacker, or guard or whatever the Cardinals usually do at inside linebacker. ……..I just looked at the Cardinals draft history at linebacker since moving to Arizona…..the bar is NOT set very high. They are due to say the least, so I say a 6th for Knight is going to be their comeuppance at the position.


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
6th Round:
Pick 10: (185)
Brennan Jackson, OLB/DE3032%
Tyrice Knight, ILB2223%
Dylan Laube, HB88%
Ro Torrence, CB77%
Khalid Duke, OLB/DE55%
Ryan Watts, CB55%
Malik Dunlap, CB44%
Jase McClellan, RB44%
Tanor Bortolini, C/G33%
Nathaniel Watson, OLB/ILB33%
Shyheim Battle, CB22%
Demani Richardson, S22%




Round 7 (Pick 226):

Preferred Pick:

Zach Heins, TE


Can we go back and bottle up 2019 Cardinals tight end Maxx Williams’ season and make a player out of it? Because that is what I am looking for. With all hope that Trey McBride isn’t going to be another “flash in the pan” player for the Cardinals, and they have a LONG history of that happening, then McBride has solidified the tight end position for the first time since the Cardinals have been in Arizona.

Yet, they need a blocking tight end. While Kip Reiman is the player that has impressed at the combine and brought his name to the forefront, I think it will cause another team to reach for a player that is primarily a blocking tight end that can catch few passes here or there.

Enter Zach Heins, the lesser known blocking tight end that can catch more than a few passes. 6’6”, and 264 lbs with some decent hands. He can probably be had as an undrafted free agent allowing the Cardinals to pick a WR, CB, or ILB here, but if they was to insure they have a quality prospect for the tight end position when it comes to blocking then they should take advantage of the 7th round pick (which is more or less your 1st player on your UDFA list, if you ask me).


Alternative Pick:

Cornelius Johnson, WR


Johnson is all over draft boards, from late second round pick to the bottom of the undrafted free agent bargain barrel. Johnson is more or less like Kitan Oladapo at safety. Checks all the boxes for your average NFL late round wide receiver prospect. There is nothing to flashy about Johnson but nothing too concerning as well. I cannot find too many UDFA prospects at wide receiver with better upside, so why not take him with the 7th round pick and see what happens?


The players I chose with this pick, and the percentage of time chosen:
7th Round:
Pick 6: (225)
Zach Heins, TE3840%
Tip Reiman, TE2425%
Cornelius Johnson, WR1011%
Ladarious Henderson, OG88%
Messiah Swinson, TE55%
AJ Barner, TE44%
Ro Torrence, CB44%
Shyheim Battle, CB22%



Summary:
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Top five UDFA prospects:
1. Ro Torrence, CB
2. Messiah Swinson, TE
3. Will Putnam, C/G
4. Millard Bradford, S
5. Michael Dunlap, CB

Have a good one ASFN!

I may be back later with a fun post about the Cardinals history. Till then, be well.
I missed you. Welcome back regardless of the time allocated. Definitely one of my favorite posters! :thumbup:
 

MadCardDisease

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Max Melton, CB

I will be honest, I am from New Jersey, and saw a lot of Melton because my father is a Rutgers fan. Mex Melton was the best player on the entire team. He was a play maker, and able to hold up against whomever was put across from him in the passing game. Not to mention had NO pass rush and still had success.

Mex Melton!

Sounds like some new Taco Bell menu item. :thumbup:
 

Ouchie-Z-Clown

I'm better than Mulli!
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RM! Nice return buddy. So sorry to hear of the health issues. Hope all is alright. Good to see you here.
 

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