In a continued look back at past Cardinals' draft classes, today brings us up to the 2005 draft. The Cards were coming off a 6-10 season and held the 8th overall selection after their first season with Dennis Green as the head coach.
First Round: Antrel Rolle CB - Miami
The good news for the Cardinals is that Rolle had the best season of his career in 2007 and is finally getting moved to a position that better suits his skill set. The bad news is that if Rolle's career ended today, he'd go down in history as a bust. Rolle has started 28 games over the past three years (played in another 9) but only has 21 passes defended and 7 interceptions (although 5 of those INTs came in '07) to show for it. His move to safety should allow him to use his above average closing speed and superior tackling to support the run and patrol the middle of the field. We may very well check back in a couple of years and say that Rolle is a very solid (maybe even Pro Bowl caliber) safety.
Other possible selections: Carlos Rogers, Demarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman
Dennis Green thought he was getting the future at running back when he drafted Arrington, even though most scouts considered him a situational back based on his lack of size and some durability questions. As it turned out it, the scouts were right. Arrington's game simply hasn't transitioned to the NFL game. He got a chance to start his rookie season but hasn't done much with any opportunity he's been given. His career line of 152 carries for 467 yards (3.1 ypc) and two touchdowns simply aren't good enough for an early second round pick. He offers something out of the backfield and on kick off returns but that's about it. Being that's he's still only 25 years old, some might argue that he's still developing his game.
Other possible selections: Lofa Tatupa, Khalif Barnes, Roscoe Parrish
Third Round: Eric Green CB - Virginia Tech
After two seasons behind Rolle on the depth chart, Green finally took over as the starter in 2007, but his performance warranted the Cardinals using another first round pick on a corner. Green has started 24 games (played in another 14) over the past three seasons but only has 25 passes defended and one interception to show for it. The knock on Green coming out of VT was that he played off receivers too far allowing passes underneath, because of a lack of physicality and that has been the case so far in his career. Green will likely to be pushed early by rookie DRC and should move back to the slot by mid-season.
Other possible selections: Ryan Moats, Ellis Hobbs, Kirk Morrison
The Cardinals traded Duane Starks and their fifth round pick to the Patriots for the Pats third and fifth round pick in order to select Blackstock, who by some accounts was the steal of the draft. Blackstock was supposed to be a versatile player who was stout against the run and a gifted pass rusher but in three seasons in Arizona he started just two games and managed a total of four sacks (three of which came in '07).He left via free agency this off season and signed with the Bengals.
Other possible selections: Domonique Foxworth, Marion Barber III, Brandon Jacobs
Fourth Round: Elton Brown OG - Virginia
Brown's been a versatile player for the Cardinals since he was drafted starting games at both guard and tackle. In total he's started 14 games (played in 4 more) and according to who you believe he's got the tools to become a starter at either guard or tackle in the future. For now he's the top backup at each guard, possibly each tackle and a solid run blocker when he's in the game.
Other possible selections: Jerome Mathis, Kerry Rhodes, Darren Sproles
Fifth Round: Lance Mitchell LB - Oklahoma
Mitchell was a inside linebacker who sustained a serious knee injury his junior year that most thought lingered throughout his senior season. He was supposed to be very good against run although there were question marks about his ability in coverage. He'd play just one year in Arizona though, finishing the 2005 season with
eight tackles in 12 games. He injured his ankle before the 2006 season and was placed on injured reserve before being cut.
Other possible selections: Bo Scaife, Cedric Houston, Derek Anderson
McCoy was a speedy reciever with good size but was considered an underachiever who would have to improve his route running to become a legit receiver. McCoy would play in 10 games, even starting 4, his rookie year and would total 191 yards on 18 receptions including a touchdown. Injuries would lead to his release from the Cardinals and kept him from getting on the field last year in San Francisco. He is currently a Texan and competing for a roster spot there.
Other possible selections: no notable players
Overall the 2005 has been pretty weak draft so far, producing just 12 Pro Bowlers out of 255 picks. It's tough to judge the Cardinals draft yet because so far it's produced zero solid starters and four players who are somewhere between marginal starters (Rolle & Green) and career backups (Arrington & Brown). In time though, if Rolle excels at free safety and if Green performs better as the nickel corner and if Brown steps in as a starter soon then this draft could be very successful (but we all know that was alot of 'ifs'). Overall right now I've gotta say it's a C minus.