With the Combine right around the corner what better time than now to look at who the draft-niks think the Arizona Cardinals will select. The past couple of round ups have produced some interesting results (here and here) and there are some interesting selections this time as well.
NFL Draft Countdown: Knowshon Moreno (RB), Geogia - There aren't many teams with a more potent passing game than Arizona but their ground attack leaves something to be desired. Edgerrin James already has one foot out the door and while at one point it looked like Tim Hightower might be the long-term solution at running back his lackluster performance down the stretch indicates he is probably best suited for the short-yardage / goalline role. Knowshon Moreno is only a redshirt sophomore but he had two amazing seasons for the Dawgs and will most likely be one of the first two running backs selected. In some ways Moreno is similar to Cadillac Williams in that he doesn't have elite size or speed but he makes up for it with outstanding instincts and vision. Moreno could very well be long gone by this point and if that is the case Arizona could then turn their attention to LeSean McCoy. The Cardinals could also still use some help along the offensive line. Mike Gandy has been relatively solid but they could do a whole lot better at left tackle (Eben Britton? William Beatty?) and either Max Unger or Alex Mack would be a major upgrade over Lyle Sendlein at center. Don't rule out a pass rushing outside linebacker for their 3-4 defense either because even though they have a bunch of solid players like Bert Berry and Chike Okeafor they lack a genuine difference maker. Second Round Pick: Eric Wood (C), Louisville
Draft Tek:: Clint Sintim (OLB), Virginia - If you're a serious draft nerd, check out Draft Tek. They don't offer descripitions but their mocks are based on computer simulation using player rankings and team needs. They've also got a simulator that you play with to build your own seven round mock draft. Very cool stuff over there.
- Round 2: Herman Johnson (OG), LSU
- Round 3: James Davis (RB), Clemson
- Round 4: Brandon Williams (OLB), Texas Tech
- Round 5: Brandon Underwood (FS), Cincinnati
- Round 6: John Phillips (TE), Virginia
- Round 7: Roy Miller (DT/DE), Texas
New Era Scouting: Larry English (OLB), Northern Illinois - No description.
NFL Draft 101: Donald Brown (RB), Connecticut - Many have not heard a lot about Brown but he is a good all-around back who can run inside and out plus catch passes out of the backfield. His versatility should combine well with Hightower's sledge hammer style. Round 2: Jonathan Luigs (OC) Arkansas - Round 3: Connor Barwin (OLB), Cincinnati
NFL Draft Dog: Alphonso Smith (CB), Wake Forest - Forest This little ball hawk is an excellent cover corner and solid tackler for his size (5' 9" 195 lbs). Pac Man Jones without the baggage. Round 2: Jonathan Luigs (OC) Arkansas
Football Jabber (Lee): LeShean McCoy (RB), Pittsburgh - It's clear that Edge James is not the future at the position and although Tim Hightower had some high spots during the season, likely isn't the answer at feature back. McCoy can bring spark to the position for the future.
FFToolbox (Standig): LeSean McCoy (RB), Pittsburgh - The Cardinals ground game has been much improved in the playoffs, but Edgerrin James could be elsewhere next season and Tim Hightower is proving to be most effective as a situational option. McCoy can handle a heavy workload and has the speed to give opposing defenses something to worry about. Michael Johnson or Clint Sintim could be the pick with the Cards in need of DE/OLB in their new 3-4 scheme. Round 2: Chase Coffman (TE), Missouri
Pro Football Weekly: Knowshon Moreno (RB), Geogia - Edgerrin James' time has run out in Arizona, and Tim Hightower has shown he can handle some of the hard carries between the tackles. What the Cardinals could sorely use is a dynamic complementary back, and Moreno perfectly fits the mold of a tough Ken Whisenhunt-type back. Moreno's talent suggests he should be drafted sooner, but with few teams needing a premier runner, backs could slide this year.
NFL.com: LeSean McCoy (RB), Pittsburgh - McCoy is a tough, shifty runner who also can catch the ball. He's a perfect fit for the Cardinals' scheme.
New NFL Draft: Chris Wells (RB), Ohio State - The Edge has looked pretty good in the post season but he isn't getting any younger. I think Beanie Wells is pretty evenly balanced and the 2nd best running back in this 2009 NFL Mock Draft. He will help them run the game and pair up well with Hightower.
That's a lot of names to remember but seven of the ten mocks have the Cardinals taking a running back in the first round while two of them are predicting an OLB as the top priority. Agree/Disagree?