Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft Round Up

The draft is less than a month away so everyone can start the countdown and the Arizona Cardinals will have an interesting draft considering that they've never drafted this late before. They're also surrounded by constant trade talks (if you missed the Draft Tek trade scenario, check it out) and I'd imagine those rumors won't die down until the morning of April 27th. But in the midst of swirling speculation, here's what the most recent mocks are saying:

NFL Draft 101 (updated 3/23) Alex Mack (C), California: The Cardinals are looking to improve their running game and to do so they have to improve their blocking up front. Mack is a great technician who should be able to come in and start right away.

  • Round 2: Clint Sintim (OLB), Virginia
  • Round 3: Javon Ringer (RB), Michigan State

NFL Draft Dog (updated 3/18) Donald Brown (RB), UConn: Brown is vastly talented, led the nation in rushing in 2008 with 1,822 yards and 17 TDs. At the combine he ran a 4.51 forty and had the top vertical jump at 41.5".

  • Round 2: Andy Levitre (OG), Oregon State

Walter Football (updated 3/24) Knowshon Moreno (RB), Georgia: Arizona fans will be thrilled if Knowshon Moreno makes it all the way to No. 31. Moreno is one of the top players in the entire 2009 NFL Draft, but his stock has taken a hit with his 4.6 40 times. Moreno could add an element that the Cardinals' offense really lacks. Edgerrin James is pretty much done, while Tim Hightower does too much dancing around. Moreno could be an enormous upgrade.

  • Round 2: Eric Wood (C), Louisville
  • Round 3: Cody Brown (DE/OLB), UConn
  • Round 4: Cornelius Ingram (TE), Florida

FFToolbox (Standig) (updated 3/25) Chris Wells (RB), Ohio State: The Cardinals ground game was much improved in the playoffs, but J.J. Arrington took off for Denver and Edgerrin James may follow him out the door. Tim Hightower is proving to be most effective as a situational option, so drafting a back in the early rounds makes sense, especially one with Wells' credentials. Depending on how teams that pick ahead of the Cardinals choose to handle their running back situations, Beanie could be off the board midway through the first round. His run-between-the-tackles power, combined with surprising speed could entice any franchise with a needy ground game, but more likely, he falls into the later stages of the first round.

  • Round 2: Lawrence Sidbury (DE/OLB) Richmond

NFL Draft Scout (Rang) (updated 3/23) Brandon Pettigrew (TE), Oklahoma State: Considering their lack of a top-flight running back or depth at outside linebacker, tight end is hardly the Cardinals' greatest need. Pettigrew, however, would be fine value at this point and provide Arizona with the physicality in the running game and short-area target the team has only occasionally received from its current underwhelming group at the position.

NFL Draft Scout (Reuter) (updated 3/23) Micheal Johnson (DE/OLB), Georgia Tech: His 6-7 frame and freakish athleticism are too much for the Cardinals to pass on, especially since DE Antonio Smith moved on as a free agent.

  • Round 2: Eric Wood (C), Louisville
  • Round 3: Javon Ringer (RB), Michigan State

NBC Sports (updated 3/23) Brandon Pettigrew (TE), Oklahoma State: Pettigrew's slow 40 dropped his stock, but he's the three-down tight end GM Rod Graves thought 2006 third-round pick Leonard Pope would become. A crushing blocker and sure-handed intermediate receiver, Pettigrew plays and is built similarly to Heath Miller, who coach Ken Whisenhunt oversaw in Pittsburgh.

National Football Post (updated 3/25) Donald Brown (RB), UConn: A young, athletic running back that will fit the Cardinals offense.

Draft King (updated 3/17) Chris Wells (RB), Ohio State: The Cardinals have a rather strong need for a franchise running back. Edgerrin James turns 31 in August, and for a third straight season he finished with a sub 4.0 yards per carry rushing average in 2008. He's also due a $5 million base salary in 2009. Tim Hightower had an even worse average than James, with an anemic 2.8 yards per carry in the 2008 regular season. J.J. Arrington left via free agency, and overall a player like Wells would be a wonderful fit for Arizona.

New NFL Draft (updated 3/26) Larry English (DE/OLB), Illionis: The Edge has looked pretty good in the post season but he isn't getting any younger. However, because the top 2 RB's are off the board I think they get a DE/LB to play opposite Laboy. English could play either 3-4 LB or a 4-3 DE in the 2009 season.

  • Round 2: Robert Ayers (DE), Tennessee
  • Round 3: Alex Boone (OT), Ohio State
  • Round 4: Ryan Purvis (TE), Boston College

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It's pretty clear that running back and outside linebacker are still the two favorites of most prognosticators, although it's interesting to see Brandon Pettigrew falling down the draft boards. With Whisenhunt being a former tight end himself he might be torn between a complete player like Pettigrew and the other five players already on the roster at the position. What do you guys think?

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