With college football starting I thought it might be useful to look at a few positions and college players that the Cards might be looking at in the 2010 draft. Things could obviously change regarding eligible players for the draft, as well as Cardinal players' status, but projecting the Cardinals' needs now will help us have a list of names, positions, and schools we can focus in on every Saturday. I focused on positions that I think the Cards should look at in the first four rounds of the draft, then I proposed some possible value picks in the mid rounds and what I think could happen in the later rounds.
ILB: With Dansby anxious to get paid in free agency, the Cards really need to strengthen their ILB depth. Most of my top ILB are not seniors but they are projected to be in the 2010 draft.
-Rolando McClain (Alabama) 6-4. 248. If McClain comes out this year he is the best ILB available in my
book. He plugs the hole like a beast, has great straight line and lateral quickness and great instincts.
-Brandon Spikes (Florida) 6-3. 244. Spikes is also a first round prospect. He is a hard hitter with a great
motor. He sometimes plays undisciplined but his natural athleticism covers up his mistakes. Great leader.
-Obi Ezeh, (Michigan) 6-2. 247. He is a thumper that may be a good 2nd round pick. If he slides to the 3rd
round he would be a steal. From what I have seen he plays like Hayes. He is one I want to watch this year.
-Micah Johnson, (Kentucky) 6-2. 254. A senior, Johnson has great potential and could have a great pro
career. He might be there in the 3rd round but I think will likely not make it past the end of the 2nd.
QB: 2009 will likely be the last year for BSP and with questions about Leinart's role in the post-Warner era I wouldn't be surprises if the Cardinals bring in competition for Leinart. It is a fairly good draft for QBs, a lot better than last year's crop. There will likely be a few QBs who show up unexpectantly but here are a few front runners out of the many prospects. (Left off Bradford because there is no way a healthy Bradford will not go in the top 5). A lot of QB options this draft. I included a couple of dark horses that may be a steal in mid rounds. I did not include Tebow. Great athlete but I am just not sure how to use him as a QB. Here are a few QB to watch.
Colt McCoy, (Texas) 6-3. 205 McCoy may fall to the end of the 1st round and even into the 2nd, depending
on where Texas ends up, but he I think he has a promising Pro career. He is smart and generally accurate.
Good Football IQ.
Jevan Snead, (Ole Miss) 6-3. 215 Has potential and appears to have a good arm and good QB IQ. Has
looked good against SEC defenses.
Jimmy Clausen, (Notre Dame) 6-3. 217. I think Notre Dame will have a better year which will likely get
Clausen drafted in the first round. He has improved over the years. Plenty of film on Clausen makes
judging his potential easier. Right now I would grade him mid 2nd round but he may impress and
Pat Devlin, (Delaware) 6-4. 220 Could be a great pick up in the 3rd round if he is still there and if he
comes out early.
Tim Hiller, (Western Michigan) 6-5. 228. If you get a chance to watch this kid let me know what you think.
He is supposed to have a great up side.
Daryll Clark, (Penn State) 6-2. 231. Great athlete. A little short but could become a McNabb type of
player with his natural athleticism.
Max Hall, (BYU) 6-1. 201. His size has caused him to fall down in the draft, but he can read a defense.
He may surprise a few people in the NFL. He might still be around in the 5th round.
DL: We need depth here. Unfortunately this is not a good draft for nose tackles but there are some solid DE prospects. I left out players that I can't imagine will be around after the top 15 like: Dunlap (Florida), McCoy (Oklahoma), or Suh (Nebraska). If any of these fall into the Card's lap they will jump on them. Here is a sampling of some players I will be looking at on Saturday.
Lawrence Marsh, (Florida) 6-5. 305. DE. Playing with Dunlap has helped Marsh but he still looks to have
first round talent.
Terrence Cody, (Alabama) 6-5. 365 NT. Mount Cody is one of the few potential NT in the draft. But he
needs to lose 30 pounds under coach Lott. Will he be able to pursue if he was lighter? There are some
questions about Cody but I could see the Cards taking a chance on him if he is there at the end of the 1st
DeMarcus Granger, (Oklahoma) 6-3 303. DE I like Granger and if he is there in the 2nd round when the
Cards pick he would be a great addition. The down side is he is built more like a DT instead of DE but I
think he is athletic enough to play any position along the DL.
Vince Oghobaase, (Duke) 6-6. 310. DE Oghobasse has jumbo DE written all over him. Great height and
arms, I think in time he could be able to play anywhere along the DL. He could be there near the end of the
2nd round but may go as high as the 1st round.
Boo Robinson, (Wake Forest) 6-2. 326 NT. Robinson is a stump of a man and is built like the ideal NT. I
want to see his motor on the field but I wouldn't be surprised to see him go in the 1-2nd round just because
of his position and the trend towards 3-4.
Jarvis Jenkins, (Clemson) 6-4. 318. NT. If he comes out this year he might be an option. I will have to watch
and see if he fits better as a NT or DE.
Jared Odrick, (Penn State) 6-5. 308 DE. Good solid DL that could develop into a good player. Seems like a
no brainer if he is there at the end of the 3rd round.
Al Woods, (LSU) 6-5. 314. DE. A mid round prospect he could provide some solid depth.
OLB: 2010 has another crop of potentially solid OLB, especially in the late 1st and into the 2nd rounds. If Cody Brown comes back completely healthy next year it may feel like the Cards have drafted an extra early-round OLB. The Cardinals could go from an aging OLB group to a young OLB pretty quick. Most of the potential draftees will have to convert from DE to OLB which will require an extra year before they impact the team. I left out tons of options, but here are a few of my front runners.
Sergio Kindle, (Texas) 6-4. 254 If he can learn to play in space he will be a beast. I doubt he will be there
when the Cards draft.
Everson Griffen, (USC) 6-3. 265. I think he is athletic enough to play with his hand off the ground and is a
beast. Judging from USC's track record, I have no doubt he will come out early.
Greg Romeus, (Pittsburgh) 6-5. 265. Another beast if he comes out early. He might fall to the end of the
1st round. The Cards have a Wanstead connection.
George Selvie, (South Florida) 6-4. 250 Was projected in the 1-2nd round last year if he had come out.
Greg Hardy, (Ole Miss) 6-5. 260. Another small DE that is athletic enough to convert to an OLB. Probably a
2nd or 3rd round option.
Jermaine Cunningham, (Florida) 6-3. 250. Another good Florida option. 2nd rounder probably.
Eric Norwood, (South Carolina) 6-1. 265 Athletic DE who will have to make the switch to OLB 2-3rd round.
Ugo Chinasa, (Oklahoma State) 6-6. 255 Tall and athletic. If he comes out he would probably be a 2-3rd
rounder right now but he may wait another year and hope to be in the 1st round.
Dexter Davis, (Arizona State) 6-2. 252. Davis will likely be a 2-3rd rounder. Talented.
Auston English, (Oklahoma) 6-3. 255. Right now would be graded in 3rd round but I think he has great
potential and will probably increase his draft status if Oklahoma plays like is expected.
Antonio Coleman, (Auburn) 6-2. 250. Mid rounder with potential.
Every draft the Cardinals select players that I didn't think we needed. Rashad Johnson and Greg Toler are two examples from the last draft. It is sound draft strategy to take value when it is on the board, especially in the mid rounds. Listed below are some positions that I think have the likelihood of having value in the mid rounds.
Corner: Unlike last year, 2010 looks to be a good draft year for corners. I easily counted twelve corners that are big enough and should be fast enough to play in the Cardinals' system. Expect many corners to come off the board in the first round, but there will still be many which will be worth taking in the 3-4th rounds. As coach Davis has noted, you can never have enough good corners.
Receiver: Who knows how the whole Boldin-contract saga will play out but there are some solid receivers in the draft that should be there in the mid rounds.
Safety: Several good free safeties this year. One or two solid strong safeties. Could find value as late as the 4th round in this category.
Later Draft Considerations:
The Cardinals have a track record of looking for specific types of players in the later rounds, and being successful at it.
OL: With many OLB, Corners, QB etc... coming off the board early there may be some solid OL that last into the later rounds. You may think with Gandy's contract expiring that this would be a good year to draft a LT but I just don't think the Cards will do it. In today's NFL, the LT and the RT are having to become similar and the Cards have been grooming several younger players for this position. Plus quality veteran tackles have become more prevalent in FA in recent years. I think they will look to the later rounds for more depth.
Center: This draft class stinks. Last year's was much better. I think I would keep with Claxton or Fowler for depth before I wasted a pick.
TE: Cardinals do not generally draft a TE in the earlier rounds unless one falls into their lap. It would be good to pick up a TE in the later rounds that can be developed.
FB: The Cardinals seem to be slowly moving away from the FB but the later rounds are sometimes good places to pick one up that can play on the practice squad and develop.
Ok, who did I miss? Which player are you anxious to watch? Which position did I not consider?