4-25-11: Bird Droppings - Draft Week Begins

Only three more days until the draft, are you excited yet?

Todays links includes stuff like the offseason needs for the Cards, dropped passes in the NFC West, a mailbag from John Clayton where DRC's name is written as "Antonio Rodgers-Cromartie", the latest SBN Mock Draft that features the Cards trading down with Dallas and taking Tyron Smith, NFC West Defensive Ends and more.

Sizing up the Arizona Cardinals' top offseason needs
The Cardinals have issues on both sides of the ball after a 5-11 finish in 2010, but a select few positions are considered priorities.

Arizona Cardinals chew on NFL draft, restocking plan
To the Cardinals, their 5-11 record in 2010 induced acid reflux and remains lodged in their throats like a late-night burrito. Worse, the NFL's labor problems left them no way to treat it. With a player lockout in place, there has been no free agency, no trades, no re-signing of players, no practices. In short, no way to improve. But if coach Ken Whisenhunt and General Manager Rod Graves are feeling anxious about 2011, they aren't admitting it. Their mind-set is to try not to fret over circumstances they don't control, with the emphasis on try.

Jerry Rice, Julio Jones and dropped passes - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Even the great Jerry Rice had problems with dropped passes while transitioning to the NFL from college. I had forgotten, also, that Rice suffered a string of drops while transitioning from Joe Montana to Steve Young as his full-time quarterback with the San Francisco 49ers. Rice worked through those issues, of course, on his way to becoming arguably the greatest player in NFL history.

Take the 'to draft a QB or not to draft a QB' out of the Cardinals' hands - ArizonaSports.com
Throughout this week NFL owners, general managers, coaches and scouts will be wrapping up their preparation for the draft and finish the detailed decision making process with their big boards. Many will have a precise idea of what they are going to do on Thursday night when the first round begins.

2011 NFL Mock Draft: Complete First Round Projection With Possible Trades - SBNation.com
In the penultimate 2011 NFL Mock Draft of the year, we project five trades in Round 1, and watch six quarterbacks fly off the board.

NFL draft 2011: Rookie QBs may have to sit - ESPN
The lockout may mean that rookie QBs spend 2011 sitting and learning. John Clayton explains why in his latest mailbag.

AFL: Arizona Rattlers' resilience helps them remain unbeaten
The Rattlers' resilience has helped them rally four times at home, the latest a 67-61 overtime victory over the Utah Blaze on Saturday night at US Airways Center. They overcame a 12-point third-quarter deficit by getting their first stop in the final quarter and later scoring a touchdown on a special-teams play.

Best, worst first-round NFL draft picks - ArizonaSports.com
The Associated Press takes a look at the best and worst first-round draft picks for each NFL team:

Arizona Diamondbacks swept by New York Mets
What began as a promising road trip ended like so many others have for the Diamondbacks the past couple of seasons, with players shuffling wordlessly through a visiting clubhouse that's as quiet as a library. The New York Mets jumped to a six-run lead in the first three innings and cruised to an 8-4 win at Citi Field, sending the Diamondbacks to their first sweep of the year and extending their season-worst losing streak to four games.

azcentral.com blogs - Bruce Cooper Blog - BruceCooper - With the Cardinals on the clock, Coop says:
Time is ticking down. Soon the Cardinals will be on the clock. They have the 5th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft. Who will they Pick? Who should they Pick? Everyone, it seems, has an opinion on the matter. I have emerged from my mock war room full of thoughts and opinions. And now I share with you my seven round Cardinals mock draft:

Adventures in drafting NFL defensive ends - NFC West Blog - ESPN
NFC West teams have drafted 22 defensive ends since 2002, a number smaller than I would have anticipated. An even smaller number -- two! -- start for the teams that drafted them. One, Antonio Smith, starts for another team.

Osweiler caps off spring with great confidence - ArizonaSports.com
This time last year, Arizona State quarterback Brock Osweiler was in the midst of a cutthroat QB competition and coming off a disappointing 2010 Spring Game in which he did anything but instill confidence in his head coach, Dennis Erickson. In Saturday's spring game, with not the slightest doubt of job security, Osweiler put on an electrifying exhibition display for the crowd of 6,400 that was so impressive that Erickson called it, "probably as good a performance as we've had offensively since I've been the coach here."

NFL draft 2011: Record 25 prospects set to attend - ESPN
A record 25 prospects will attend Thursday's first night of the NFL draft on Thursday at Radio City Music Hall in New York, the league announced Monday.

NFL hasn't set deadline for games' cancellation - ESPN
The NFL doesn't have a deadline for when games would be canceled without a collective bargaining agreement.

Of 25 rookies at the draft, only two will be quarterbacks | ProFootballTalk
At a time when as many as six or seven quarterbacks could be among the first 32 players selected in the 2011 draft, only two of them will be among the 25 players who’ll make the trek to Radio City Music Hall.

Mayock on Cam Newton: "I don’t know how great he wants to be" | ProFootballTalk
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock is one of the folks not entirely convinced the Panthers will select Cam Newton Thursday night. They could trade down or take a defensive player at No. 1. If Carolina does take him, Mayock worries about Newton’s drive.

NFL.com news: No communication between players, teams might become issue
The stabbing of Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall -- he should recover within 2 to 3 weeks, his agent said -- is unfortunate. Yet it is a reminder that problems are constantly lurking, especially for football players during the offseason. I'm not about to go all knee-jerk and say this is another incident stemming from players being locked out and not supervised by their teams. To the contrary.

NFL.com news: Every team has a regrettable decision (or more) it'd like to undo
Sometimes, a team's fate can be improved not by filling that glass, but by emptying it. It's called addition by subtraction, and every team could benefit from some. So, how 'bout we take a little break from projecting who should be drafted by which team and instead figure out which one person, place or thing each franchise wishes they'd never known.

2011 NFL Draft week begins with uncertainty at the top - Peter King - SI.com
Panthers GM Marty Hurney has done homework on potential No. 1, Cam Newton Ten thoughts about the draft, including a first-round trade likely to happen Quotoes of the Week, Stat of the Week, 10 Things I Think I Think and more

NFL denies outside law firm representation of second group of players in antitrust suit - ESPN
The NFL has rejected a law firm's request for a conflict-of-interest waiver to represent a new group of players seeking to join the antitrust fight against the league.

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