After a surprising Day 2 that left most members of the board frothing, we should all be pleased to know that there are a couple guys out there who may still be able to help us at key positions this year.
Let's talk about OLB's, then. I'm going to pretend that after a running back and a tight end, it's about time that we address some part of our defense in the draft. 4-5 will be a good time to do it. Sam Acho is still on the board and, if he makes it, has to be the choice, imo. He's a standout off the field, he fared well at the combine, and he put up good numbers in college. Please, please don't pass on another one.
Another OLB projected around this pick is Chris Carter. I've mentioned him before, but upon further research I've decided Acho makes more sense -- would still be happy to consider Carter at the spot, though. Ricky Elmore might be a decent addition later on. He put up decent numbers in college and has a good motor but struggled against better competition. Finally, for the little-known guys, keep Gabe Miller (converted from TE in 2009; great athlete, bit of a project) and Marc Shiechl (turned in a monster of a Pro Day -- 38 bench reps, among other notables -- and a boatload of stats at the Colorado School of Mines... whatever that is...) in your mind when we hit the 6th and 7th rounds.
If we go offense again, and we very well may if the best player available happens to fall on that side of the line of scrimmage, look for Lee Ziemba at G/T. He started a lot of games in college and had a very good showing at the Senior Bowl, a watermark the Cardinals have been known to pay close attention to. I hear Clint Boling may be the best player currently available in the draft, but that's according to Mel Kiper, not Ken Whisenhunt. Still, there's not a lot left to get excited about at guard. Stephen Schilling sounds like he could be a winner if we could get him at 5. Zach Hurd sounds like a monster, but he needs work.
Defensive line is a concern for me. I dig the starters, but any time you have a group of depth headlined by Alan Branch you have to worry a little bit. There could be really good value in picking up Jerrell Powe with our 4th. He'd be a reserve nose tackle who's been slated as high as the second round. Not my first choice, though. Ian Williams is another guy who seems to have slipped in the draft a bit and could be a good value, especially if he's around at 5. My choice of the group would be Anthony Gray. He's big and seriously strong, and should be available early in the 6th round. There's really only one defensive end I have my eye on, David Carter. Another big guy who had a strong senior week, he could sneak into the tail-end of our draft.
Colin McCarthy sounds like a good inside linebacker with above-average athleticism who's available at just the right time for us. After him, there are a couple special teams/project players that could bolster our depth in Nate Irving (recovered from a serious car crash in 2009 to put up great numbers in 2010) and Mario Harvey (heck of a pro day, good production on defense over four years).
The "other guys" I have my eye on are FB Anthony Sherman (a strong lead-blocker who can actually catch) and P Reid Forrest. I doubt Sherman will be available beyond our 5th pick, but I'd love catching Forrest with a 7.
My mock for the rest of the draft looks like this:
4 - Sam Acho, OLB (alt: Lee Ziemba, G/T)
5 - Stephen Schilling, G (alt: Nate Irving, ILB)
6 - Anthony Gray, DT (alt: David Carter, DE)
7a - Reid Forrest, P (alt: Preston Dial, FB)
7b - Marc Shiechl, OLB (alt: Scott Riddle, QB)
Got a little long-winded on that one, but I wanted to offer a glimmer of hope for the rest of the draft. I did leave out a few guys I'm interested in 'cause I'm pretty sure there'll be a mutiny if we draft a wide receiver or something. Anyone in particular you guys interested in bringing in?