First off, the entire offensive staff and Whis needs to go. I don’t think it’s necessary for me to go into the reasons, we all know why. Promote Horton to head coach, sign a real offensive coordinator. Some choices could be Norv Turner, Haley, Chan Gailey (if fired), Bill Musgrave. I don’t know enough about what offensive position coaches would make good coordinators, but any team with a successful offensive system such as Giants, Denver, GB, maybe Jeremy Bates from Chicago. Doing all of this might require the next step.
With that done, fire the pro player personnel staff as well. The Cardinals have swung and missed on free agent signings way too often, at times wildly missed. See Stewart Bradley, backup offensive linemen (DJ Young, Batiste) or even Kolb as examples. If that’s not possible for the general manager, then fire him. I’ve heard that Keim is good, but honestly, anyone associated with pro player decisions/scouting needs to be fired. I think in general, the Cards have drafted well. I think that their ability to identify needs over value is very lacking, but they have drafted pretty well. But again, if a complete overhaul is necessary, do it. Someone with a plan would be nice and the Cards don’t seem to have a cogent plan for the team. Mike Lombardi might be a GM option.
QB situation needs attention. Cut Skelton and Lindley. Skelton is a nothing, Lindley might have a backup future, but I also don’t see much hope for a guy that was a 55% passer in college who regressed his senior season. Re-negotiate Kolb’s contract. No one else would give him a starting opportunity and he knows it. I think Hoyer stays as the backup. He might be something, but draft a developmental QB in the 2nd or 3rd round. Some options could be Manuel, Landry Jones or Tyler Bray. There doesn’t seem to be a franchise QB in this draft, so don’t force the situation. The Dolphins might have forced the situation this year, but it’s worked out mostly. But in general, this does not work out well. See Andre Ware, the Klinglers, Joey Harrington, JaMarcus Russell.
RB. Cut Beanie and move forward with Stephens-Howling and Williams. I don’t think Williams will ever stay healthy, but it’s not a terrible contract and in a time-share, he might have value. But also, whatever in regards to him. Trade a 4th round pick to NO for Chris Ivory. He is not an every down back, but he is a violent, downhill runner that for 15 carries a game, could be a game changer. He does have to have a handcuff, but that can be found or Howling. If no to the trade, then find a back in the 4th round. In the draft these days, RB’s are not as valuable as they used to be so good value can be found. I didn’t look up any other free agent RB’s, but in general, I think that’s not a good way to go.
WR. Trade Fitzgerald to the Dolphins for their extra 2nd round pick this year as they have the Colts 2nd rounder this year, their extra 3rd round pick from Chicago and their 1st round pick in 2014. Please note that I am not very good at draft pick trading and no, I don’t care to look up the draft pick trade calculator thing or whatever. Basically I looked for the team that had the highest need for a WR that was on the cusp of contention. I picked the Dolphins also because of these extra picks that they have this year. This might be an undersell, but Larry seems to have quit a bit. I’m not saying I blame him, but putting a Porsche engine in a Gremlin is stupid. There are too many other pieces this team needs on offense. I think Roberts has proven to be a #2 receiver in this league, and the horrific drafting of Floyd needs to be justified. He was drafted to be a #1.
TE. Whatever, seems fine. I wouldn’t mind the guy from Stanford or the ND guy, but it’s not a huge priority and spending a 2nd or 1st round pick is a waste with so many needs.
OL. Yikes. I’m not 100% sure of Levi’s contract status, but I THINK he could be an option at two positions, LT or RG. Depends on the draft, so whichever they draft higher, move Levi to the other. I think at his best, he can be an average LT. I think he would be an above average to great RG. If Joekel is available in the first round, take him. If not, look to the UVa, the C. Michigan guy or Johnson (OK) in the 2nd round. It needs to be a higher draft pick to displace Levi, or go for one of the really good guards in the draft. Warnack or B. Jones from Alabama are going to be good in the NFL. If possible, I’d draft both as Jones best position is probably center. The whole point of this is that the Cards have zero ability to identify free agents. Build the line through the draft like most good teams do.
DL is pretty set, but, prepare for the end of Dockett. I think Calais is one of the best, if not the best, 3-4 ends in the league. But in a 3-4, your best defensive players shouldn’t be on the line, they should be the LB’s. I think the Cards have done a really good job of finding players for the line, Talley, Carter even Holliday. But they need more as Dockett is probably moving on. Also, does Big Dan need to be challenged more? Maybe.
LB is good at two of 4 spots. They need more pass rush that doesn’t come from blitzes. Use a 2nd round pick on a rush LB. Or if Joekel is missed, look to Dion Jordan, Jarvis Jones or Damontre Moore. Schofield is a good player, but not a difference maker and same with Groves. Stewart Bradley is a money pit and Lenon is at best average, but he’s old, time to move on. I think Manti is very good, but I think using a high first round pick would be a mistake as Shayne Skov is going to be just as good and will come later in the draft. But really, the SILB for a team with D. Washington is a 2 down LB’er. Manti would be somewhat wasted, as which LB’er do you pull off the field in nickel and dime situations, Wash or Manti? That’s what I mean about a waste.
CB. PP is fine, Gay is signed but is not so good, Fleming has shown flashes and I think Toler is still good but still recovering from the knee injury. If a special team returner can be found later in the draft, great. I’m looking at you Honey Badger in the 4th or 5th, maybe even 3rd. He can be a difference-maker as a returner and a wildcard in the secondary. I think he can be the best nickel corner in the league which is necessary now with so many multiple WR looks. I even think he can be an effective safety.
Safety might actually be a problem. Rhodes is signed for another year, but the writing is on the wall about Wilson. Let’s make a clean break. He’s fallen out of favor, and I’m not sure it’s just Whis, it’s probably Horton as well. Johnson has played ok this year and Bethel in his limited time has shown a bit. There needs to be another safety drafted as Sanders is a special teamer. This draft is safety heavy, invest in one. This is not as an Oregon fan, but John Boyett could have been a 3rd or 4th round draft pick had he not missed the year due to injury. Use a 6th round pick or even 7th on him. I also like the safety out of Fresno, if SS is the bigger need than FS.
This is what I thought of and is clearly just my opinion.