Hey all, another combine has come and gone. Eisen has set a personal best and almost ran as fast as Vontaze and the mocking and discussion is starting to heat up. I figure that I really enjoy when other members post what they think the team should do and we all get to read and debate it so I figured I would add another 'if I was GM situation' to the mix. I will attempt to state where I believe our biggest weaknesses are and the few players I would like to see us pursue (FA or Draft), to fill those needs.First Off, I love the rookie pay scale and think that it was a long time coming. Proven players should be receiving top dollar. But, I feel that this changes the draft and should change draft strategy, especially in the first round. I feel that we can really capitalize on this by going against the trend. The average GM sees (i am assuming based on what I have read) the new rookie scale as something that makes drafting at the top of round one more valuable because you do not have to pay the player top dollar. Thus, I think a lot of teams are going to be looking to move up in round 1 as there is not the monetary risk involved with the top picks anymore. Therefore, I feel we should look to move down in round 1 and hopefully pick up another 2nd round pick. I feel that pretty much all the players that go in rounds 1 & 2 have a good chance of becoming great players. Some recent 2nd rounders for us have been CC, DWash, and Dansby. Good players, and of course we have had our brown's, branch's, and lutui's. What I am trying to say is that we should be very prepared think long term and trade down on draft day to try and get another 1rst rounder (maybe for next year) or a 2nd rounder this year. There are a lot of good players in this draft and I would rather have a CC in the second as opposed to a Dan Williams in the first. Plus, there have been some absolute studs taken at the back end of round 1.
Secondly, I hate that some mock drafts have us taking any WR in the first that is not named Blackmon. I personally do not think that WR is a glaring need for us. I believe that WR is a peripheral position that can be addressed through free agency or later in the draft. I am thinking: Robert Meachem, Laurent Robinson, Eddie Royal, Dwight Jones (UNC, hopefully 3 round), Reuben Randle (LSU, 3rd round). I feel that there are a lot of good receivers in FA this year and one could be had for relatively cheap. So I do not believe we have anything to worry about at WR. Plus, I think our TE's will really begin to emerge this season as pass catching threats. Kolb uses his TE's very well and Heap, Housler and King should combine for over 1,200 yards this year... I hope.
Obviously OT is the glaring hole on this team. That being said I would like to (I cannot believe I am about to say this) bring back Levi Brown at a very reduced price. Despite what some have said (including myself) I still feel he would be a good RT. Hey, Tackles are very hard to come by as the good ones never make to FA. Plus he played better towards the end of the season. Also, If we are using more TE's there is more help for him and he is a mountain of a man that will have his uses when beanie, ryan and LSH pound the rock. Onto LT. I would love to see us draft a tackle in this years draft, but only 1 would get me excited in the first round. Kalil will be long gone by the time we get on the clock, but Rieff (Iowa) Might be available. His draft stock took a hit when his arms measured short (33 in). I love drafting sliding players who were productive in college. Every report I have seen about Rieff has had good things to say. Great technician, good feet, intelligent, good character, productive. I could see him being a top 10 LT.
Sticking with the O-line (OG)- I would like to see our FO make a move here to show us all how serious they are about winning. You win in the trenches. There are a few absolute studs that might hit FA (Nicks & Grubbs). DeCastro looks to be the real deal as well. Comparisons to Steve Hutchinson and phrases like 'the best OG prospect in a decade' get me excited. If he is that elite, I would love to see us grab him. BPA and it fits a need, money.
OLB- this is a big need for us. I am really excited about the way our D played to end the season and believe we are a pass-rusher away from elite. Acho looks ready to take over for haggans and be our starting LOLB for the next 10 years. Love him, smart, strong, good motor and character, and exactly the type of player I love to root for as well as represent my cardinals. O'brien looks like he is starting to get it and has a ton of potential. I still would love to see us draft a pass-rushing OLB or a DE we can convert. There are not many good options in FA so I think this should be a draft focus. I would love to see us snag a Bruce Irvin or an Andre Branch.
Safety- I feel that we have a great safety tandem right now. I would like to see us draft a project at safety (slow CB or a gifted athlete who needs a few years to develop). I feel that the R. Johnson experiment was a failure and we need to get a guy with big upside. (thinking Truman Johnson: Montana)
In order, the biggest needs that we need to address in both FA and the Draft are:
2. Pass rusher (ROLB most likely)
Here is my ideal draft day for the cards:
1. trade the 13 overall pick down 2-10 spots and pick up a 2nd rounder and potentially a 4th
2. draft David Decastro or Riley Rieff (not unrealistic as it seems, Decastro he has been left out of the first round in some mocks and Rieff may slide).
3. Draft Bruce Irvin in the 2nd round. I think he has huge potential. the OLB version of JPP. still learning the game. Bit of a risk, but I like it.
4. 3rd- Brandon Mosley OT- Auburn- lots of upside
5. 4th-Truman Johnson (CB/S) - big, fast, ball hawk out of montana
6. 4th (other pick accquired in trade)- Reuben Randle WR, LSU.
7. 5th- OT- we need to turn over our roster at this position
8. 6th - BPA- fill a need.
9. 7th - BPA- I would like another OLB'er (special teams).
...and do not touch Vontaze Bur 'sit' on my butt and blame everyone else for my problems. I hope there is no cardinals fan out there who still thinks we should draft him, regardless of your ASU affections.
Again this is an ideal draft day for the Cardinals.
one last thing. I love that we do the player polls about who should we resign or let walk, but do you think we could do it maybe by position. Pick the guys who are not guaranteed roster spots at each position and pick one. for example: RB- who should we keep a) LSH, b) Alfonso c) Chester d) none. Just a suggestion as according to our fan voting, we need about 137 roster spots next year. Go cards, lets have a great offseason, get everyone healthy and on the same page and lets win an NFC West, NFC and Superbowl title.