In case you missed it, yesterday I posted part one of my question and answer series with The Sports Headquarters NFL Draft expert, Seth Cox. He answered questions regarding quarterbacks in the draft and offensive linemen that the Cardinals could possibly be looking at. His answers were quite insightful and I hope that they give everyone something to think about come draft day.
Today, I will post part two of my questions to Seth. Once again, feel free to react to Seth's responses in the comments section and let everyone know what your thoughts are.
1. Is there a 'dark horse' player that you could possibly see the Cardinals selecting with the 13th overall pick? Maybe a player at a position that is not expected to be addressed so highly?
First we need to identify the Cardinals' needs:
Offensive tackle is the biggest need obviously, then I would say rush OLB, guard, a second WR, then you can say inside linebacker, safety, corner, defensive line.
So I would say a selection outside of OT, OLB, OG and WR would be a dark horse pick, but maybe you can consider to a WR a dark horse as well.
Kuechly is probably the safest defensive selection in the draft, as he is simply a plug and play linebacker for the next decade in the middle of any defense in the league.
He may not be a dynamic player in the Ray Lewis mold, but he is productive. He registered over 190 tackles in 2011 and he makes the right read and right plays every time. He is deceptively athletic, he had good explosion in the vertical and broad jump at the Combine and opened some eyes with a 4.5 40-yard dash as well.
He is highly instinctive, always finds the ball and makes a play and is a sure tackler. He may be a bit limited in coverage, but has enough talent to make plays in zone schemes.
If the Cardinals have the chance at 13 and Glenn is gone (I know they aren't enamored with Reiff, Martin and Adams), I think they take a long look at Kuechly at pick 13.
An inside combo of Kuechly and Daryl Washington is the perfect mix of youth, athleticism and production to play in the middle of an up and coming 3-4 defense.
2. Who are some late round sleepers in this draft that you would like to see the Cardinals pursue?
Some intriguing names that Cardinals fans need to remember on draft day include:
James Brown, OT Troy: Big, rangy offensive tackle, who has a good long and lean frame that can gain some weight once he gets drafted. Has the look and reach of an NFL left tackle.
Strong at the point of attack despite the lean frame and possesses elite level athleticism that if harnessed, could lead to him being a starting left tackle in the league.
He is raw in his technique and can fall off blocks because of poor footwork and fundamentals. He is a high level developmental pick in the sense that if he comes in and works hard, he could be a steal in the 4th round. But if he never taps into that potential, he will be a good swing man at 2-3 positions along that offensive line in a backup role.
There will be a place in this game for him; it will be up to him and hopefully Russ Grimm to get the best out of him.
Kyle Wilber, OLB Wake Forest: A hybrid OLB pass rusher that has excellent timing and speed off the edge. He is a well built kid with a lean frame that has room to grow at the next level.
Is more of a finesse pass rusher, as he lacks the strength to bowl over blockers and struggles against the run.
Will be a situational LB early in his career, but with added weight and strength could work himself into a three down LB.
Justin Bethel, DB Presbyterian: Small school prospect with big upside, who played both safety and corner in college.
Good athleticism that lacks elite speed, which makes him ideal for a slot corner or possibly a free safety at the next level.
Has good turn and run ability, stays low in his backpedal and doesn't mind playing physical at the line of scrimmage.
Needs to learn to stay low as the ball is in the air as too often he will pop up when looking for the ball and slow down when tracking it.
Most importantly, he needs time to develop as a tackler and to find his niche, but he will be able to contribute right away on special teams on the punt team and punt return teams as he eases into the lineup.
What do you think of Seth's answers? Is Luke Kuechly the guy for the Cardinals at pick #13? Have you heard of any of these late round prospects before? What are your thoughts on them?
Tell us what you think in the comments section. To check out more of Seth's draft expertise, check out his website, The Sports Headquarters.