Here's my take at a Cardinals-centric mock draft. Now keep in mind that I'm no draft expert or professional scout, I'm just a guy who watches more football than my wife would prefer and likes to throw my own opinions around too often. So here goes.....
1 (13) - David DeCastro (OG – Stanford) - It'll all depend on how the draft plays out in the first round and I'm worried that KC will snatch him up two picks before we're on the clock, but if he's there, it's a no-brainer in my opinion. DeCastro is widely considered the best guard to come out in quite some time and seems to be one of the safest picks in the first round. At worst he's an average starter for quite some time, at best he'll one of top guards in the league by the end of year one and a perennial Pro Bowler. (If he's gone: Reiff, Ingram, Martin, Kuechly in that order).
3 (80) - Brandon Mosley (OT – Auburn) – Mosley’s a very interesting prospect and even in the third round could probably be called a boom or bust type of pick. On the negative side he’s extremely raw and inexperienced and he’ll also have to get stronger. What I do like though is that he’s only been an offensive tackle for two seasons (after playing DE and TE earlier in college) and he took to the position switch well enough that he started 11 games at Auburn in just his first season as an OT. He’s fluid athlete for an OT and flashes a nasty aggressiveness that I think Russ Grimm could really develop. He’s certainly not a day one starter, but at least has the potential to develop into starting LT and that's tough to find outside of the first couple rounds.
4 (112) – Jonathan Massaquoi (OLB – Troy) – Massaquoi has the kind of explosiveness and aggressiveness that could instantly make him one of the better pass rushers on this team. He’s racked up 31 tackles for loss and 19.5 sacks in the past two seasons as Troy, although the level of competition is an area of concern for some. His technique is still fairly raw and some scouts point to the fact that he was able to dominate his competition without much technique as the reason. Massaquoi doesn’t have experience with his hand off the ground and will have to play more under control in order to thrive in the NFL but few question his natural ability. In an ideal world, Massaquoi is an effective situational pass rusher as a rookie then steps in as a starter in year two.
5 (151) – Coryell Judie (CB – Texas A&M) – Judie is quite a bit like Mosley, despite the fact they play different positions, because he’s still developing and could still be considered more of an athlete than a football player. Judie didn’t start playing football until his senior year of high school (after being a track star) and spent his first two collegiate years at a JUCO. His three years at Texas A&M (three b/c the first was a red shirt) was marked by solid play when he was on the field but he was limited by injuries. When healthy he’s an elite athlete capable of staying with any receiver on the field, a willing tackler (even on special teams) and an explosive weapon in the return game (2 kickoff return TDs in 2010). Judie's contributions as a rookie are likely limited to special teams but he has the ability to be a difference maker in the return game and has the potential to develop into an effective nickel corner in a year or two.
6 (177) – Najee Goode (ILB – West Virginia) – Goode is exactly the kind of guy I’d like to eventually see starting next to DWash. He’s a two down thumper who plays to contact and loves to meet the fullback in the hole. At 6’0, 244, it’s obvious that Goode isn’t the guy you want trailing TE’s down the seam or trying to cover backs out of the backfield (leave that to DWash), but he is the guy you want charging forward toward a lead blocker on third and short. A reliable tackler, who excels in the box, Goode may be physically limited but his best games at WVU came when he was playing their MLB spot. Goode likely won't bring much to the table as a rookie as his skill set isn't conducive to being a big help on special teams. He'd likely be headed to the practice squad for year one but could develop into a nice compliment to Washington on the inside with the proper grooming.
6 (185) – Markus Zusevics (OT/OG – Iowa) – Zusevics was a two year starter at RT for the Hawkeyes but figures to shift inside at the pro level. He’s about what you’d expect from most late round OL picks out of the Big Ten, he’s not an explosive athlete but extremely physical at the point of attack. He won’t excel in space but functions well in the phone booth, uses his hands well and has the strength to move defenders in the run game. He’ll likely miss his entire rookie season because he tore his pectoral muscle at the combine on the bench press but he wouldn’t have played as a rookie anyways.Zusevics would spend his entire rookie season on the IR but could develop into the kind of versatile backup that teams love.
7 (221) – Dale Moss (WR – South Dakota State) – Following my trend of picking guys who are still learning their position, Moss is the epitome of a raw prospect. Moss only played football one year at South Dakota State but his athleticism is amazing (4.38-4.45 forty, 4.08 shuttle, 6.32 3-cone and 41.5 inch vertical). Simply put this guy leaps like a high jumper, runs like a sprinter but still has the quick twitch, change of direction like your shorter, more compact wide receivers. Now of course the question remains whether or not he can actually play the game of football, but that’s the reason why he’s in the 7th round. Your buying potential here and he has a ton of it.
Final Thoughts: As you can see, I'm fairly focused on improving our front five and I think this mock would accomplish that goal. You can also see that I obviously favor athletic potential over guys who perhaps aren't as athletically gifted but are more proven on the field. That's just a personal preference of mine so take it for what it is. What can I say, in the draft I prefer to the roll the dice and at times take the riskier prospects with the hopes of landing the big fish. I really like the potential that Massaquoi and Judie bring to the table, as well as Moss in the 7th round round. If the draft fell this way I think we'd walk out of it with a day one starter (DeCastro), several guys capable of limited roles and special teams help (Massaquoi, Judie and possibly Goode) and loads of potential down the road. Thoughts?