On Thursday, Arizona Cardinals General Manager, Rod Graves and Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt met with the press to discuss the upcoming NFL Draft. During the presser, both men touched on the popularity of the game, some possible options and routes the Cardinals could take come next weekend and some other possible scenarios.
As usual, nothing was divulged in terms of what the Cardinals plan on doing or what their board looks like, but there were still a few interesting tidbits that we can extract some information out of.
In case you wanted to watch the interview, Azcardinals.com has a live loop going at this link.
One thing that Whisenhunt discussed in depth was the idea of not drafting simply due to need. He cited the selection of Ryan Williams as the perfect example. Although running back was not a major need at the time, Williams was rated very highly on their board and they decided to take him with their 2nd round pick.
One thing that I found interesting was the discussion based on Rob Housler, a tight end taken in the 3rd round of the draft last season. Whisenhunt noted that he was rated highly on their board and it sounds like if they would have been able to, he could have become their 2nd round choice. When he dropped to the 3rd, the team was thrilled to scoop him up.
In terms of an offensive tackle, the team will not pursue one just to do so. Yes, it is a need, but Coach Whiz noted that there is talent in that field all throughout the draft and selecting one in the first round may or may not present itself. Said Whisenhunt, the team will not, "draft a lineman just to draft a lineman."
Many of you would like the Cardinals to trade down in the draft for the team to acquire a second round pick. According to Rod Graves, that opportunity may come to fruition as well. He confirmed that teams have already begun calling about possibly trading up to the 13th overall selection.
While these trade possibilities are often just feelers, there is the possibility that the Cards trade down and gain some extra picks. If they don't feel that the player they want is still on the board, then they may heavily consider trading out of the 13th spot.
Lastly, there is no doubting that smarts and character are weighted heavily in the Cardinals' evaluation process. Guys like Sam Acho were mentioned as being drafted higher simply because of their intelligence level. As always, look for the Cards to draft players not simply based on talent, but on a variety of different skills.