Can you feel the excitement in the air? We are now just hours away from the beginning of the 2012 NFL Draft and there is still so much mystery surrounding almost every team. Will the Vikings trade the 3rd overall pick? Will the Dolphins take a gamble on Ryan Tannehill? We will soon find out.
One of the other things we are unsure of is what the Arizona Cardinals plan on doing with the 13th overall pick. There are a variety of players to select from and they have needs at positions all over the field. Do they grab a coveted elite tackle? How about a guy to take pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald in the receiving game?
After the jump, I will try to lay out many (if not all) of the scenarios that the Cardinals could see themselves faced with later tonight.
1. They draft an offensive tackle- This is a route many of you would like to see the Cards take in the first round, as it would fill a hole in what is arguably their biggest need. It is unlikely that an elite talent such as Matt Kalil drops to 13, so if they want someone in specific, they may have to reach a bit. Riley Reiff, Jonathan Martin, Mike Adams, Cordy Glenn and others could very well be on the board by the time the Cardinals select.
2. Arizona lands a receiver- Another option Arizona has is to select a wide receiver. Many draft experts have tabbed Michael Floyd, a receiver out of Notre Dame, as the Cardinals' selection. But we truly do not know how high he is on their board. He has had character issues in the past (3 alcohol related incidences), which is something every NFL team tends to frown upon. Other options include Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright and Stephen Hill, but will any of them either be on the board or be a justifiable selection at #13?
3. The Cardinals select a pass rusher- In Mel Kiper Jr.'s latest mock draft, he has the Cardinals selecting Melvin Ingram, a defensive end out of South Carolina. This sounds like a great idea given his productivity in college, but will he fit in as an outside linebacker in the Cardinals' 3-4 scheme? Again, we have to question how high the team is on this specific player. As for Courtney Upshaw, Chandler Jones, Shea McClellin and others, we have to wonder if the team will be willing to reach for one of them.
4. Arizona finds a trade partner- Many of you would jump for joy at the Cardinals being able to trade out of their current spot. Someone like the Eagles, Browns, Bengals, etc. may be willing to make a deal with the Cards in order to get the guy they want. If someone is on the board that the Cardinals don't need, but other teams are drooling over, a trade could be in the mix.
Also, there is the low possibility of the Cardinals actually trading up. Keep in mind, the team is without their second round draft pick this season, so they will likely have to spend future picks in order to escalate their status in the first round. If Kalil or any other elite talent begins to fall a bit, can the Cards resist the opportunity to snatch them up?
5. The dark horse selection- There are plenty of positions that are not nearly as big of needs as others on the team, but could always use an upgrade. Inside linebacker, guard, safety and cornerback are the positions that immediately come to mind. Luke Kuechly, David DeCastro, Mark Barron, Stephon Gilmore and Dre Kirkpatrick could be options that Ken Whisenhunt and his staff are considering. This option actually is not all too unlikely, as the Cardinals do draft the best player available. If one of these guys happens to be highest on their board, then they will be the selection.
Outside of these options, I really do not see anything else the Cardinals can do. What are your thoughts? Where path will the organization walk down this evening? Vote in the poll and if you feel I left some off the list, vote 'other' and tell us what it is.