Ok, hindsight is 20/20 and now that we have 20/20 vision let's take a look at the Arizona Cardinals 2012 Offseason. We will take a look at the Free Agency and Draft thru the eyes of mini-camp, camp and 4 pre-season games.
20/20 Weaknesses: Let's first address what we all knew to be the weaknesses of the team coming out of the 2011 regular season:
- The team was challenged at the QB position with Kolb shown to be injury prone and Skelton shown to have some potential but un-proven.
- The Offensive line is average at best and awful at worst.
- There was not a true #2 receiver to bust bracket coverage on #11.
20/20 Free Agent Pickups
I am only going to address un-restricted free agents that are worth taking a look at to remove the grey matter.
20/20 FA QB's; I have the Cardinals signing Kyle Orton here due to his experience and accuracy. Two things we know were lacking out of both Kolb and Skelton. Orton also provides insurance to the unproven duo.
WR2 - Un-restricted free agents of 2012 which may have addressed the Cardinals WR2 needs:
Vincent Jackson (SD)
Reggie Wayne (IND)
Marques Colston (NO)
Brandon Lloyd (STL)
Robert Meachem (NO)
Mario Manningham (NYG)
Laurent Robinson (DAL)
Mike Wallace (PIT)
Early Doucet (ARZ)
Pierre Garcon (IND)
20/20 FA WR's; I have the Cardinals signing Laurent Robinson here as he has trained with Larry the last two years , can get deep, is proven to be a productive #2 and he also comes with a decent price tag.
OL - Un-restricted free agents of 2012 which may have addressed the Cardinals OL Needs:
Carl Nicks (NO) - OT
Demetrius Bell (BUF) - OT
Evan Mathis (PHI) - OG
Jared Gaither (SD) - OT
Ben Grubbs (BAL) - OG
Levi Brown (NO) - OT
D'Anthony Batiste (ARZ)
Adam Snyder (SF) - OT
Adam Goldberg (STL) - OT
James Lee (TB) - OT
Russ Hochstein (DEN) - OG
Manuel Ramirez (DEN) - OG
Leonard Davis (DET) - OG
Rich Ohrnberger (NE) - OG
20/20 FA O-Linemen; I have the Cardinals re-signing Brown and Batiste as they did. I also have them bringing in a couple of Guards with experience to compete for a job as they did. I do not have them signing Snyder.
20/20 FA Summary. I think the Cards were right to bring back Levi and Batiste as there werent a whole lot of options in free agency. The top rated tackles did not provide much improvement one way or the other. After seeing Snyder I am not all that impressed and think the money they gave him would have been better served elsewhere. Bringing in Ohrnberger and Hochstein later makes the Snyder signing even more odd. I also would have liked to see them bring in an experienced 3rd QB to compete for the starting job such as Kyle Orton (since we didn't get Peyton Manning). With struggling QB's an experienced #2 receiver in Laurent Robinson seems prudent.
20/20 Draft Selections
After picking up Kyle Orton, Laurent Robinson, re-signing Levi Brown and Batiste our biggest need remains the offensive line. There is also some question at pass rush but we picked up groves, brought back some vets and most of us have confidence in Acho and Schofield. Let's take a look at the draft now.
Round 1 Pick 21 (Pick 13 Traded to the Pats) - Riley Reiff: Now that we have a true #2, Michael Floyd is not an option for the Cards and this provides us the oppurtunity to trade out and get our 2nd round pick back. I have us trading down with the Pats to pick 21st where we select Riley Reiff; our future left tackle and potential left guard or swing tackle. Reiff was selected at pick 23 by Detroit.
Round 2 Pick 62 (From the Pats) - Nick Foles: Receiving this pick affords us the oppurtunity to select a future QB in Nick Foles which fits the profile of a Ken Wisenhunt offense. Foles was selected by the eagles at pick 88.
Round 3 Pick 80 - Jamell Fleming: This looks like a good pick by the cards and although not a position of extreme need; in 20/20 hindsight I would make this pick again.
Round 4 Pick 112 - Bobbie Massie: Cards were lucky to have Massie slip to them and this looks like a good pick here which solidifies their tackle position on the Oline with depth, experience and youth.
Round 5 Pick 151 - Senio Kelemente: We dont know yet how this pick will play out yet but they fill a position of need here which now provides a bright future for the Cards offensive line with Riley Reiff, Bobbie Massie and Senio Kelemente.
Round 6 Pick 177 - Justin Bethel: Great pick by the Cards as he has turned out to be a special teams stud in the pre-season and likey to have a solid future at safety or cornerback.
Round 6 Pick 185 - Emmanual Acho: Since picking Nick Foles in the 2nd round, this pick is available for another position instead of selecting Ryan Lindley. OLB Emmanuel Acho is available and is the pick here to see if we can get some brotherly magic at the linebacker position.
Round 7 Pick 221 - Chris Polk: Since filling our O-Line needs earlier in the draft and FA this pick is available and I beleive we take a flyer on Chris Polk here who went undrafted. A tight-end might also make sense here. Certainly a flyer on Nate Potter is no longer needed.
20/20 Draft Summary. The Cardinals earn an A+ in solidifying their O-Line, picking up a future QB and adding to their defense and special teams with Acho, Fleming and Bethel.
20/20 Offseason Summary. The Cardinals now have addressed all of their needs and truly have depth at every position including O-Line and QB where they lack currently after 4 preseason games. So taking into account what we know now thru the 1st 4 pre-season games and using the 20/20 offseason; Let's take a look at the 20/20 depth chart on offense where the real problems exist.
Note: In the 20/20 Hindsight; Snyder was never signed, Doucet was not re-signed, Kolb get's cut and Heap becomes a cap casualty:
20/20 Depth Chart
Position 1st 2nd 3rd 4th PS/IR
QB Orton Skelton Foles
RB Wells Williams The Hyphen Sherman/Powell Polk(PS)
WR1 Fitzgerald Roberts Byrd
LT Reif Batiste Brown(IR)
LG College Ohrnberger
C Sendelein Ohrnberger Wedige(PS)
RG Bridges Kelemente
RT Batiste Massie
WR2 Robinson Sampson Williams
TE King Housler Skelton