We are heading into Week 6 of the 2013 NFL season and it’s becoming more and more clear where each team’s weaknesses are and where improvements should and could be made. I’ve seen people on ROTB calling for a new RB, TE, OT, OLB, SS, and another CB to go opposite of Pat Pete. While I have no idea where the Cardinals will end up drafting at the end of the year, (hell it’s too early to tell who will return to school and who won’t) for all I know they could win out and win the Superbowl or they could dud out and go winless. What I do know is that anything is possible in the NFL, that’s why they play the games. Anyways, I digress, this FanPost is being written to try and inform those readers on ROTB who don’t watch college football of prospects that could possibly fit the Cardinal’s scheme and plan in the future so they can do their own research and give their opinions as well.
James Hurst – North Carolina
The year that Jonathon Cooper was next to Hurst, the left side of the Tarheels line was almost immovable. This year without any help at all Hurst is basically left on an island with defenders. Hurst in his game against South Carolina faced arguably the best overall athletic prospect in the last decade, Jadaveon Clowney and while he got beat a couple times, pretty much held his own against a deep SEC defensive line and the athletic freak that is Clowney. Did Clowney take plays off? It’s possible, he is accused of doing so, but Hurst did shut down almost everyone else in that game, and the best part? Having Cooper next to him will give him confidence he needs to step up his pro game.
My Projection: Round 2
Austin Seferian-Jenkins – Washington
ASJ (too lazy to write his name so much) is the prototypical TE that today’s scouts and teams are looking for. His massive frame (6’6’’ 276lbs) helps him shield defenders and helps him in the run game matching up against outside linebackers and defensive ends. ASJ last reported ran a 4.7 40 yard dash which isn’t mind blowing, but he always finds ways to get open in the middle of the field and down the sideline. The only downside, he is reported to have off the field concerns and got arrested for a DUI.
My projection: Mid-Late Round 1
Eric Ebron – North Carolina
Ebron isn’t as big as ASJ, but he is a better receiver and is more of a threat lining up in the slot and is a faster option in the passing game but blocks just as well as ASJ in the run game, if not better. He isn’t as big (6’4’’ 245lbs) but he catches everything that is thrown his way even with subpar QB play from Renner this year. He’s shown he isn’t afraid to go up over the middle and face safeties and has nimble enough feet to make a sideline catch, and has the strength to carry 2-3 defenders with him for several yards.
My Projection: Mid-Late Round 1
Will Sutton – Arizona State
With Dockett on the decline and possibly on his way out of Arizona next year, the Cardinals will need to find fresh talent at the DE spot to pair with Campbell. Sutton has been one of the only bright spots for the Sun Devils this year. He compares favorably to Geno Atkins (according to CBSSports) which is not really a bad thing. He currently plays DT, but he has the size and speed to play the tweener spot that Dockett plays currently for Bowles.
My Projection: Round 2
Zach Mettenberger – LSU
Mettenberger has thrived under former NFL OC Cam Cameron. He stands tall in the pocket and delivers strikes even with pressure in his face. He is the sole reason that LSU is doing so well this year (their defense isn’t the same since all their top talent left last year). He has the arm that BA likes, and has great footwork and when he gets time looks like the best QB in the country. It doesn’t hurt that he has two future NFL receivers in Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry.
My Projection: Mid-Late Round 2
Khalil Mack – Buffalo
Mack was highly disruptive against a top ranked Ohio Buckeye team, they didn’t have an answer for Mack all day. The kid has a high motor, had has the height, weight, speed to make an impact where the Cardinals lack the most, an edge pass rush.
If the offseason started now, the Cardinals would be picking from about the middle of the pack, but by the end of season could be drafting as high as top 10 again (knock on wood). However if they do draft that high, I would like to see it go a little like this:
Round 1: Trade out of spot, pick up another 2/3 round, and late round
Pick: Khalil Mack - OLB/Buffalo
Pick: James Hurst – OT/UNC
Pick: Zach Mettenberger – QB/LSU