After reading Seth Cox's article for Arizona Sports in regards to players we should not draft, I thought I'd take a crack at it myself. The Cardinals managed to solidify the quarterback position (for the short term) early, by trading for Raiders signal caller Carson Palmer, and thus ruling out the 'need' to draft a quarterback at seven overall in the upcoming draft. In a pretty shoddy class for passer's, one guy I would steer clear from is...
Ryan Nassib, Quarterback, Syracuse
Nassib, by some, is the top quarterback prospect in this class. I, for one, don't see it. Nassib is not the biggest guy going, which is not a bad thing for quarterbacks, just look at the success Drew Brees and Russell Wilson have endured, but it's not ideal. He doesn't have an elite arm, elite athleticism, or elite game management. In truth, Nassib is just an average guy. He doesn't sense pressure well, which is a must behind our offensive line! He throws the ball away too fast and gives up on plays. In Arians' offensive system, it relies on a pocket passer with strength, velocity and accuracy, categories Nassib grades in a range which can only be defined as mediocre. The Cardinals may feel the 'need' to draft a quarterback of the future, and for me, Nassib isn't that guy. I don't feel he has the intangibles to become an effective NFL starting quarterback. In fact, I only feel there are a select couple of guys capable of becoming starters at an effective level, and should we draft a quarterback in the second or third round, I would prefer it to be Zac Dysert, or Tyler Bray, two of the elite arm talents in this class.
Justin Pugh, Offensive Tackle, Syracuse
Not hating on the Orange here, but some of their players draft stock's have been inflated well above their value. Pugh is a guy people are projecting as a starting left tackle in the NFL. I see too many limitations in his physical build and skill set for him to be considered in that bracket. He has a stocky build, with those short arms, does not project well at offensive tackle, either side. He generates his power from the lower body, which is not ideal, need's to be more physical. He is pushed back far too often and mirror's poorly against the rush. He is not exactly fluent enough in his movement to play left tackle, as opposed to a Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher and Lane Johnson are. I feel he ranks below other versatile linemen such as Kyle Long, with far less upside. For a team in need of offensive line help, there are much better options out there to draft than Pugh.
Eric Reid, Safety, LSU
Having released starting safeties Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson, now of the New England Patriots, the Cardinals now have a pressing need at that position, and they're in luck, one of the many stacked positions in this draft class is indeed safety. Reid has been heralded as a first round talent, however, I feel he would not be a wise investment. Reid is a big, physical safety who makes highlight-reel hits, but leaves a lot to be desired in reading the game. He often watches the quarterback while in coverage, leaving him susceptible to being burned on the back end. Reid excels in playing the man, however, his ball skills are poor, rarely making plays on passes. He has slow reactions and cannot position himself well enough to make a play on the ball in time, couple with his sub-par ball skills, doesn't make him a game-changer, which is required in a first round talent. He allows his physicality to run his game, and often over-commits and misses tackles. Safety is a position I would target on day two, someone like Baccari Rambo would fit in well at the vacant FS position.
Margus Hunt, Defensive End, Southern Methodist
Margus Hunt, Defensive End, Southern Methodist
With a high round draft pick, what are you looking for in return? 8-10 years or high-end play? Hunt is undoubtedly a talented player at the 3-4 defensive end position, however, he is 25 years old right now, 26 by the time the season starts. Being a relatively inexperienced player of American Football, coming from an athletics background, estimates say Hunt will take 1-2 seasons to fully develop and learn the ropes in the NFL, that makes him 28 years old by the time he knows the ins and outs if his position, giving you two years of high-end play in the league before he hits the thirty mark, where you see a tendency in established players play start to decline. Two years? Not enough time and production from a likely second round pick. Even considering he comes out all guns blazing and is an excellent starter from day one, which he may well do, the guy is a freak athlete, that's four or five years at best before the inevitable decline in production. I would steer away from Hunt because you would be looking for a replacement too soon.
Eddie Lacy, Running Back, Alabama
Some say he is the best at his position in the class. I say, he's overrated. Lacy showed during his recent pro day, an inability to adequately prepare for important dates. His worth ethic is poor. He lacks explosive speed, poor in pass protection and is average in catching out of the backfield. The Cardinals already have two running backs in Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams that create a nice tandem, but some say there's room for a third back. Lacy's success has been over-exaggerated, he had an excellent offensive line for him creating lanes left right and centre. I want nothing to do with a back that shows poor work ethic and doesn't put 100% effort into everything he does. A change of pace back may be more ideal, such as a Giovanni Bernard or Andre Ellington as a complement to those already in place.
Five of the most sought after talents in the draft the Cardinals should not consider drafting, let me know your thoughts by commenting below.
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