I have thought over and over on which players could be chosen by the Cardinals. When I look at the team again I see that free agency has changed my mind for the draft. I am going with DT, S, OG, OC/OG, RB, WR, and OLB as the biggest team needs going into the draft. My big board for the Cardinals first round pick is going to be Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher, Dion Jordan, Star Lotulelei, KeKe Mingo, Ziggy Ansah, and Lane Johnson. This is what I have come up with for my mock draft.
- Chiefs take OT Luke Joeckel to eventually replace Branden Albert and to protect Alex Smith.
Jaguars take DE/OLB Dion Jordan as Bradley will build on his defensive knowledge and won't risk going for Geno Smith at pick 2. They should take Jordan when they can here and be patient for a QB to come later on in the draft.
- Oakland takes DT Sharrif Floyd as they need to fix their anemic defense up front after the loss of many key players and not adding dynamic players from FA.
- Eagles take OT Eric Fisher because after signing and losing Bell and other injured players, their offensive line is horrible. They don't need Vick to go down with injuries this year.
- This is where the draft could shake up with trades but I believe the Lions take OT Lane Johnson (assuming they don't want Ziggy Ansah) off the board. After Backus' retirement and Cherilus signing with the Colts they need to protect Stafford and won't find a better starting OT after Joeckel and Fisher later on in the draft.
- This is also where trades could happen if the Lions take Ansah and leave Johnson on the board. But Johnson to me doesn't belong in the top 10 and even with that some team like the Dolphins or the Chargers will try to trade up and get him if he is still here. So I think the Browns either trade out of this spot so Johnson can be drafted, take OLB KeKe Mingo, or take a chance on CB DeMarcus Milliner.
- So that leaves my board with DE/NT Star Lotulelei, Utah as the Cardinals' first round pick. Dan Williams offers nothing at NT for the time being and Star could come in alongside Campbell and Dockett and disrupt other teams with more pressure up front. He could also slide over to DE if needed and still disrupt up front or go after the opposing QB. Now why not Ansah here if he was left over from the Lions not taking him? Because I think with the additions of Lorenzo Alexander and Matt Shaughnessy to Acho and Schofield they have guys that will be able to defend the outside or still do some pass rushing to get to the opposing QB. If teams have to defend a wall of Campbell, Lotulelei, and Dockett that is going to leave some free openings now for the OLBs to get where they need to be.
- My Round 2 pick is S DJ Swearinger, South Carolina. He is a top playing safety that hits hard and defends passes extremely well. The team will need someone else to help out after Johnson and Bell. I am taking CB off the wish list after they decided to move Bethel over and added Powers and Cason from FA for the #2 and nickel CBs.
- My Round 3 pick is OC/OG David Quessenberry, San Jose State. My replacement for Snyder as Quessenberry is versatile enough to step in at center, guard, and tackle. That versatility helps out on game days where a player may need to slide around and help out the team.
- My Round 4 pick is RB Mike Gillislee, Florida. Averaged 4.7 yards per carry last season for the Gators. He has speed and power while running. He also has proven to be a very capable blocker in blitz protection which will help the passing game where Arians wants a blocking RB.
- My Round 5 pick is WR Jasper Collins, Mount Union. Collins is fast and runs good routes with quickness. Separates from the opponents' secondary with ease. Can run in the 4.4 time range but would still be fast enough for a straight line WR that Arians is looking for.
- My Round 6 pick is OLB Travis Long, Washington State. My reason for adding another OLB later on is from my Round 1 reasoning above. Long played in the 3-4 for college, has enough speed to get to opposing QBs, and puts up good numbers in tackles and defending passes. I think he is still showing enough quality to add him this late and will be a sleeper OLB from this draft.
- My Round 7 pick is OG/OC Omoregie Uzzi, Georgia Tech. Good late round center or guard to add depth behind Sendlein and Colledge. He can help zone block in Arians' offense.