Round 1: Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Signing Antonio Cromartie to a one-year deal will help in the short-term, but the Cardinals need a long-term answer to the CB2 position opposite Patrick Peterson. Gilbert can come in early on a learn behind those starters and refine his game ready to step in for the 2015 season and beyond. Gilbert has a good frame and length to play the position well, while also possessing elite-level speed.
Gilbert has a great leap and can high-point the ball as well as any corner in the draft, enabling him to snag the ball away from opposing receivers. He needs to work on his tackling efficiency, but has proven to be a lockdown corner in a man scheme. He is also a very effective return man.
Round 2: Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
Boasting the number one run-defense last season, the Cardinals were let down at times on the back end. The failure to address the position so far in free agency suggests that the draft will be when the team picks up a safety. He is a physically intimidating prospect who can play effectively in coverage - something our safeties weren't all hat great at last season.
His elite-level athleticism gives him great range from the safety position and he possesses great instincts both in the run and pass game. The Cardinals have now filled those needs in the secondary.
Round 3: Kelcy Quarles, DT, South Carolina
The Cardinals are looking to get younger and deeper on the defensive line with Alameda Ta'amu out with a knee injury for the foreseeable future. Often overshadowed by Jadeveon Clowney at South Carolina, Quarles was very impressive at defensive tackle. He recorded 39 tackles with 13.5 tackles for a loss and 9.5 sacks in 2013.
All the free agent moves thus far have been offensive minded, paving the way for a defensive-heavy draft, thus these first three picks. Quarles has played in a number of positions on a three and four man front and can really dominate at the point of attack.
Round 4: Bruce Ellington, WR, South Carolina
Despite adding Ted Ginn to be that deep threat receiver Bruce Arians covets so much, his value is really seen as an exclusive return man. Ellington gave an impressive performance at the NFL Scouting Combine, running a 4.4 40 yard dash time.
What Ellington is great at for a man of his size is working over the middle in traffic. He has a great pair of hands and high points the ball away from defenders well. He also has experience playing as a running back and was a high school quarterback, opening up the playbook for potential trick plays. Always a plus.
Round 5: Aaron Lynch, DE/OLB, South Florida
Despite having Sam Acho and Alex Okafor returning to the fold for the 2014 at outside linebacker and Lorenzo Alexander moving over to inside linebacker, the Cardinals need to address this position for the long-term, after all, we can't rely on soon-to-be 36-year old John Abraham to be a consistent performer.
Despite having a number of off the field questions about him, Lynch's talent is unquestionable. He has a good frame which could be filled out at the next level, and has ideal length to be able to set the edge in the run game. He wins solely on natural talent alone; he needs refining at the next level to add some genuine pass-rushing moves to his repertoire but he has special talent.
Round 6: Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
We are all aware of his numerous red flags and character concerns after his quitting of the Oregon team and then being arrested on Cocaine charges shortly after, but Lyerla is still a supremely talented football player who wants to right his wrongs, which he seems fully remorseful of.
Only a handful of draft picks have successful careers in the NFL, and that percentage becomes smaller when you reach the sixth and seventh round of the draft, so taking a low-risk flier on a first/second round talent in the sixth round is worth the risk. Likened to Rob Gronkowski, Lyerla is an explosive prospect with a high ceiling and room to grow. With the likes of John Abraham, Larry Fitzgerald and of course the players' coach himself Bruce Arians in the building, they should be able to reign the kid in and set him straight.
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