Cmcinaz's 2014 Mock Draft 1.0
The 2014 NFL draft, staring May 8th, is only 32 days away; which seems like an eternity. I had a little time to workout some draft scenarios this morning and decided to put together my first mock draft for the Arizona Cardinals. I realize there is a long way to go yet, but with a busy April ahead and a solidifying top 100, here goes.
With the first selection, I have the Cardinals taking Dee Ford; a 3-4 Outside Linebacker out of Auburn. He is one of my favorite players in this draft because of his experience, talent and swagger. He also fills a need for the Cardinals at rush linebacker. He is an every down 3-4 OLB who can start and be an impact player from day 1. I considered Hageman here because of lack of depth on the Dline; I went with Ford instead because it's unheard of to get a 3-4 OLB with his kind of talent at pick 20. It seems reasonable to me that the Cardinals can ride Dockett another year and create depth on the Dline with some free agent bargain shopping, post draft.
With the second selection, I have the Cardinals taking a slipping Jace Amaro; a Tight End from Texas Tech. Amaro is a solid, yet unspectacular tight end who can block and catch consistently. He reminds me a lot of Jason Witten. When is the last time we had one of those ? While most consider Amaro a first round talent, I see him slipping into the Cardinals hands in the 2nd round due to a top heavy 2014 NFL draft class where Tackles, Wide Receivers, Quarterbacks and ultra athletic Tight Ends are at the top of the NFL Draft menu. The Cardinals get great value here and great fit in Bruce Arians offense.
With the third selection, I have the Cardinals taking Ahmad Dixson; an underrated Strong Safety from Baylor. I am not impressed with the likes of Calvin Pryor or HaHa Clinton-Dix in the first round and they just aren't the right fit in this Cardinal defense. I'm thinking Deon Buchannon is off the board at this point or they will take him. With Dixson, they are getting a guy who will stick his nose in there on every play and has the length, athletic ability and speed to matchup with tight ends. He will be an excellent complement and competition on the middle back end of that Cardinal D with Tyrann Mathieu, Rashad Johnson and Tony Jefferson.
With the fourth selection, I have the Cardinals taking Cameron Fleming, an under the radar lineman from Stanford who can come in and compete for the Right Tackle and Right Guard position. I wanted to take a Right Tackle high; it just wasn't a priority. It is important however, that the Cardinals get the right side of that line shored up and Fleming gives them a better shot at finding two who can play over there along with Massie, Watford and Sowell. Fleming also provides great value here and some history of success blocking for Stephan Taylor.
With the fifth selection, I have the Cardinals taking Logan Thomas; a big physical developmental quarterback from Virginia Tech. I'm not confident he will be on the board here, but it's possible and it's an improvement over Ryan Lindley. This is also a good spot for some Inside Linebacker depth or a speed receiver if Thomas is off the board. I'm just not excited about any of the ILB's outside the first couple rounds.
With the 6th selection, I have the Cardinals taking Tevin Reese; a speedster at the Wide Receiver position who can flat out fly and catch the ball. I know that we signed Ted Ginn, but we need some depth at that position and Tevin not only gives us depth, but also gives a second GO route which can create a matchup nightmare if our much improved Oline can hold up in pass protection as we hope. Two GO's with Larry and/or Floyd working the middle of the field spells disaster for the other teams. I know I'm not supposed to get excited about a sixth round pick, but man this offense can get real dangerous in a hurry.
I think I got great value out of this draft while filling some major needs. Yet, I left some open depth issues at Inside Linebacker and on the D-Line. What grade do you give this draft and why ? Is there a pick you absolutely like or hate ?