The Arizona Cardinals had their spring tailgate party a couple of weeks ago and they televised some interviews. (I didn't get to see it until I recorded it this past Sunday.) They include team president Michael Bidwill, general manager Steve Keim, head coach Bruce Arians and players like Tyrann Mathieu and Jared Veldheer.
When Keim was interviewed one-on-one, cohost Ron Wolfey did some word association with him to get some insight about the players that will likely be drafted somewhere in the first round.
Here is what he said:
About Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M:
"Exciting. He is, for a 5-11 and change quarterback, he has a unique skillset. He can throw it. He can run it. He does some of the things Russell Wilson does. His ability to improvise on the run is phenomenal. Obviously, the issues off the field are well documented, but at the end of the day I can tell you this -- There may not be a more competitive player in the draft."
On Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina:
"Freak. Once every couple of years you have a guy like this that's so physically gifted, whether it's Julius Peppers, Mario Williams -- guys that have a rare height/weight/speed combination and I know he's taken a hit at times about taking plays off. They all have. Julius Peppers, you name it. When I was evaluating those guys, there's nobody that doesn't have holes in them. But Clowney is a rare, unusual prospect from a physical standpoint."
On Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State:
"Shazier is just a good football player. A lot of people have dinged him on his size. he was 6-1, 238 pounds at his Pro Day, which was really almost identical to Patrick Willis when he came out of Ole Miss. And you look at a guy who's got 143 tackles, six sacks, he ran a 4.38, a vertical of 42 inches. He can play inside, he can play outside. He can rush the passer. He can cover in space. So, to me, his versatility may be a strength and he is a fun guy to watch."
On Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville:
"Calvin Pryor is an intimidating, imposing presence. He's not as long as Adrian Wilson athletically, but he brings that type of mentality to the field, where a lot of times when receivers cross the middle, they're trying to find out where number 25 is."
On Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State:
"Another big corner and right now that's kind of what we've gone with. If you look at the team and its makeup, you see Patrick Peterson at 6-0, you see Antonio Cromartie at 6-2, both long and very athletic. The one thing about Dennard is he doesn't run like our guys. Patrick ran a 4.29 coming out and Cromartie is a 4.3 guy all day, so those guys can run like deer. But Dennard's game is a physical press style. He can get up in your face. He's got enough movement skills to play off and handle different kind of route concepts. He's a nice player."
What can we take from these comments?
- Arizona Cardinals a possible match for Mike Glennon
- 2014 NFL Draft: Who are the top inside linebackers?
- 2014 NFL mock draft: Teddy Bridgewater 'feels right' for Arizona Cardinals
- 2014 NFL predictions: How will the Arizona Cardinals fare in the season's 4 quarters?
- Michael Bidwill talks draft party, NFL Draft, Pro Bowl and Super Bowl, Steve Keim, schedule