With the first two days of draft picks in the books, the third proved to be one of the most interesting with a handful of trades taking place. The Cardinals were one of the teams making moves when they swapped fourth round picks with the New Orleans Saints, while also receiving an additional sixth round selection. They later dealt the extra pick, and also sent cornerback Bryant McFadden packing back to the Pittsburgh Steelers in exchange for a fifth round selection.
Out of those two deals the Cardinals wound up with two draft picks in defensive end O'Brien Schofield(fourth round) and quarterback John Skelton(fifth round).
Schofield played his college ball as a defensive end but entered the draft as a potential outside linebacker. He played his first two seasons at Wisconsin primarily as a special teams standout. He started his first full season in 2008, recording 42 tackles and five sacks. He then followed up that season with 62 tackles, 24.5 for a loss, and 12 sacks as a Senior.
Schofield has a very high football IQ. He's quick to react and will aggressively attack the line of scrimmage. He uses violent hands to disengage blocks and will provide very reliable tackling with his long wingspan. He has a quick drop and will keep his hips low while covering tight ends and running backs. Schofield excels at pass rushing, providing an explosive step off the line and using his speed to beat lineman. He showcased a swim and rip in college and even gave first round draft pick, Brian Bulaga, trouble when they lined up across from each other.
Unfortunately, Schofield suffered torn knee ligaments at the Senior Bowl and will miss up to nine months, meaning if he does play, it won't be till November or December of the 2010 season. He was considered undersized for a defensive end(6'2, 225 lbs) but shouldn't have a problem making the move to outside linebacker. He needs to improve his technique defending against the pass.
John Skelton after the jump...
John Skelton was an interesting prospect coming out of Fordham, whom many Cardinals fans felt should've been drafted by Arizona. Although he had many doubters when he entered college, Skelton broke countless school records, including pass attempts, pass completions, yards passes, and touchdown passes.
Skelton has a cannon for an arm, able to launch passes down field that don't hang in the air. He has prototypical size for a quarterback(6'6, 243 lbs) and actually displays some quickness, able to throw efficiently on the run or pick up extra yardage himself. He leads his receivers well and provides them plenty of room when throwing the deep ball. He stands confident in the pocket and can make several reads before settling for the check down pass. He was a quiet leader in college but will be vocal on the football field, showing he has the skills to be an NFL quarterback.
He didn't play top competition in college and some aren't sure how he'll hold up against NFL pass rushers. Although he has a deep arm, he didn't always take advantage of it in college. Skelton needs to acknowledge creeping corners or safeties, as he sometimes threw interceptions as a result.
Overall the fourth and fifth rounds brought in two potential starters to the Cardinals. Schofield is facing injury but obviously the coaching staff sees something in him that they like. Since Ken Whisenhunt prefers to sit rookies their first year, an injured Shofield falls along that format anyway. Skelton was a name that was mentioned as a potential draft pick for the Cardinals before, and apparently the organization felt that way also. He's a bit raw but a good quarterback coach like Chris Miller will be able to work with him. The most interesting note was the trade of Bryant McFadden. The Cardinals aren't particularly deep at cornerback and the coaching staff must believe that second year corner Greg Toler is ready to start. Since they haven't found a cornerback in the draft yet, we may be seeing one called in the next two rounds. What are your thoughts on day three up to this point?