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2011 NFL Draft: Predicting The Cardinals' 1st Round Selection

Over the last month or so, the only topics we have to discuss have been the lockout and the draft. Well, here is another one about the draft, brought to you by Valvoline. With the draft getting ever so much closer, we want to know whom will be selected by our team. While we all have discussed at length the players we want the team to draft, it is now time to make some predictions. Who will be the actual selection be? This isn't who we hope is the pick, but actually trying to guess who will be available and who will be the guy the Cardinals take.

This is where I tell you what I think, based on what I have heard and seen.

I know I got killed for drafting Cam Newton in the mock draft done over at Mocking the Draft. I don't regret it. I see him as a player with much more upside than Blaine Gabbert. Following the college football season last year, it wasn't until the Insight Bowl that I even heard Gabbert's name as a top QB coming out.

Regardless, more and more it looks like the Cardinals will not be looking for a quarterback at the top of the draft. Ken Whisenhunt still really likes John Skelton and is excited as to what he thinks he will become. Whisenhunt also feels that neither Newton nor Gabbert are players that would make a QB impact in year one, so unless the front office views either player as being a better QB than what Skelton will be, I just don't see it happening. Additionally, I would be surprised if either one is available with the fifth pick.

Von Miller has been the player we all have thought would be the perfect fit here in the desert. Unfortunately, it looks more and more like he will be off the board. An elite pass rusher is hard to come by and makes a huge impact everywhere on the field defensively. If he is available at number five, I don't think there is any question that the Cardinals will sprint up to the podium with their pick.

This means that any two of the trio of receiver A.J. Green, cornerback Patrick Peterson and defensive lineman Marcell Dareus will likely be on the board when the Cardinals are on the clock.

My prediction is this -- that Patrick Peterson is the player the Cardinals select. I think Dareus will be gone and that the Cardinals rate Peterson higher than Green.

What am I saying? I believe that it will be Patrick Peterson that will be the Cardinals' first pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.

Now it is your turn. The poll has a variety of players. Vote for who you will believe will be drafted by the Cardinals, not who you want to be drafted.

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