With one week left until the 2011 NFL Draft, mock drafts continue to go crazy. Here on ROTB, we just finished our projections done by both writers and community. Peter King and Todd McShay released their latest mock drafts and surprisingly, neither one of the projections had the Arizona Cardinals taking a defensive player. One of the players is kind of surprising -- a player that would not be a bad pick, but one that I don't believe has come up for the Cards in any mock draft previously.
Todd McShay projects the Cardinals will go the quarterback route, selecting Missouri signal-caller Blaine Gabbert. Here is the logic behind the projection:
The Cardinals need an upgrade at quarterback, and while I've been told they are not that crazy about Gabbert or Newton, my gut feeling is that they will take the QB who's available.
That doesn't exactly invite a vote of confidence from the fans. It also does not make sense. If you are going to draft a quarterback as high as the Cards are, you have to be crazy about him. I just don't see Ken Whisenhunt drafting anyone he doesn't feel strongly about. In his mock draft, Patrick Peterson is still available and the Cards pass on him.
King's projection is the most surprising. He believes that the Cards should select Peterson, who is available at number five, but that they will draft receiver A.J. Green. I'll admit that he isn't a bad pick, but it would be a surprise pick if Von Miller, Marcell Dareus or Peterson are available there. Here is King's explanation:
The way Arizona figures it, a veteran QB can be had at some point before the season to get Larry Fitzgerald the ball. What else would help the Cards' best player? The top-rated receiver on most teams' boards, who could further deflect attention from Fitzgerald. I'd prefer the best corner in the draft, to boost the 29th-rated defense, improve the athleticism in the secondary and help the return game.
As fun as these mock drafts, projections and explanations are, it pales in the face of the actual draft. Luckily we have the real deal at the end of next week.