Late Wednesday, on the eve of the 2011 NFL Draft, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper made his final draft projections. As is his custom, he does not project trades, but he does mention if he feels that a team might decide to move up or move down on Draft Day. Where are Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert going? Who are the Cardinals drafting? Are they going to trade?
Kiper says that the fifth pick is labeled with a big "trade possibility," but he also talks about moving that pick for someone like Kevin Kolb. In any case, if the Cards do not trade the pick, he projects like many others that Patrick Peterson will be the guy they select. He explains:
He's the best overall talent in the draft, the No. 1 player on my Big Board and, even if he's not dealt, well, is it so bad to have the best player in the draft all the way down at No. 5?
It's hard to argue that, especially with Von Miller and Marcell Dareus both off the board. Miller comes off at number two, going to the Denver Broncos and Dareus is drafted just one pick later by the Buffalo Bills.
Cam Newton is the number one pick overall and Blaine Gabbert falls all the way to number seven to the San Francisco 49ers. The upside to these picks? It could mean that the Cardinals play three games with opposing teams starting a rookie at quarterback. That can't be a bad thing.