I will admit it. When I heard about both of the Friday selections the Arizona Cardinals made in the 2011 NFL Draft, I was confused. I had heard of Ryan Williams, but I could not at all fathom why in the world the team would use their second round pick on a running back.
Then, when I learned of the selection of Robert Housler, I flat out could not believe it. I had never even heard of this guy and it was a tight end after Kyle Rudolph (who is mostly a consensus choice for best prospect at that position).
I felt both were "butt scratcher" picks. But the more I thought about them, the more I liked them.
One of the discussions that goes back and forth here on ROTB is drafting philosophy. Some say you use the draft to fill needs and you select players based on that and that for it to work is a lot of work in scouting. Some say teams should take the best player available (BPA). When a team does one thing, the other side is just going to complain.
The selections of Williams and Hausler are BPA picks. Williams was rated a top 15 talent that fell to them. He is also not without risk. He had injuries last season. But while the Cardinals do have Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower, the production was not what Whiz had wanted.
Does this inevitably mean that one of those two backs will be gone next year? Not necessarily, but it certainly should raise the concern of all those involved.
The Housler pick was another BPA pick. Yes it fills a need, but the team picked up a player that has the hands and the speed to make an impact.
Whisenhunt said several times the importance of getting guys in the draft that could make an impact. It appears that he is trying to do that. They were players that were highly rated at their position.
If Williams can look anything like he did in 2009, he could be a second bona fide steal along with Patrick Peterson. Housler should be able to have the versatility to make a more traditional three-wide set really be more like a four-wide set and also line up in the traditional manner.
Basically, after my knee jerk reaction to the picks, they grew on me. I had time to think about it and I don't hate either pick. I am exited about both. Hopefully the can make that impact for the team.