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5-3-11: Bird Droppings - Draft Grades And Quarterback Updates

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Time for some links, mainly related to some of our draft picks, also some updates on who the Cardinals Quarterback could be next season.

Just how well did the Arizona Cardinals do in the draft? - ArizonaSports.com
Now that the dust has settled and the Arizona Cardinals have made all their selections in the 2011 NFL draft, it's time to grade just how well they did. We here at ArizonaSports.com have assembled the usual suspects from our staff and Sports 620 KTAR's to breakdown the good, the bad, and the interesting from the Cards eight selections.

It's starting to look Kolb is the Cards' man - ArizonaSports.com
Just how close were the Arizona Cardinals to getting their quarterback of the future over the weekend? Closer than any of us may have realized but it wouldn't have come via the draft. According to Pro Football Weekly, the Cards and Philadelphia Eagles had agreed in principle to a deal that would have landed them 26-year old starting QB Kevin Kolb. Too bad the league's labor dispute wouldn't allow it.

Grading the Cardinals draft - ArizonaSports.com
We all expect Patrick Peterson to be a flat out stud in the secondary, a true shutdown cornerback. So for that this draft is a success. But for this to be a truly great draft at least three maybe four of the other picks need to pan out and by panning out I mean becoming impact players.

Did Cardinals 'tamper' with quarterback? - ArizonaSports.com
Rumors last week emerged that the Arizona Cardinals had reached an ‘understanding' with quarterback Marc Bulger. If it is true, don't expect the Cards to face any tampering charges from the Baltimore Ravens.

Cardinals could give up first round pick for a quarterback - ArizonaSports.com
Cardinals general manager Rod Graves said Monday the team is not opposed to trading a 2012 high draft choice in order to bring a quarterback to Arizona.

A look into Peterson's big moment - ArizonaSports.com
Patrick Peterson walked onto the red carpet leading up to Radio City Music Hall wearing a red tie, red pocket square and red sunglasses. Lots of red. He walked out of the 2011 NFL Draft as an Arizona Cardinal, with the color signifying a whole lot more.

Cards GM Rod Graves Hints At QB Plans - SB Nation Arizona
The Arizona Cardinals passed on a quarterback in the draft so all eyes turn towards the free agents and QB's available via trade.

Word From the Birds Blog - Ranking A-Dub
He was a Pro Bowler despite an off-year while injured, and now, Adrian Wilson continues to garner props. He is somewhere in the current NFL Network’s list of 100 greatest current NFL players (we just won’t know exactly where until his group is revealed; at this point all we have seen is 91-100 and Wilson isn’t in there). I did find it interesting that 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is the one giving Wilson compliments. Those two go at it pretty hard when the Cards and Niners play, and I find it hard to believe A-Dub would be all that willing to return the favor if someone asked him about Davis.

Word From the Birds Blog - Warner’s pick would be Palmer
Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner appeared on The Dan Patrick Show today and the NFL Network analyst was talking, not surprisingly, about quarterbacks. He spoke about Cam Newton (he’d start him right away in Carolina given the Panthers’ QB situation, although he thinks it is better for a rookie to sit) and then was asked about the QB situation here in Arizona. Warner said he talked to coach Ken Whisenhunt recently and Whiz asked him his opinion on some possible available QBs. Marc Bulger was one, Donovan McNabb was not (shocker!). Then Patrick asked Warner, out of Kevin Kolb, Carson Palmer, McNabb and Bulger, who would Warner’s pick be for the Cardinals.

NFL Videos: Top 10 undrafted players
NFL Total Access counts down the top 10 undrafted players since 1970. See who made the list.

What Pat Tillman set out to do finally comes to pass - - Sporting News
The American sports scene is celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden. If only Pat Tillman could have pulled the trigger.

Osama Bin Laden's Death Reminds Us Of Pat Tillman's Legacy - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Where were you on Sunday night? May 1, 2011 will forever go down as a good day for the United States of America. Osama bin Laden has paid the price for his actions, and the death of this terrorist leader reminds us of the sacrifice that Pat Tillman made.

Warner: Best fit for Cards would be Palmer, not Bulger | ProFootballTalk
With the Cardinals and Seahawks both still needing quarterbacks, we are starting to expect the two NFC West teams to compete for the services of Kevin Kolb once the lockout ends. The fallback to Kolb could be Marc Bulger, especially for the Cardinals who were believed to be interested in Bulger last year.

azcentral.com blogs - Kent Somers - Catching up after draft weekend
-- Kurt Warner appeared on the Dan Patrick Show today and weighed in on the Cardinals quarterback situation. He said Ken Whisenhunt had talked to him about some of the (potentially) available quarterbacks and Warner told Patrick that Carson Palmer was the best fit for the Cardinals offense.

Cardinals may be able to cross one QB off the list - ArizonaSports.com
If Kurt Warner really wants to see Carson Palmer in an Arizona Cardinals uniform, he'll probably have to wait awhile. According to ESPN Analyst John Clayton, who was a guest on the Kevin Calabro Show on 710 ESPN Seattle, the Cincinnati Bengals won't be putting Palmer on the market this offseason.

Kurt Warner: 'I would take Carson' - ArizonaSports.com
While many Arizona Cardinals fans still wish that Kurt Warner was their quarterback, Warner has his own wish-list.

Ryan Williams, game one starter? - ArizonaSports.com
When the Cardinals selected Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams with their second round pick, fans and analysts alike were shocked. The Cardinals, after all, seemed to be fine at running back, already having Beanie Wells, Tim Hightower and LaRod Stephens-Howling. Why draft another one when there were plenty of holes on the roster to fill? Well, according to ESPN College Football analyst Mark May, who was a guest on Sports 620 KTAR's Gambo and Ash Monday, the other guys won't really matter.

Fitzgerald tweets draft pick Williams about workouts - ArizonaSports.com
With the NFL lockout back in place there are no rookie mini-camps or organized team activities scheduled for the immediate future. Since that's the case, there's only one way for the soon-to-be rookies to get work in with their new teammates. Go to where they are and workout with them. It would seem that's exactly what the Arizona Cardinals second round pick, Ryan Williams, is trying to do.

Housler could become hidden gem in Cardinals draft - ArizonaSports.com
Although the Arizona Cardinals passed on Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph in the second round in favor of Virginia Tech running back Ryan Williams, the team may have found a gem in their third round selection.

The Cardinals had a good draft? Get back to me on that - ArizonaSports.com
Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Cardinals an A. ESPN's John Clayton and Sports Illustrated's Don Banks both list the Cardinals as one of the draft's winners. Oh, that 2006 draft really set the table for the dominant Cardinals team you see today. As draft grades continue to pour in from various different sources it is important we remember one easily forgettable fact: No one knows how any of these players will turn out.

NFL Draft Puts New Look On Quarterback Situation For League - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
There were 12 quarterbacks taken in the 2011 NFL Draft over the past few days. Starting with Cam Newton as the first pick, six of them went in the first or second round. And that's without Andrew Luck who opted to stay in school another year as opposed to be taken first by Carolina. In the 2010 NFL Draft there were just three quarterbacks taken in the first two rounds: Sam Bradford (1), Tim Tebow (25th) and Jimmy Clausen (48). Of all these quarterbacks, some will certainly fail to pan out but that won't be known until the NFL season (hopefully) gets underway in the fall. With the lockout back in place, this year's draft happened before free agency which turned things on its head.

When an NFL coach fumbles his lines - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Fumbling has been a problem for Arizona Cardinals running backs, or at least for one of them. Tim Hightower has fumbled 10 times and lost eight of them over the past two seasons. Beanie Wells fumbled four times as a rookie in 2009, losing two, before suffering only one fumble (none lost) last season. Hightower's 10 fumbles over the past two seasons rank tied for second in the NFL during that time. The Cardinals were naturally drawn to sure-handed running backs in the 2011 NFL draft ... or were they? Ryan Williams, the running back Arizona selected in the second round, either suffered zero or several fumbles during his two seasons at Virginia Tech. Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt went with the former -- zero -- when asked what about Williams was appealing.

Revisiting those six 2011 NFL mock drafts - NFC West Blog - ESPN
A few notes upon looking back at the six 2011 NFL mock drafts discussed here last week:

Somewhere Pat Tillman is Smiling - ArizonaSports.com
I got the call Sunday night around 7:30pm from Gambo. "We killed Bin Laden!" I, like a lot of people, was waiting for the punchline thinking it was some sort of a joke. There was no punchline. Just a devastating right hook to the face of terrorism.

I give the Arizona Cardinals draft a grade of 'Who the hell knows?' - ArizonaSports.com
It's the days following the NFL draft and that means it's time for the obligatory ‘grades' that every sports pundit and their mother has to assign to each teams selections. I'll make mine shorter than most, by about 1,000 words. I give every team a ‘who the hell knows?'

NFL Draft Results: Peterson's Low Wonderlic Verus Amukamara Nigerian Decent - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Patrick Peterson, now a member of the Cardinals, and Prince Amukamara, a local kid drafted by the New York Giants, are going to have a lot more than their Arizona connections binding their careers. Just days after the 2011 NFL Draft we are seeing a rumor that Amukamara slipped to 19th because of stereotypes about Nigerian players. Meanwhile, Peterson who was picked by the Cardinals 14 spots higher, scored in the single digits on his Wonderlic test which didn't seem to bother many analysts.

NFL draft: Grading the rest of the NFC West
It's impossible to project how the balance of power in the NFC West will look next season until the great quarterback debate facing at least three of the division's four teams becomes clearer. Even then, it's probably doubtful any team out of this bunch will be mistaken for a Super Bowl contender in 2011.

Fox Sports grades Arizona Cardinals draft - ArizonaSports.com
Video

Arizona and Seattle look past draft for quarterback - ArizonaSports.com
The NFC West as a division drafted one quarterback through the entire draft. The Sam Bradford-led St. Louis Rams can be forgiven, but the other three quarterback-desperate teams had 27 draft picks all together. The San Francisco 49ers selected the only quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, with their second-round pick. "To me, this tells me that these teams have big plans down the road," said Mike Sando, of ESPN's NFC West blog, on Sports 620 KTAR's Doug and Wolf Monday morning. "They're going to make some moves." Both the Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks are left in the same position they were before the draft: lacking a quarterback either they're willing to develop or start immediately.

Patrick Peterson Fail: Spotted Leaving Party With Jason Kidd's Ex-Wife, Joumana - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
Patrick Peterson hasn't even arrived in Arizona and he's already making news in a not-so-flattering way. The 20-year-old NFL Draft pick stud was seen with famous cougar, Joumana Kidd. Joumana, 43, is the ex-wife of point guard Jason Kidd who built quite a reputation in Phoenix when Jason was wearing a Suns' uniform.

Matt Hasselbeck Would Be A Great Fit For Cardinals - Desert Dirt - SB Nation Arizona
One reporter who knows Matt Hasselbeck well thinks he'd be a great fit for the Arizona Cardinals

Court grants expedited hearing for NFL's appeal - ESPN
The NFL's request for an expedited hearing with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis has been granted.

Power Rankings: Top 10 NFL safeties - AFC North Blog - ESPN
When it comes to rating NFL safeties, there's Troy Polamalu and Ed Reed followed by a huge gap before everyone else.

Following up on NFC West QB strategies - NFC West Blog - ESPN
The 2011 NFL draft went almost exactly as anticipated, but counter to conventional wisdom, when it came to NFC West teams and the available quarterbacks.

One sure way to make head coaches cringe - NFC West Blog - ESPN
Teams have yet to see their 2011 draft choices on the field. They have yet to sign players in free agency. Depth charts remain largely imaginary.

Memories triggered by Osama bin Laden's death
Much changed after 9/11, including a world whose topography is defined by hash marks, on-deck circles and 3-point lines. The report of Osama bin Laden's death Sunday triggered a rash of memories, including those involving sports post-Sept. 11, 2001. The immediate impact was profound, but subtleties remain, such as the catch in your throat that comes during the pregame national anthem. Raise your hand if you gasp a bit when a low-flying plane sails over Sun Devil Stadium.

NFL says lockout tiff won't stop play
With its players again barred from work, the NFL told a federal appeals court Monday that the fight over whether the lockout is legal won't get in the way of the 2011 season. The rest of the labor fight? That's anyone's guess.

LB Mark Herzlich among 52 players taken in UFL draft - ESPN
Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich wasn't taken in last week's NFL draft but the cancer survivor was selected Monday night in the United Football League draft. Herzlich was drafted in the 10th round by the Omaha Nighthawks. Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson was the No. 1 overall pick, going to Jerry Glanville's Hartford Colonials.

Players need to be more careful on Twitter - NFL Nation Blog - ESPN
Here is the most dangerous thing about Twitter: It allows us to say the first thing that comes to mind.

NFL.com news: Some teams took risks on QBs that could haunt them for years
One thing that really confuses me after an NFL draft is grades based on how teams filled their overall needs. Yet, before the draft, the discussion is all about teams needing to pick the best players instead of just specifically filling needs. This column is not intended as a grading scale or to pass judgment on teams for their work during the draft. Rather, some teams deserve praise, while others raised questions.

NFL.com news: Bengals should reconsider Palmer stance with Dalton in mix
The Cincinnati Bengals identified their quarterback situation by drafting TCU's Andy Dalton with the 35th overall pick in the draft. With that move, everyone seems to conclude Carson Palmer is done in Cincinnati.

10 burning questions | National Football Post
1. Is the Beanie Wells era in Arizona already over? Two years after using a first round selection on the Ohio State running back, Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals drafted Virginia Tech ball carrier Ryan Williams in the second round. Is Arizona looking for depth or are they disappointed in the 41.0 rushing yards per game Wells is averaging since joining the team back in 2009?

NFC Draft Grades | National Football Post
Arizona Cardinals Getting one of the premier talents in the entire draft is a great way to start, as the Cardinals landed LSU CB Patrick Peterson to potentially form one of the best young cornerback duos in the league with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. RB Ryan Williams will give the offense some big play ability both inside and out of the backfield, and I like the upside of DL David Carter. TE Rob Housler still strikes me as an overrated tight end prospect because of his straight-line speed, but later round picks FB Anthony Sherman and LB Quan Sturdivant should both make the roster and contribute immediately

NFL.com news: NFL planning special 9/11 tributes at Kickoff Weekend games
We will never forget the terror Osama bin Laden helped formulate and orchestrate, and just more than four months from now, it will be brought back into our consciousness. The first full slate of games scheduled to be played this season falls on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. We all know what that date means and what happened at the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. and in a field in Pennsylvania, where a struggle between brave passengers and hijackers caused United Flight 93 to crash, saving lives while sacrificing their own. And the NFL has plans to pay homage to those who were affected most by the tragedies with special tributes at games that weekend.

NFL players react to the killing of Osama bin Laden - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
As the rest of America wallows in vengeful glee over the death of Osama bin Laden, with celebrations going on throughout the country, I didn't want to ignore the occasion, even though we're just a football blog. I thought it might be interesting to check in with NFL players via Twitter, and see how they're feeling about bin Laden taking a slug to the dome. Here are some of the more interesting reactions.

Network executives explain why they keep tipping draft picks - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
The biggest complaint we heard from readers during our NFL draft live blog on Thursday night was that ESPN and the NFL Network were tipping picks before they were being read by Roger Goodell. It's something we've lamented in the past and was particularly egregious this year, most notably by Chris Berman (who himself was the subject of many complaints.)

Is there an anti-Nigerian bias in the NFL? - Shutdown Corner - NFL Blog - Yahoo! Sports
Well, here's a weird one. Dan Pompei of the National Football Post recently wrote that Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara may have fallen in the draft for a reason beyond his measurables. It was very odd to see Amukamara, whom I had ranked as a top-10 prospect and the second-best cornerback in this class behind LSU's Patrick Peterson, slip past teams like Dallas, Houston, Minnesota, Detroit and Washington — all teams which could certainly claim need at the position (and this is not in any way assuming or insinuating that any of those particular teams have a bias -- the quotes are from an anonymous source).

Jake Locker knew the Titans liked him, just not how much | ProFootballTalk
Everyone was surprised when the Tennessee Titans selected Jake Locker with the eighth overall pick in the NFL draft. Including Locker. In an ESPN Radio interview, Locker said he knew the Titans were interested in him, based on his pre-draft workouts and interviews for the Titans’ staff. But he didn’t realize the Titans liked him so much that they were preparing to take him with their first-round pick.

After making Mark Ingram cry, Suzy Kolber takes some criticism | ProFootballTalk
Mark Ingram was one of the most-watched players at this year’s NFL draft, as a well-known Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama who stayed in the green room longer than expected before the New Orleans Saints finally picked him at No. 28. But what really has people talking after the draft is the interview Ingram gave to ESPN’s Suzy Kolber minutes after his name was called.

NFL draft takes backseat to Osama bin Laden's death - Peter King - SI.com
Thoughts on the past 10 years, since the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on America Observations on the draft, including the Patriots ignoring a huge need Quotes of the Week, Stats of the Week, 10 Things I Think I Think and more

Dave Duerson had brain damage at time of suicide - ESPN Chicago
The Boston University center that studies brain injuries to professional athletes says former NFL player Dave Duerson had brain damage when he committed suicide in February. The Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy at the B.U. School of Medicine announced on Monday its findings on its examination of Duerson's brain. The safety who began his NFL career with the Chicago Bears was 50 when he shot himself in the chest.

2011 NFL Draft Grades: Indianapolis Colts Big Winners In The AFC - SBNation.com
With the 2011 NFL Draft officially in the books, it's time to hand out those ultra-important grades that almost always look foolish years down the line, but serve as a reminder of the general feeling of a draft class exiting draft weekend. In the AFC, the Indianapolis Colts were the clear winners, but several other AFC powers - Baltimore chief among them - had great weekends, as well.

2011 NFL Draft Grades: New Orleans Saints Earn NFC's Top Mark - SBNation.com
With the 2011 NFL Draft officially in the books, it's time to hand out those ultra-important grades that almost always look foolish years down the line, but serve as a reminder of the general feeling of a draft class exiting draft weekend. In the NFC, the New Orleans Saints were the clear winners, but fans in Detroit and Tampa Bay should be quite thrilled, as well.