During the 2011 NFL Draft, there was a great fear (and hope by some) among the fans that the Arizona Cardinals were going to trade out of their first round selection and try to move down in the draft to pick up more picks. When Patrick Peterson was available, I, for one, was hoping this did not happen. It did not, but reports are now coming out that they had an offer on the table from the Detroit Lions, who coveted Peterson to shore up their shoddy secondary. Their offer was not small, either.
Reportedly, the Lions would have given the Cardinals their second and fourth round picks to swap first round picks. The Cardinals would have then drafted with the 13th selection. The Lions ended up with Nick Fairley, also a steal who at one time could have been the number one pick in the whole draft.
Had the Cardinals made that trade, they still would have gotten a very, very promising player, but I am very glad they did not.
Maybe it was because I was not as involved in Cardinals news then as I am now, but Patrick Peterson really gets me excited for the 2011 season. I get the feeling that he will be a bona fide game changer. Neither Antrel Rolle nor Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie got me that fired up after they were drafted. There was a lot of buzz about Tom Knight way back in the day (another corner), but in any case, I do not recall anywhere near the buzz that Peterson is causing.
It turned out to be a good idea, at least for the later picks. Assuming the Cardinals had stuck with their pick of Ryan Wiliiams with the 38th selection, the Lions' pick at number 44 would not have landed a player we figured would have been on their radar. Akeem Ayers, Brooks Reed and Kyle Rudolph all would have been off the board, so they would not have been able to address their needs with one of the players that were likely right there on their draft board.
Now, it's not certain whether Peterson will be the next big thing, or if he will be only something like DRC, or if he will be a Rolle or (gasp) a bust like Knight was in the 90s. But I would not have done that trade. You can't walk away from a top of the draft, potentially game-changing talent like Peterson.
The Cardinals made the right choice.