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2013 NFL Draft: The Arizona Cardinals and small school players

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In the past, players from schools that would require an elaborate GPS device to locate had become commonplace. With new staff, will philosophy change?

Ronald Martinez

Way back when in 2008 -you know, when the Arizona Cardinals were actually relevant - the team drafted a skinny, fast cornerback that liked Dora backpacks and coloring books from Tennessee State, Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie. Thus began a short-lived theme, yet still active, that has the club associated with picking players in the NFL draft that maybe are, well, off the well-beaten path. (And DRC surely is a slice short of a loaf, IMO.)

But are small college guys better picks than the established conference's players that generally recruit a guy that will be used as a fifth receiver over a starting 1,000 yard guy from Slippery Rock?

The team has a history. The following year, CB Greg Toler was selected from tiny Saint Paul's College in Lawrenceville, Virginia in the fourth round and he turned out to be very serviceable before signing with the Indianapolis Colts this offseason.

Last season, CB (I see a trend here) Justin Bethel was drafted in the sixth round from Presbyterian College. Nice YouTube video, blocked a field goal attempt for a TD and is a Blue Hose. (Not making it up, team name.)

Will new management follow the same path? Kinda hard to tell. While General Manager Steve Keim has had input in recent drafts - that Bruce Arians coach-thing may have a say, don't know if the same philosophy is still applicable.

Most likely, the biggest "smallest" candidate is Arkansas Pine-Bluff's 6-5 310 Terron Armstead, who ran a 4.71 40 as an offensive tackle and became the next big thing since Lane Johnson. Literally.

And as expected, some CBs make the practice lap also with William and Mary's BW Webb and Southeastern Louisiana's Robert Alford being 'hot" prospects.

And while I couldn't tell you William from Mary, I'm surely expecting the Cardinals drafting another cornerback named Rolle. This one is Jumal, though and he played at Catawba College, wherever that is.

But, I do know he's no Adam Pierre.