The Arizona Cardinals, after having done well in free agency, now can go a lot of ways with their first round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. They could take a safety, a pass rusher, a tight end or a right tackle. Any and all should have a big 2014 impact.
However, in SB Nation's latest mock draft, written together by Dan Kadar and Matthew Fairburn, Arizona goes in a direction in both the first second rounds that will have many asking questions.
With the 20th pick overall, the have Arizona projected to take Michigan State cornerback Darqueze Dennard, adding to their own "No Fly Zone" defensive secondary.
While Patrick Peterson has matured into one of the league's best cornerbacks and the team signed Antonio Cromartie, having three good corners is becoming a necessity. The Cardinals may have more pressing needs, but Dennard could give them an incredible trio in the defensive backfield.
Actually...that would make a fantastic quartet, including Tyrann Mathieu, who is perhaps the league's best slot corner. Where and when would Dennard play? That's the question. It is a solid pick, especially knowing that Cromartie will not likely return in 2015. But the team wants a pick in the first round that will have immediate impact. At the same time, they showed a willingness to sit Kevin Minter behind Karlos Dansby, so they could work him in gradually.
IN the second round, they make a pick that is going be called a huge reach -- they take Eastern Illinois QB Jimmy Garoppolo.
How soon is too soon to draft a backup or developmental quarterback? That is something the Cardinals will weigh this May. Carson Palmer obviously isn't the long-term answer for Arizona, so this pick shouldn't be viewed as a reach for a quarterback. Garoppolo has the quickest release of any quarterback in the draft this year and good accuracy. If he can improve his arm strength a little bit, he can be that long-term quarterback the Cardinals need.
The issue with the pick? It is a reach. This is the first time I have seen him going this high. You would have to figure that he would be available later and that they could take a player that would be able to contribute immediately, especially with their first round pick being a guy that wouldn't likely get much playing time in Year 1.
How would you feel in this scenario? Would you be satisfied? Would you be upset? Would you trust that boyh guys would be able to step in starting in 2015 and be impact guys?
- Arizona Cardinals free agency work ranked 5th in NFL
- Steve Keim: John Carlson a better fit at TE for Arizona Cardinals than Jimmy Graham
- 'Fantastic' Tyrann Mathieu 'really ahead of schedule' in recovery from knee injury
- 2014 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals 'happy' with all three QBs they have
- How Roger Kingdom will help the Arizona Cardinals with speed