It's an odd time of year, where there is a sort of lull, as most, if not all people have done their scouting reports, rankings, and mock drafts litter the internet like free porn (can we write that on ROTB?).
There are some odd things that come out this time of year, and while I rarely pass on information I hear, this is actually the time where the most truth is coming out.
Obviously you don't want to listen to just anyone or what they are saying, but there are people who have excellent connections within numerous organizations, and are able to grab information.
For instance, in 2013, I had several conversations with a "source" (I absolutely loathe this term but it is what it is) that was also corroborated by Jess Root and a couple other people that the Cardinals had interest in Star Lotulelei, the defensive tackle out of Utah.
I ran with that information, never saying, "based on what I am hearing" but instead mocked Star in my last couple of mock drafts, obviously incorrectly.
That's not to say that I wasn't aware of the Jonathan Cooper angle, I just didn't have the information on whether or not they rated Cooper higher than Star.
There's still not much proof that they did, outside of the fact that they picked Cooper, but based on Keim's talk of the "best player for the Cardinals," it really makes sense that Cardinals would take a player like Cooper over Star.
The Cardinals depth chart at the time at guard read: Daryn Colledge, others.
That means that a player like Cooper would have the ability to make a greater impact over a player like Star, who would back up Darnell Dockett, Calais Campbell and Dan Williams.
Could Star been a "better player" to the Cardinals, but not make as much sense? Absolutely.
That's why in 2014 it's important to listen, but not believe.
Listen when Peter King talks about the Cardinals being "sweet" on Derek Carr and A.J. McCarron, but realize that the Cardinals have also had eyes on Johnny Manziel, Logan Thomas and Zach Mettenberger over the last several months.
Maybe their workout of Thomas and meeting with Mettenberger was enough to give them the information they needed to decide no...or yes.
The chatter on Thomas and Mett has slowed though, and McCarron and Manziel have been talked about quite a bit before the last several weeks.
Carr is the new name to listen too, as that's an interesting "fit" for what Arians wants to do attacking vertically.
There's also the talk about their wanting to get longer on the defensive side of the ball, which is why players like Ra'Shede Hageman and Kony Ealy are names you'll hear a lot about.
In terms of the name Ryan Shazier, the Cardinals LOVE athletes, and they LOVE versatility, which is why the name Ryan Shazier is being bandied about now more and more.
He offers the Cardinals a unique weapon to deploy on the defensive side of the ball, someone that can play multiple positions, and win in multiple ways.
These are just names early, but here's what else that has been whispered:
- They won't force a pick, but they would like a running back that can take over Mendenhall's carries, but it is not a priority.
- The idea that they "need" a safety isn't as big as some would think, but that was before the Yeremiah Bell retirement talk.
- If a tight end can't block, he probably won't be an option.
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