The Arizona Cardinals held their first mandatory rookie mini-camp practice. The media was able to attend and observe all of practice. I was in attendance and this are the things I noted. We heard from some players and from Bruce Arians after practice, but I will get more written up about that for tomorrow. (The team held practice in their practice bubble.)
1. Logan Thomas made tryout quarterback Eirc Kordenbrock look small...and he is 6-4, 220. That's not small.
2. Four rookies sat out of practice and were on the exercise bikes -- draft picks Troy Niklas and John Brown, as well as undrafted players Anthony Steen (G/C) and WR Kelsey Pope. Steen did come in towards the end in 7-on-7 drills to snap the ball. Niklas is recovering from offseason sports hernia surgery and Brown had a tight hamstring.
3. Third round pick Kareem Martin was playing right defensive end (the Calais Campbell spot) in base formations and then as a left outside linebacker in nickel packages. However, he would line up with his hand in the dirt, so it would look like another down lineman. He looked fast.
4. Receiver Dan Buckner, who was on the practice squad part of last season, was the leader of the receivers. Receivers coach Darryl Drake would have him demonstrate all the drills.
5. Logan Thomas throws a great ball. The ball comes out fast. In shorts he looked good. There were a few errant throws, but nothing crazy or consistent. He threw a couple of really nice deep balls, one that was a wounded duck taht was picked off and one or two that were overthrown.
6. Sixth round pick receiver Walt Powell had some struggles. He lined up wrong and dropped some passes.
7. Offseason tight end projects Andre Hardy and Darren Fells, who are interesting prospects because of their athleticism, both made a couple of really nice plays and also had drops of easy passes.
8. Undrafted rookie Kadeem Williams lined up at right tackle. He also gets the "honor" of wearing number 75. I couldn't help but think Levi Brown every time I saw him, but only because of the number. The rookie line was Kevin Palmer at left tackle, Christian Johnson at left guard, Tommie Draheim at center, Jarian Moreland at right guard and Kadeem Williams at right tackle.
9. Cornerback Jimmy Legree, a tryout player, stood out twice. Once, he was praised by name by a coach and then he picked off a Logan Thomas pass.
10. There was a lot of defensive communication anytime the offense shifted or had a player in motion -- something you would expect to see. But it was still cool.
11. As it seems every offseason, the Cardinals had one rookie form each of the three Arizona schools -- Arizona, Arizona State and Northern Arizona. Buckner is from Arizona, running back Zach Bauman is from NAU and receiver Kevin Ozier is one of the tryout players.