clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2014 NFL Draft: 3 prospects to avoid for the Arizona Cardinals

With the draft only 48 hours away, here's a list of some NFL hopefuls the Cardinals must avoid.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

With the team possessing multiple needs on both sides of the ball, it's important the team doesn't reach for a prospect just because there is a run on them, or take someone who isn't necessarily the best fit in the system. Here are three must avoid draft prospects in my view.

Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix, FS, Alabama

Clinton-Dix has been an integral part to the Crimson Tide defense in recent years and is projected to be the first safety drafted in Thursday's NFL Draft, but hopefully he doesn't end up a Cardinal. The Cardinals need a 'strong safety', someone who can play closer to the line of scrimmage and ideally cover the tight end - something the team failed miserably at last season. I need of a player who can come in and be a factor in run defense, Clinton-Dix doesn't possess the ability to diagnose plays fast, nor does he has the instincts to recognize routes early. He takes poor angles when going to make tackles, and doesn't necessarily have the speed to make up for lost ground. He fits better as a 'free safety' in the NFL where the Cardinals have Tyrann Mathieu, a player who will roam the field in a freelance role and just make plays. HHCD is a poor fit in the defensive scheme.

Tom Savage, QB, Pittsburgh

Savage has been one of the fastest risers on media draft boards of late, and has been touted to be a early pick on Day 2 of the draft, as opposed to his late round-UDFA status at the end of the collegiate season. Tom Savage looks the part at 6'4", 228 lbs with the arm strength every Offensive Coordinator dreams of; Savage clearly has the physical measurables that some prospects would die for, but he is raw. His accuracy from the pocket is erratic and frankly makes you want to gouge your eyes out at times, but then the next play he throws the ball into the tightest of windows with the utmost precision - it's this inconsistency which is troubles me. Watching him on tape, he looks like the second coming of John Skelton, and we've rode that roller-coaster once before. He is the prototypical quarterback for the Bruce Arians offense, but requires years of development to work on his mechanics and accuracy, which are some of the hardest things to correct in a quarterback. He'll likely go between rounds 2-4, and I wouldn't want to waste a pick of that value on a prospect who in my opinion will never be more than a career backup.

Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri

Ealy is considered a mid-first to early-second round pick in this week's draft, but he's another player I'm low on. I see the potential in him, he plays with a high motor and energy level, and saw a progression each year at Missouri in terms of production, which is a pleasing sign, but it comes down to scheme fit with Ealy. Defensive Coordinator Todd Bowles employs a 3-4 defensive scheme, but likes to use hybrid formations and different looks up front, but I don't see Ealy's fit. He is your standard 4-3 defensive end and would be a terrific fit with a team like Dallas or the Bengals, but not Arizona. He's not the most explosive of athletes, and doesn't have elite strength which results in him being regularly stifled at the point of attack. He has potential as a 3-4 defensive end as he has had some success rushing from the interior, but I personally would rather draft a natural 3-4 defensive lineman, like a Stephon Tuitt or Ra'Shede Hageman.