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What if the Cardinals had listened to Mel Kiper?

A little speculation as to how the Cardinals would be if they had gone a different direction with the NFL Draft?

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Something that was put together by a fellow SB Nation writer is worth discussing. Jimmy Kempski over at Bleeding Green Nation, our Eagles team site, looked back at all of Mel Kiper's initial mock drafts for all the teams in the NFL for the last five years. Here are the results:

So how would the Cardinals look if they had followed Kiper?

2010: Dan Williams

Well, it turns out the Cardinals drafted the guy Kiper mocked to them initially. I don't suppose things could be any different.

2011: Blaine Gabbert over Patrick Peterson

This one is funny, right?

Imagine had the Cardinals not taken Peterson. We would not have seen the four punt return touchdowns his rookie season. But had the Cardinals drafted Gabbert, perhaps the Kevin Kolb trade never happens and DRC sticks around and the team keeps its 2012 second round pick.

Gabbert has been a disaster in the league. It would have added to the laundry list of bad QBs the Cardinals have had. And considering the line play, it is very likely Gabbert would have gotten injured, so the Cards would have been bouncing between QBs again over the next two season.

He certainly would not have saved Ken Whisenhunt's job and we would not have gotten four straight Pro Bowls out of the draft pick.

2012: Jonathan Martin over Michael Floyd

As bad as Martin's career has gone, it would have been different here. He would not have been had Richie Incognito as a teammate, so the locker room issues would not have been seen. In fact, Martin might have made things much better here. 2012 was the year of the broken offensive line. Levi Brown got hurt for the season, De'Anthony Batiste played left tackle and Bobby Massie struggled mightily for the first half of the season. Now Martin did grade out pretty poorly his rookie season, giving up six sacks and 47 hurries.

The other part of this speculation is the Cards wouldn't have Floyd. While Floyd has been very inconsistent as a player, the receiver situation was pretty bad outside of Fitz at the time. Floyd didn't do much his rookie season, but considering Andre Roberts left in free agency the next year, the receiving corps would have been Fitz and ?????

2013: Chance Warmack over Jonathan Cooper

Well, since Cooper has yet to really play and Warmack has played for two seasons, Warmack over Cooper might not have been a bad idea. The guard play for the Cardinals has been pretty abysmal over the last two years, and that can be mostly attributed to the fact Cooper can't stay healthy.

Warmack hasn't really been the Hall of Fame caliber guard yet (although he got a positive grade from Pro Football Focus each of the last seven games of the season in Tennessee), Cooper looks like a bust so far.

2014: Zack Martin over Deone Bucannon

As much as Bucannon did for the Cardinals, filling the Daryl Washington role even though he is a safety, can you imagine having Martin? Martin was an All-Pro guard as a rookie. The offensive line would be set. The Cards would have Veldheer, Warmack (if taken instead of Cooper), Sendlein, Martin and Massie.

Those interior line problems? They don't exist.

However, the safety depth wouldn't be the same. The defensive speed wouldn't be there. The potential to have another Adrian Wilson isn't there. However, the offensive line would be fantastic and probably would have been more impactful.