The rumors of the Arizona Cardinals landing a big time running back have been dominating the Internet. They might be able to acquire Adrian Peterson. They might like DeMarco Murray. C.J. Spiller could be a possibility.
Running back is a position the team would like to address this offseason after finishing 31st in the league in rushing a season ago.
But rather than landing the biggest names in football, ESPN's Mel Kiper has released the third version of his mock draftand has the Cardinals landing the biggest running back name in the draft.
With the 24th pick, the Cardinals are projected to select Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon.
A healthy Andre Ellington gives Arizona some explosiveness out of the backfield, but he's not a player you want to rely on for too many touches, and a good running game will go a long way in Arizona. Gordon has the explosiveness that you need from an RB taken this high -- he's a true game-breaker -- but he's also proved durable. Linebacker is another big need for Arizona, but that's one the team can hit further down the board. If Gordon seems like a luxury pick, the Cardinals could certainly argue he's an immediate-impact player for a team that wants to win.
This might be a polarizing pick for fans. It isn't the biggest need the Cardinals have, but it is a need. This pick doesn't add speed to the defense or toughness to the offensive line.
It simply gives the team a potentially great running back.
It is important to note, though, since the Cardinals have been in Arizona, not a single running back drafted in the first or second round has worked out for the team. There is a long list of backs drafted early who have failed to make the expected impact.
Who else is available at No. 24?
None of the top pass rushers are. There is cornerback Marcus Peters who gets taken two picks later. There is center Cameron Erving. There is tackle T.J. Clemmings.
Would you like Gordon or one of these other players?