Most mock drafts over the last few months have had the Arizona Cardinals selecting a running back in the first round of this year's NFL Draft. With all the moves to improve the running game and the rumors of a possible Adrian Peterson trade, it is understandable people would think that.
But ESPN's Todd McShay published his mock draft 5.0 and, with Melvin Gordon available, he projects the Cardinals will pass on him.
Instead, they go with Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson.
The Cardinals don't have too many glaring needs, but with Antonio Cromartie departing for the Jets in free agency, they are looking for a starting cornerback opposite Patrick Peterson. Johnson can fill that role. He needs to add strength to be more effective in run support, but he has the natural movement skills to excel in the man coverage schemes the Cardinals typically employ, to go with above-average recognition instincts and ball skills. Linebacker is a need position Arizona can address on Day 2.
This is a very reasonable pick if he is available. He might not end up being a Year 1 starter with Jerraud Powers on the roster, but there is a significant future need at the position as both Powers and Justin Bethel will be unrestricted free agents after the season. Johnson offers length and speed, which are two traits Bruce Arians seeks at the position.
Gordon is on the board, as are Eli Harold at outside linebacker and Eric Kendricks at inside linebacker, both also considered positions of need.
How pleased or upset would you be at a Johnson pick?