In what will likely be a weekly thin, I ran another full draft simulation for the Arizona Cardinals, using FanSpeak's On the Clock. I used the basic interface to simulate six rounds of the NFL Draft, as the Cardinals do not have a seventh round pick. I will simulate others in the future with trades, but for now I kept it simple.
This time, rather than using the FanSpeak big board, I used CBS Sports' big board, which gave me what appeared to be a more realistic way the picks might go. After all, in my last simulation, Jaylon Smith went all the way at the end of the second round.
In making picks, I tried to balance need with the type of players I believe the Cardinals would target. It is by no means a science, but it provides some scenarios we can discuss.
In the seven picks in six round, defense dominated and the one thing that seemed unrealistic is I did not draft a receiver. Bruce Arians loves drafting receivers, but none that came up felt right for Arians, who loves speed.
In this simulation, Arizona gets the pass rusher they covet. Here is the full draft.
Round 1, Kevin Dodd, DE/OLB, Clemson
Here is what was available.
I wavered between the talent on the defensive line and an edge player. I am not high on Leonard Floyd right now, so it was between Dodd and Ogbah, or go with one of the good D-linemen. I chose edge because of the emphasis on pass rushing this offseason so far. He feels like a Markus Golden pick, as he is the "other guy" on the team with great production, as Golden was to Shane Ray. Dodd was the Golden to Shaq Lawson, who was more Shane Ray. Lawson went in the top five.
Round 2, Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame
I grabbed him even though he was further down the board, based on who was available. I am buying in on Martin much like Seth Cox. Here is who was available.
Will Fuller was attractive, as were Washington and Henry. However, what we have seen the Cardinals do is make the offensive line a priority. Steve Keim wants to build a great line. The team has addressed two tackle and two guard positions with priority capital in three years. This completes the cycle. Martin can be the long-term answer at center.
Round 3, Deion Jones, LB, LSU
Here is who was available in Round 3:
Cooper was tempting, as was Vannett, as he seems to be a very Bruce Arians tight end. However, adding speed to the inside linebacker position felt right. Kevin Minter is in the final year of his contract. Why not replace him with another LSU guy. Deone Bucannon isn't going anywhere from linebacker, so this makes the middle of the field very athletic.
Round 4, Maurice Canady, CB, Virginia
Here is who was available:
I didn't think the receivers were fast enough for Bruce Arians and I know the team wants to add length and speed to the corner position. That was the reason for taking Canady.
Round 5, Matt Ionnidis, DT, Temple
Round 5, Leon Allen, RB, Western Kentucky
Look at who was available for each pick.
I think the Cardinals will add defensive line help. Ionnidis is a good addition late in the draft. He can rotate in Year 1 like Ed Stinson did. Arians said he would like to find another David Johnson. Allen is big back (5-11, 235) who can catch the ball, pass protect and has some speed. He also would be the small school pick the Cardinals always seem to make.
Round 6, Jordan Lucas, S, Penn State
He adds length to the safety position.