After the pure "best player available" approach I took to a mock draft on Saturday, I wanted to give it another shot, but using a mix of players at the top of the board, team needs for the Arizona Cardinals and knowing a little of the type of player the team looks for when the select players in the NFL Draft.
This is that attempt, using Jeff Risdon's big board on FanSpeak's On the Clock.
Here are the results of the full draft (I only went six rounds, as the Cardinals do not have a seventh round pick, thanks to the Matt Barkley trade).
Round 1: Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
Here is who was available at the top of the board.
I don't know how Jared Goff was there and Jaylon Smith is not going to get taken in the first round. At this point, he might not get drafted. Three team shave reportedly taken him off their boards because of his knee injury.
Coleman and Shepard are intriguing picks at receivers, but Bruce Arians does not typically take WRs before Round 3. The Cards have used a lot of picks on the offensive line recently, so I almost went with Martin, who also fills a need, but the athletic nature of Thompson to put in the back end, where there is some uncertainty moving forward, especially after 2016, made him the pick.
Round 2: Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
Here is who was on the board.
As you can see, it was a ton of receivers. I already mentioned how Arians takes them later, but this was almost forced, based on the board. As fun as Derrick Henry might be, I would be shocked if he were available, and the Cardinals already have a running back they love in David Johnson. Cooper was the guy.
Round 3: Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame
Having already gone with a receiver in the second round, I didn't like the idea of taking one in the third. Plus, the defensive line could use some new blood. He isn't the ideal size, but his versatility is nice.
Round 4: D.J. Reader, DT, Clemson
Here I liked going D-line again and getting a big, big nose tackle was not a bad way to go. He doesn't project as a star, but the Cardinals use their nose tackle in base sets only. The running backs available were tempting. Williams is intriguing, but his foot injury raises concerns. The Cardinals don't need another back with foot problems, and this guy is even bigger, built like David Johnson.
Round 5: Jordan Payton, WR, UCLA
I didn't like Johnson as an Arians QB (too small) and Young wasn't tall enough as a corner. Payton is not a speedy Arians receiver, but he is big. Steve Keim wants to find another Fitz, and by that he means a bigger receiver. Payton fits the bill. He also blocks well, which is good for the Cardinals offense. Fitz' position is a lot like what many teams use a tight end for.
Round 5: Bryce Williams, TE, East Carolina
Williams has the tight end size the Cardinals like. He is going to need a little work at blocking, though.
Round 6: James Cowser, DE, Southern Utah
Here it was between Cowser and Oakman. Cowser could be a late round gem. His combine numbers were sick. At 6-3 and 248 pounds, he ran a 4.82 40, but his 3-cone was an unbelievable 6.80. That is incredible change of direction. He projects to a very good special teams player at minimum and has a great motor. He was very, very productive in college.