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NFL Combine Weekend Thoughts

Thoughts coming out of the 2018 NFL Combine.

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

  • Tyrann Mathieu tweeted “I am betting on myself.” Word is the Cardinals are moving on from the Honey Badger. However, knowing how Michael Bidwill does not like to give the fans the impression that the Cardinals don’t try their best to keep their most popular players, Bidwill will not let Tyrann Mathieu “go gentle into that good night.” Bidwill will make every possible effort to work something out with Mathieu---the team has too much invested in him. If Mathieu forces his way out---Bidwill will be sure tol let us know the extensive efforts the team made, perhaps even with a film segment on an episode of the Cardinals’ Flight Plan.
  • Steve Wilks reiterated at the Combine his pledge that the Cardinals will play with tremendous physicality and effort---that nothing less will be tolerated. Thus, it should be fascinating to see what Wilks gets from Patrick Peterson in terms of the aspects of Peterson’s job that he is not enamored with. Will Peterson man up for his new coach? Or will this be a classic case of the irresistible force versus the immovable object?
  • Steve Keim is zeroed in on taking a QB in the first round. He likes 7 of the top QB prospects, which means at least two of those prospects will be on the board when the Cardinals pick at #15. The Cardinals interviewed with Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson this weekend. Allen hit a home run during the drills, while Jackson looked uneven. Will Steve Keim do everything he can to trade up for Allen? Will Kiem be content to stay at #15 and take Jackson or Mason Rudolph? Keim also said that when drafting a QB in the 1st round sometimes you have ignore the popular projections. Hmmm. Could that mean that Kyle Lauletta might be another consideration at #15 (or with a trade down---or back up into the1stround)? Lauletta is being billed as the Jimmy Garoppolo of this year’s draft. What auspicious timing for Lauletta.
  • The Cardinals may have an interesting dilemma at #15 because Josh Rosen could slide. Rumors are that Rosen’s interviews have received mixed reviews---there are concerns about his shoulder, two concussions and outspoken personality---and he didn’t quite shine in the QB drills as was expected. Not sure Rosen checks all the Cardinals’ boxes---especially when Byron Leftwich has been insisting that the Cardinals have to fall in love with the person as much as the player.
  • One of the temptations to move down in the first round would be to add another 2nd round pick or early 3rdround pick in order to take advantage of what is a very good (Day 1 and 2) draft for guards and centers. Imagine how auspicious it would be if the Cardinals managed to come out of this draft with 2 of the following guard/center prospects: Will Hernandez (UTEP), James Daniels (Iowa), Billy Price (Ohio St.), Isaiah Wynn (Georgia), Frank Ragnow (Arkansas), Austin Corbett (Nevada), Braden Smith (Auburn) and Alex Cappa (Humboldt St.).
  • One of the biggest and most urgent questions this off-season for the Cardinals: who is going to block DT Aaron Donald?
  • It looks like the Cardinals and Giants are going to be two of the teams most interested in acquiring UFA G Andrew Norwell. Who will win---former Panthers’ coaches Steve Wilks and Ray Brown---or former Panthers’ GM Dave Gettleman?
  • Prediction of the Day: WR Christian Kirk will be the 1stWR taken in the draft. Kirk is a more explosive and dynamic playmaker than Calvin Ridley.
  • If the Cardinals sign their starting QB in free agency or via a trade, and Christian Kirk is sitting there at #15, would the Cardinals take him? Kirk is precisely the kind of playmaker the Cardinals need to compliment Johnson and Fitzgerald.

Supreme kudos to LB Shaquem Griffin (Central Florida) for putting up 20 reps at 225 with a prosthetic hand. Would love to see the Cardinals draft this young man. Griffin is a paragon of physicality and effort.