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Home Runs for Everyone

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NFL: Los Angeles Rams at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

For those of you who have lost your job because of new leadership in the company---you know the sting and mental torment that Josh Rosen felt this weekend.

It happened to me once.

For any of you who knows what it’s like to be a lame duck--well, it’s brutal.

Thus, when I saw Josh Rosen’s classy farewell to Arizona yesterday, I was especially moved by his grace and sincerity. Sometimes speeches like that can come across as forced and a little disingenuous. However, I did not feel one iota of that from Josh.

Thus, I truly hope for him that this trade is going to turn out to be the best thing for his career. Often times, non-sensical changes in direction are God’s way of getting us back on the best path.

As for the Cardinals and what they accomplished this past weekend---let me put it this way. If any of us had tried to sell what the Cardinals did as one of the hundreds of mock drafts we ran by the board over the past three months, we would have been laughed off the board and called completely naive.

It would have been difficult to argue that CB Byron Murphy was going to be there at #33 or WR Hakeem Butler at #103 or S Deionte Thompson at #139 or C Lamont Gaillard at #179.

This Cardinals’ draft was so talented that for those who are still lamenting the lost value in the Josh Rosen trade, think of it this way. Let’s say the Giants did give the Cardinals the #17 pick in the draft. No draftnik could have ever argued with the Cardinals taking CB Byron Murphy at #17.

PFF had Andy Isabella as their highest rated WR, so picking him at #33 is not out of the question. I am still amazed that the Patriots didn’t take him at #32.

The thing is---over the course of the past few months, I have seen several of the most accurate national draft gurus mock QB Kyler Murray, CB Byron Murphy, WR Andy Isabella, WR Hakeem Butler, DE Zach Allen and FS Deionte Thompson, at one point or another, as 1st rounders.

Honestly, I do not think that Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Rich Eisen or Daniel Jeremiah would have scoffed at any of these players going in the 1st round at some point.

In fact. in Mel’s 3 round mock draft he had: 1---Murray, 34---Murphy, 38---Thompson, 69---Isabella, 84---Butler.

In Todd’s 3 round mock draft he had: 1---Murray, 20---Murphy, 57---Thompson, 69---Allen, 88---Butler, 92--Isabella.

Dane Brugler of The Athletic had: 1---Murray, 27---Murphy, 47---Butler, 53---Thompson, 61---Isabella, 70---Allen (That’s 2-1st rounders, 3-2nd rounders and 1-early 3rd rounder---6 in top 70)!

Better yet, here is where the Cardinals picks were slotted in PFF’s 3 round Mock Draft: 1---Murray (on the money for Cardinals!), 9---Murphy, 30---Butler, 33---Isabella (on the money for Cardinals!), 50---Allen, 58---Thompson, 97---Wilson (they have a very high rating on Caleb Wilson!).

This Cardinals’ chief focus was drafting players with advanced and polished skills who FIT key roles in the schemes!.

You look at the two 6th rounders---WR KeeShaun Johnson and Lamont Gaillard are two of the most skilled players at their positions.

In the 7th round, the Cardinals took three talented players who need to have their skills sharpened, which is exactly what the practice squad is designed for, although Dogbe and Wilson have legitimate shots to make the 53.

Furthermore---what is very very cool---is that with the addition of Iowa St.’s UCFA CB Brian Peavy, the Cardinals have acquired 3/4 of PFF’s 1st Team All-American Team in the secondary: CB Byron Murphy 91.9, CB Brian Peavy 91.2, S Deionte Thompson 90.7. Check this PFF video:

As it turned out, a couple of hours after saying his farewell to the Cardinals, Josh Rosen won the Home Run Derby at Fitz’ charity softball event and received a standing ovation from the crowd. How cool is that!

Well, I too am cheering for Josh and hope that he and his Fins experience the thrill and distinction of beating a Tom Brady led Pats team.

Furthermore, I am still on my feet and clapping for the Cardinals and what they accomplished this weekend. They were gutsy and dialed in. They stayed right where they were with each pick---they looked the pitches right in---they swung for the fences---and, for all of their efforts, in my happily biased opinion, the Cardinals won the Home Run Derby of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Now, the hard work begins. This time around, the young talent needs to be well assimilated, carefully developed and cohered into a highly competitive, tightly knit team. The Cardinals need the youth to revitalize the whole team and to force some of the fat cat veterans to reassess their complacency and desire to play to the best of their abilities---for the sake of the team.