It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: Arizona Cardinals.
The Cardinals have a few needs on the offensive side of the ball, most notably at quarterback where John Skelton, Max Hall and Derek Anderson currently make up the three-deep at the position—not necessarily in that order. A popular notion is that the Cardinals could look at Blaine Gabbert with the fifth pick, but with the 38th overall selection they could target a passer in the second round or perhaps trade up into the bottom of the first to grab a guy like Andy Dalton. It’s for this reason that Gabbert could actually fall further than most people expect. Other needs on the offensive side of the ball include tackle, guard and maybe even a receiver in one of the later rounds.
Defensively, the Cardinals need to address the pass rush. They’ll have some outside linebackers available to them with the fifth overall selection, or they could wait until the middle rounds to address the need. The secondary may be addressed as well. What’ll be interesting to see is what the Cardinals do if Patrick Peterson is still on the board. He’s one of the draft’s best players and if Arizona is waiting on a quarterback, adding him to play opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would be very tempting.
Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft
Round 1 (#5): Patrick Peterson, CB, LSU Tigers: As mentioned, this could be a very good pickup for the defense even if the position is not a dire need. Robert Quinn makes sense here as a pass rusher, but Peterson is too much of a talent to pass on.
Round 2 (#38): Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State Seminoles: Andy Dalton will likely be off the board by this point and Ponder could actually be gone as well depending on how the draft shakes out. Arizona may look to package a few picks to move into the bottom of the first round to get their guy. Who that may be is anybody’s guess, but I like the Cardinals to be one of the teams targeting Dalton.
Round 3 (#69): Lance Kendricks, TE, Wisconsin Badgers: The Cardinals need to upgrade the tight end position. Kendricks is a pass-catching tight end that would help provide a little safety net for whoever it is that ends up taking snaps for Arizona in the future.
Round 4 (#103): Jason Pinkston, OT, Pittsburgh Panthers: Arizona has to find help along the offensive line to keep their quarterback upright. An injury may allow Pinkston to be available in the fourth.
Round 5 (#136): Ricky Elmore, OLB, Arizona Wildcats: Elmore led the Wildcats in sacks a season ago with 11 and should be able to help the Cardinals improve their pass rush.
Round 6 (#171): Zach Hurd, G, Connecticut Huskies: Hurd could come in and help the offensive line improve, or at least provide depth.
Round 6 (#184) from Philadelphia Eagles: Steven Friday, OLB, Virginia Tech Hokies: Friday could be a steal in the late rounds. Arizona could use a couple of pass rushers to bolster the unit and getting Friday and Elmore would be a good use of the late-round picks.
Round 7 (#249) compensatory selection: Armon Binns, WR, Cincinnati Bearcats: Binns was very productive at Cincinnati and has some good hands. He’s not the best athlete in the world, but he could be a valuable addition to a receiving corps.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the Arizona Cardinals “War Room”
Please Note: We will be Hosting a LIVE CHAT during the 2011 NFL Draft. Please join us and take part in the discussion in the room. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions as the 2011 NFL Draft progresses in real time.
Go inside the War Room of All 32 NFL Teams
- Carolina Panthers
- Denver Broncos
- Buffalo Bills
- Cincinnati Bengals
- Cleveland Browns
- San Francisco 49ers
- Tennessee Titans
- Dallas Cowboys
- Washington Redskins
- Houston Texans
- Minnesota Vikings
- Detroit Lions
- St. Louis Rams
- Miami Dolphins
- Jacksonville Jaguars
- New England Patriots
- San Diego Chargers
- New York Giants
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
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- Philadelphia Eagles
- New Orleans Saints
- Seattle Seahawks
- Baltimore Ravens
- Atlanta Falcons
- New England Patriots
- Chicago Bears
- New York Jets
- Pittsburgh Steelers
- Green Bay Packers
Oakland Raiders (no 1st Round Pick)