Coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves held their pre-draft press conference today. No surprise — they did not announce their preferred player to be available when they select fifth overall. But some of the things they did say:
— Graves said the Cardinals have taken some phone calls from teams about the fifth pick and he expects to take more as the time to make the choice approaches. Whether the Cards actually would deal it would depend on the offer and the players available at that time.
— Whisenhunt, who earlier in interviews had said he didn’t “see a Sam Bradford” in this draft clarified to say that meant there wasn’t a top QB with a lengthy body of college work. The QBs available, among them the top candidates Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, just have a shorter resume and it makes them harder to evaluate.
— Whisenhunt also acknowledged opinions are “all over the place” on the QBs available.
— Asked about needing an impact player at No. 5, and the idea a rookie quarterback wouldn’t necessarily make that immediate impact, Whisenhunt said “I wouldn’t pigeon-hole a decision for that pick.”
— The Cards are dealing with the flip-flop of having free agency after the draft this offseason because of the lockout. Do they relish the change? Not necessarily. “We are creatures of habit,” Whisenhunt said. “This is something different. It’s something we adjust to.”
— A young quarterback can succeed but he has to have the right support around him. Do the Cards have the right people in place to support a rookie QB? Not last year, Whisenhunt said. “That’s what we’re in the process of trying to fix now.”
— Cards have hosted a bunch of players pre-draft, between 20 and 30, Whisenhunt estimated (I do believe I have run into one or two in the building).
I’ll have a story up later today.
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