OK, the Cards didn’t take an offensive lineman in the third round. They stuck with the BPA, going with Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming, who did 23 reps in the bench press and ran a 4.43 40 at the combine and basically was better than the offensive linemen available.
“We’re looking for an opportunity to address the offensive line but you don’t want to do it at the expense of other players that can bring more to your football team,” general manager Rod Graves said.
Graves said the draft isn’t the only place the Cards can look for offensive linemen, and there are still five picks left in the draft anyway. There definitely wasn’t a sense, from either Graves or Whisenhunt, that there was a tackle who tempted them when the pick came up — not compared to Fleming.
Coach Ken Whisenhunt likes what Fleming can bring not just to the secondary but also special teams, which is needed. Whiz also said last year’s draft was successful, and in part that was because the Cards didn’t reach. “We didn’t try and fit a perceived need as compared to finding a fit for you, and that’s what we see Jamell as.”
Certainly, Fleming doesn’t have any lack of confidence. He talked about getting here and being in the mix, and when he was asked about playing special teams, he said “I have a highlight reel just on special teams.” I’m guessing he’ll fit in well with the Cards’ group of defensive backs (although I can already picture Adrian Wilson rolling his eyes.)
Graves said this has nothing to do with Greg Toler’s rehab, and that Toler is on schedule to return. But with Patrick Peterson, William Gay, Toler, A.J. Jefferson, Michael Adams and Fleming, there might be some decisions to be made (although it is possible Fleming can play a little safety, a la Richard Marshall.)
Tags: A.J. Jefferson, Adrian Wilson, draft, Greg Toler, Jamell Fleming, Michael Adams, Patrick Peterson, William Gay
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