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On the way out the draft door, some cleanup

Posted by Darren Urban on April 28, 2012 – 5:02 pm

OK. The three-day wait-and-write of the NFL draft is finally over. Before I scoot out the door, some quick hit thoughts/nuggets to tide you over until Monday (or until the possible undrafted rookies start getting leaked):

– The Cards didn’t take a linebacker or defensive lineman in the draft. That would seem to make it much more likely for veteran linebacker Clark Haggans and/or defensive end Vonnie Holliday to come back. General manager Rod Graves acknowledged that could still happen and made clear veteran free agents will not be ignored at this point.

“There are still opportunities out there for veterans (to be signed),” Graves said.

– Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean splashy veterans, not that there are any to sign. Vets signing now are going to be minimum, one-year deal guys. And I think the Haggans/Holliday thing makes the most sense.

– With 69 players on the roster, including the unsigned/tagged Calais Campbell, the Cards need to fill 21 roster spots. The vast majority will be undrafted rookies, but whatever that total is when it is finally announced Monday (and it should be Monday, but the list will have to be complete before they do let it out) will let you know if they are keeping spots open for vets.

– The offensive line got their influx of talent on the final day. I don’t know if Bobby Massie will be the right tackle starter — we all know how things go for rookies with this staff — but Levi Brown did start as a rookie at right tackle. I wouldn’t rule it out.

– Not taking a linebacker means a lot for Sam Acho and O’Brien Schofield, and in a good way. “I think they were the two high totals in sacks for our team at that position and when you have young guys doing that, you feel good,” coach Ken Whisenhunt said, who added that Brandon Williams, whom the Cards picked up late last year, as flashed some potential.

– The basically unknown Justin Bethel (you know, aside from his leaping skills) is versatile. Bethel (pictured below at the combine) said he didn’t know what position he’d play, but the Cards listed him at safety. Like Richard Marshall, I think DC Ray Horton likes guys who are able to do both anyway. As Horton mentioned, the Cards play teams like the Packers and Patriots, teams that send an armada of pass catchers out most plays. The Cards need quality DBs.

– Interesting to hear about the scouting process. Horton said he specifically wrote down during the combine interview of new CB Jamell Fleming “very smart player.” With new guard Senio Kelemete, a two-time team captain, Whisenhunt noted how he was an “intriguing interview what he’s gone through in his personal life and how he stayed focused on school and football.”

Bottom line: They keep talking about how football intelligence and character matter. Sometimes talent trumps that, but it does factor in and does matter.

– I don’t know what will happen at QB. Not sure why everyone kept banging the Kellen Moore drum — every team in the league passed on him multiple times. He won, yes. But so did Matt Leinart. It doesn’t automatically mean anything on this level, and it certainly doesn’t make it any easier to see in the pocket when you are barely 6-foot. Maybe he shocks the world. The odds say he probably won’t. You take the kid — Lindley, in this case — who has tools in which you hope you can mold.

OK, that’s enough. Time to go home. Until next draft …


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Posted in Blog | 38 Comments »


38 Responses to “On the way out the draft door, some cleanup”

  1. By Jesse Robles on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    With 21 Roster spots open, I think they could get a lot of both Veterans, as well as Undrafted Free Agents. I do like that Grimm has young guys to train, like he never really has had before. I really like the way the Cardinals have been Drafting this year and recent years. Floyd alone is going to open up our O so much, let alone getting Ryan Williams back. The Cardinals do have 5 Pre season Games to look at a lot of players. Pretty pumped for the season, as usual. NFC WEST!! RED SEA!!

  2. By Steve on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Darren: Super job keeping us all informed this week, thanks for your hard work this entire draft!

  3. By ringlaterra on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Awesome work Cardinals staff: Coaches, Scouts, Management! It makes it so easy to be a Cardinals fan when the organization does such a respectable job with drafts–especially the past two years. I don’t know how any of these guys will turn out, but I see the purpose behind every single one of these picks. No pick seemed like a shot in the dark at all. I’m grateful to you all for your hard work and very much looking forward to the seasons ahead.

  4. By Darrel on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Darren think cards would still consider chad clifton even though they drafted 3 olinemen

  5. By Darren Urban on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Darrel –

    Re: Clifton

    No.

  6. By Peter in Canada on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I think we will have done really well if even one of the three tackles comes good. I never liked Keith at RT and didn’t see him in our future. Good job by Graves and co. Depth on the O-line is exactly what was needed.

  7. By D on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I am surprised they didnt address the pass rush. I like the picks overall, but thought they could have added a OLB instead of a 4th Qb. They better keep an eye open on the UFA and cut list, because bringing back Haagans doesn’t help the pass rush. One player to watch this summer, Jerry Hughes. The new D Cord did not draft him and people believe he is a bust in Indy–D. Washington’s teammate in college, I think the kid needs a change of scene and who could be another Acho if given a chance

  8. By D on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Brandon Lindsey OLB from Pitt needs to be signed by AZ, go get him guys!

  9. By Donttakelosses on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Impressive draft. Bpa plus character … Bada bing! Go Cards. Proud to be a fan.

  10. By richard on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    love the pics they made, upgraded the line now if we can get some other olbs we are set this is going to be a big year for our team

  11. By Joel on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Heard Lindsey was headed to the Steelers…Reading a LOT of undrafted guys are signing…I think they should sign Brown from Troy…More O Line Depth…There’s some decent Centers too, Saulsberry and Brewster..but, it would be nice to get a Top undrafted DE and LB, whomever they may be?

  12. By Joel on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    The Undrafted top guys are signing with other teams, by the way…Not sure if this is really a big deal…but, it would be great to get on the top guys early..even the ASU guys are going elsewhere…

  13. By Cactus jeff on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    I give the Cards an A….with the Floyd pick I think Skelton has the inside track to win the job. I think they would have traded down and picked Kendal wright if Kolb was the assumed the the starter.

  14. By Rich on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    who is our Backup Center in case Sendlein goes down?

  15. By Dominaysean on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    So Happy with this draft. Good feakin job Cardinals :D

  16. By Hjalte Danish Cardinalfan on Apr 28, 2012 | Reply

    Now sign James Brown, from Troy. More depth!

  17. By dan on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Should have drafted Decastro.

  18. By SR on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Whats happening with Quan Sturdivant nowadays?

  19. By clssylssy on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    As I have said before, Graves/Whisenhunt/Grimm/Horton have done an excellent job in filtering through the talent and not just looking at scores and ratings but assessing character and how players would fit within the Cardinals. Every year you see guys explode out of college who can’t cut life in the NFL because they are too immature and arrogant to be team players. I’m proud of my Cards and what they contribute to the community, as well as, the game in general by not ending up on the police blotter. Sounded like we started signing a bunch of guys after the draft ended and I’m hopeful we’ll still get our OLB. I see the analysts gave the Cards a “B” for the overall draft which was still better than our competition in the West. Can’t wait to get started with some real football. GO CARDS! WE DO THIS TOGETHER!

  20. By Andy Kwong on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    The Good Picks by the Cards are:
    WR Michael Floyd (should start at number 2 Wide Receiver immediately)
    CB Jamell Fleming (speed is good, should beat out A.J Jefferson at the least)
    T Bobby Massie( has good size and strength and should start at RT next season)
    S Justin Bethel (replacement of Rhodes or Wilson in the future)

  21. By Darren Urban on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Rich –

    RE: backup center

    Probably Snyder.

  22. By drstiegler on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    OUR Defense is going to be top 5!

  23. By drstiegler on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    From BleacherReport.com
    “Competition: Jamell Fleming vs. Greg Toler vs. A.J. Jefferson vs. William Gay

    With the Arizona Cardinals’ first cornerback spot all but guaranteed for Patrick Peterson, competition should be tight for the second cornerback spot.

    The team’s third-round pick, Jamell Fleming, will have to play well to break out of a nine-player-deep cornerback logjam. Among his biggest challengers will be William Gay, signed in free agency from the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Look for Fleming to slide into the third cornerback spot about midway through the season after establishing himself on special teams, a role he says he enjoys.”

    In a pass happy league, this is a great problem to have. If nobody can get open then BAH-BLAM, some QBs are gonna get rocked (leading to fumbles) or throw bad passes (leading to interceptions). Either way I see a lot of turnovers this year leading to points!! Our D is going to win a lot of games for us this year.
    Lets go Red Sea!!

  24. By Darren Urban on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    SR —

    RE: Quan

    He is on the roster, and will fight for a spot.

  25. By Tucson Cardinal on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Overall, I feel like we had a productive draft.

    In the draft as well as FA, I like the idea of adding depth to the DB area. Given our defensive set-up and the opponents we’ll face this year, we need to be lights out in pass defense.

    Getting some young OL prospects was importnant as well. I am interested to see how Massie competes for the starting RT role. I also like getting some raw talent for depth at guard, and some raw talent for depth at tackle.

    Honestly, not to keen on the QB in the sixth round. Hopefully he proves me wrong and becomes a total baller, but as of right now, I would have prefered we pick up some depth at linebacker.

    Baller draft though, GO CARDS!!

  26. By DontTakeLoses on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Listened to each interview and watched each video. I like these new guys. Guys you can feel good rooting for. Go Cards.

    Only dubious comment from any new recruit was Floyd: ” I learned I can’t do what every other college student does”. Wrong minded. Every college student does not drink underage, every college student does not drive DUI. Happy with Cards choice, but he’s not matured yet… but he’s still a very young, very likable and promising player that will follow Larry’s lead… so I’m behind him, but short leash in my mind…

  27. By vegas4u2012. on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    @ steve.In regards to your comments april 28th(cards grab tackle massie) you took the words right out of my mouth.Positive energy creates positive things to happen.I was born and raised in arizona but now live in las vegas.The fans that don’t have to work on sundays & now live there are fortunate to be able to go/watch on tv.cards games +(suns,d-backs,coyotes.etc.)locally.yes i can go to the sportsbook nearby and watch all the games on the big screen,but it’s not the same. Go Big Red! see you in flagstaff.

  28. By cardsalltheway on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Undrafted free agent deals(32 teams)…
    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/09000d5d828bb384/article/undrafted-freeagent-deals-for-all-32-nfl-teams
    Cardinals
    Sacramento State DE Zach Nash; Colorado DT Conrad Obi; Arizona LB Paul Vassallo; Purdue FB Jared Crank; Iowa DE Broderick Binns; Arizona State LB Colin Parker.
    Are all those “BPA” from our big board too?

  29. By Scott H on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    I always struggle with knowing what to think around draft time because I don’t follow college football at all and I don’t know the players. And I’d rather not form an opinion based on what the “experts” say simply for the sake of having an opinion. But based simply on feel, the positions that were addressed, and some general assessments that I have paid SOME attention to, I find myself feeling positive about what they have come away from this draft with. I love that WR and OL were the priorities and that we got an apparent stud at one of those positions and several able-bodied competitors at the other.

    So…onward. Looking forward to training camp and seeing how the QB position plays out.

    I want to believe that our D will pick up where it left off at the end of last year but need to see it first. And speaking of picking up where it left off, hoping for the same from Beanie Wells. LOVED what he did last year and I sense that he has some monster seasons in him IF he can stay healthy.

    Seems that more WR’s are coming into the league and having an immediate impact these days. Hope that will be the case here with Floyd. We NEED another playmaker at the WR position while Fitz is still in his prime years. If Floyd can be an immediate impact guy, this could be a WHOOOOOOLE lotta fun!

    Other than that, thank God this draft is over so we can be done with listening to the Mel Kiper’s of the world and mock drafts and all that crap. Enough already.

  30. By cardsalltheway on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    clssylssy,
    ” I see the analysts gave the Cards a “B” for the overall draft which was still better than our competition in the West.”
    Huh, which “analysts” are you talking about? I guess it depends on who you ask…
    http://www.nfl.com/videos/nfl-draft/09000d5d828b8403/2012-NFL-Draft-grades-AFC-West
    9ers – B
    Rams – B
    Cards – C+
    Seahawks – C

  31. By Jzoully on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    Depth is what we need. Rocky McIntosh would be a great addition.

  32. By Scharf on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    @cardsalltheway – last time I checked, we are the NFC West, not the AFC West.

  33. By Vegas Khan on Apr 29, 2012 | Reply

    vegas4u2012, I am ALSO in Las Vegas, originally from AZ. Hard to look at ALL the 49er and OAK fans out here….You have my support here ANYTIME GO CARDS!!

  34. By cardsalltheway on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    Scharf,
    All you have to do is click and scroll down to find the NFC West, I’m sorry I made a mistake but I led you in the right direction.

  35. By CLSmith on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    The Cardinals are going to have a great season!! They are hot and on the move to a kickbutt season!!!

  36. By cobra on Apr 30, 2012 | Reply

    @cardsalltheway,

    In regards to your comment to clssylssy stating the cards recieved a B rating and you say a C+.

    This person may have gained the info from FSA. The analsyts or writers graded the cards as follows: 4-B+, 2-B and 1-B-. If I were to ask an analyst, wouldn’t be you, whether it’s for the NCF West or AFC west. I wouldn’t doubt of you searched hours to find a D rating on the cards. So, keep clicking and keep scrolling until you find the right direction.

  37. By Eazy E on May 2, 2012 | Reply

    I love our draft. Floyd was the BPA and will help Fitz and the Offense drastically. Fleming will contribute on ST and on D in my opinion. Massie could get that RT spot, we’ll see with a guy like Bridges there, although I don’t like that Levi is the probable LT once again. Kelemete will provide depth at a couple spots on the line and hopefully can develop into a good player. Bethel is a kid I’m also excited to see with that crazy explosive video on ST and maybe a little D. Lindley is a project and hopefully won’t play for years to come, because he has talent, but is raw, hence the 6th round. Potter wasn’t a bad selection either, some had him as a 1st round pick before the college football season, wth happened?? The talent is somewhere in him though if that is the case. 4 guys(Floyd,Fleming, Massie, and Bethel) will help us now either on ST or their side of the ball or both. I love our draft, great one once again!!!

  38. By William Barry on May 8, 2012 | Reply

    I think our draft was great—we did not over reach,and we got SOLID quality minded, high intelligent players, good role model type players….Floyd will be just fine under the tutelage of Fitz…Great job front office and Whiz too!!!!-Go cardinals to an NFC division championship…p.s. it might be decided on the last game of this years schedule vs SF!!!

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