So, let’s say the top three offensive tackles are off the board by the time the Cardinals pick at No. 7. If the team were to go offensive line still, it would have to be a guard, someone like Chance Warmack (below) or Jonathan Cooper. Some say that can’t happen, it shouldn’t happen. A guard in the top 10? Nonsense. Guard is one of those positions you can fill later. Guard is one of those positions where you can get a Pro Bowler in the fourth round, or turn a tackle who couldn’t pan out into a top-notch guard.
Or, is it something where if you think he’s going to be a Pro Bowler for many years, you grab him when you can. That’s the philosophy of Cards GM Steve Keim, at least when he has talked about taking a guard high. Now all you have to do is figure out if that is indeed how Keim and his braintrust in the draft room see a Warmack or a Cooper.
Watching the ESPN blogger mock play out this morning, Mike Sando — with the tackles off the board, as well as pass rusher Dion Jordan — took Warmack for the Cardinals (page 89 in the blog). ESPN in-house scout Matt Williamson loved the pick, noting that he thinks the Cards need a guard more than a tackle. Williamson called Cooper and Warmack the best two players, period, in this draft, so maybe the “no-guard-early” talk shouldn’t matter as much this year. And maybe it underscores the overall talent level at the top part of the draft. There’s no question you could probably plug Warmack in right away, likely taking Adam Snyder’s spot (and letting Snyder be a backup for all five positions).
I understand both sides of the argument. I get why people would say don’t take a guard that early, especially when someone at a position of greater impact can be had. But I also understand why you would grab one if he can be a Steve Hutchinson-type. It again comes down to the draft board, the grades and who is still available. This is certainly a scenario the Cards could be faced with Thursday. Personally, I don’t see why, if you believe in a player, you’d let the position make you hesitate to take him.
(And all that said, I could see the Cards trying to trade down if possible faced with this scenario.)
Tags: Chance Warmack, draft, Jonathan Cooper, Steve Keim
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