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Blogs

Take offense? Or get defensive?

Posted by Darren Urban on January 28, 2014 – 12:47 pm

When the Super Bowl is played Sunday, it will feature the best offense in the NFL — Denver scored 606 points this season, an incredible 37.9 per game — against the best defense in the NFL — Seattle not only allowed the fewest yards, but also the fewest points this season. A tangible example of the irresistible force meeting the immovable object. It’s hard not to see it as the answer about that “defense wins championships” cliché that floats out there.

It also got me thinking about the Cardinals, and their better recent teams.

The 2008 Cardinals made the Super Bowl after scoring 427 regular-season points (26.7 points a game) and followed up in the playoffs with 30, 33 and 32 points before scoring 23 in the Super Bowl. Of course, that team allowed 426 points, which is why they eeked out a 9-7 record. It was a potent offense. This season, the Cardinals put together 10 wins in large part because of the defense. The Cards were tops in the league in run defense, sixth overall and seventh in scoring defense. It would be interesting to consider that 2008 offense — Kurt Warner, Fitz in his prime, Anquan Boldin, 1,000-yard Steve Breaston and the Edge/Hightower RB tag-team going against the 2013 Cardinals defense.

Which is the better path to take? It’s hard not to think that defense wins titles. It’d be good to see Peyton Manning win another Super Bowl, but I’m not totally sure why the Seahawks aren’t favored in this game, at least a little. Maybe it’s because of last year’s Super Bowl, when a couple of defensive-dominant teams ended up playing in a scorefest. That was in the climate-controlled Superdome, though, and Manning won’t have that advantage Sunday.

As far as the score-first Cardinals versus the defense-first Cards? There’s a reason why Kurt Warner has said this year’s Cardinals team was better than his 2008 version. Part of that was that this year’s team could score a little bit too — with 379 points (23.7 a game) it wasn’t like the Cardinals couldn’t find their way into the end zone. I’d argue that Andre Ellington gave the offense an explosive element that 2008 offense didn’t really have either. Nevertheless, it’s a great debate to have.

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Posted in Blog | 31 Comments »


31 Responses to “Take offense? Or get defensive?”

  1. By Dynosoar on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    We play fantasy football, non? I’d love a 2008 Warner led offense WITH a 2013 Defense. That’s the team I want on the field, or the 2014 equivalent.

  2. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Darren,

    You know I have posted several times that I felt this team was better than the 2008 team.

    I think you stated why. We were number 1 against the run, making teams throw the ball. We had a dominate pass rusher in Abraham and a DC who knew how to dial up pressure. It all lead to the 6th ranked defense.

    But in the second half of the season, you began to see this first year offense gel. I heard Manning say it takes years for a QB and his receivers to get their timing down. Early in the season, you saw the offense struggle with that. Later in the season, I think they started to gel.

    Players didn’t want the season to end because they were just getting to see a glimpse of how good the team could be. This offense was just hitting its stride and the defense was in full throttle.

    You are right Dyno, there is no reason, with a good offseason, that we won’t have a 2008 offense and a 2013 defense in 2014.

  3. By Mike G on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren–Hope all is well! I like Seattle in this Super Bowl. I think they can slow Manning down just enough to win the game. I think Lynch is the difference in this game. Playing in NY should favor Seattle slightly.I think Seattle is a better all around team. Comparing the 2008 Cardinals to the 2013 team is interesting. I think Warner’s team has the better offense and the 2013 team is certainly better defensively. I think if they played it would be a coin flip— Turnovers certainly would be the difference! —–I still can’t believe Harrison ran that interception back 100 yards in that 2008 Super bowl!!! If the Card’s were just able to tackle him during that return the Card’s would only have been trailing 10-7 at the half and certainly would not of had to play as much of a catchup game in the 2nd half. Hey Darren–What was your first Super Bowl that you remember watching as a youngster???? and what was your most exciting game to watch excluding the 2008 Cardinal game?????

  4. By D on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    If Belicheck calls again for Larry, I would ask for Nate Solder and a 3rd round pick. I know it would never happen trading the face of the franchise, but if Larry won’t redue his large cap hit this year, Keim has to think long and hard about this…

  5. By Sean44 on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Players need to work on learning from their teachers, and doing their best, and having fun while doing it. Cardinals have the ability to be a top 5 defense and top 10 offense next year. Why debate offense or defense, when Arizona has all the talent to do both. Screw the statistics, the talent is there.

    Fitz is not past his prime. No one gets Revis stuck on them in the Pro bowl if their past their prime. If Fitz is past his prime, he is not eating right. Maybe not stretching enough. Maybe he is a bit slower now, but he can train to get faster. Lose a few lbs, trade some standing strength for speed. Make the defensive backs go Damn I don’t remember him being this fast. What ever weight he plays at he will have his big hands. Maybe Fitz gets too high-strung when playing, and needs to have a younger mentality. What options does Fitzgerald have to increase his speed? Weight isn’t everything, he can get stronger with technique. F = ma is a short hand equation in Physic for Force is mass time acceleration. Fitzgerald can be stronger if he accelerates faster.

    Its a good day to train. Arizona has the best training weather this time of year.

  6. By jeffgollin on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    There are no set rules – every new matchup is unique.

    That said – I enjoyed watching the Cardinals with a lights-out defense more than the Super Bowl Cardinals with Fitz, Q and Kurt.

  7. By jeffgollin on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Each team and its competitive context is unique, so who’s to say whether or not this latest defense-laden version of the Cardinals is better or worse than the offense-powered Super Bowl Cardinals?

    That said – I enjoyed this year’s Cardinal team more than any Cardinal team that came before it (probably because of its lights-out defense).

  8. By georgiebird on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Agree this years team was better than 2008. However, 25 years from now someone will look at the 2008 team with HOFs Boldin, Larry, Warner, and Edge and say that was a great team (even though Warner and Edge were at the end).

  9. By Dre on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    I think last year Super Bowl was going to be a blow out . If the lights didn’t go out the nfl would of been pissed. This year team great d 08 team great offense who would win idk. I think Seahawks are going to win this game.

  10. By ored on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    agree,much to be excited for next year,whole team improves and just maybe we get thru it without major injuries.looking at all the draft picks the rams and 9ers have makes one a little envious…until you start thinking about all the talent we have coming back off injuries,sort of equals it out,also once we get the o-line,mainly LT sorted,it will have a three fold benefit,better running game,better qb play,which leads to better reciever play,would be so nice to see the qb with protection.just good to have coach and management agree that getting a qb is only half the equation,keeping him upright and allowing him time and room to operate lets him play to his abilities.

  11. By Nor cal cards fan on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Are u suggesting that Fitz is no longer in his prime..?

  12. By jasonc on Jan 28, 2014 | Reply

    Well, senior all star games are complete and now we’re on to the combine. It seems like a good time to throw out another mock draft. For this exercise I’ve decided to continue to use cbssports.com prospect rankings, however I will not pick any player above our draft selection number…so only players ranked 20 or higher and so on. I will list them in rank order and then as usual I will have my selection after the commentary.

    Round 1: Hasean Clinton-Dix S/Justin Gilbert CB/RaShede Hageman DT/Calvin Pryor S

    The Senior Bowl really killed the mock draft I wanted to have, because with all the praise Zack Martin received I went back and forced myself to watch more video of him and even though I emphatically said we should not draft him previously I had a change of heart. He has climbed to #12 on cbssports.com rankings and has jumped Cyrus Kouandjio on a few boards. If you are a person who thinks we should draft o-line in the first round Kouandjio has fallen to #24 on the big board and Yankey and Morgan Moses are fringe first round guys right now so they’re all in the mix. I liked what I saw from Moses this week and while he isn’t aesthetically pleasing he gets the job done (my apologies to whoever I told over drafted Moses on their mock draft, I was wrong). I know that it is a popular opinion that we need a safety and I have mocked a safety at this pick before because I REALLY like Calvin Pryor and if we take a safety I’m ok with it, but I like what Jefferson did down the stretch and with Rashard and Tyrann coming back I’m ok with this position. We are going to lose two CB’s to free agency with Cason and Arenas, and Powers has a pricey contract that if released this year would save 2.75 million and 3.5 million in 2015, just saying. Josh Weinfuss doesn’t see CB as a need because Tyrann moves down to the slot in nickel and that Cason never really saw the field when Tyrann was healthy, but for the near future were going to need a new Cason to cover for Tyrann until he is completely healthy and in the long term Gilbert would be an upgrade physically and fiscally. Josh thinks that we need a tall fast safety to cover TE’s but I looked up the numbers and the thought that we can’t cover TE’s, is an overrated idea: after week 6 only one TE went over 55 yards and no TE went over 68 yards on our defense. We only gave up three 100 games and only one other time did we give up more than 70 yards, so that’s 4 games total where the other teams primary TE went for over 70. Two of the TE’s that went over 100 we faced later in the season and neither player went over 50 yards in the rematch. Six times last year we held the TE to under 30 yards and in three of those games the TE failed to reach 20 yards including one shut out. Not to mention that Matt Miller said that he would draft Gilbert over any CB not named Patrick Peterson in the last three draft classes. He is a playmaker on defense and when he gets the ball in his hands he turns it into instant offense. He returned 6 kickoffs for TD’s in his career at Oklahoma State and had 7 INT’s last year taking two of those to the house. I honestly get giddy thinking about this guy starting across from PP.

    Justin Gilbert CB Oklahoma State

    Round 2: Antonio Richardson T/Jimmy Garoppolo QB/Deone Bucannon S/Troy Niklas TE

    Again, the Senior Bowl KILLED my mock draft because I was ready to mock Dee Ford to this pick until he SHOT up the rankings to #18 and thus out of our pick range. Interestingly enough with all of the other players moving up the board it has dropped Antonio Richardson down to #53 and if he is available the Cardinals would run up to the podium and personally hand that card in. He has all the potential in the world and would be a steal in the second round. Jimmy Garoppolo, it could be argued, made the most of his time during these last two weeks of all star games and practices. He looks confident and quick in the pocket without looking rushed. He doesn’t possess the elite size, arm or school but he looks the part. Not sure if he’d fit BA’s scheme, it’s obvious that BA has a “type” of QB and Jimmy might not make the cut. Deone Bucannon is in the second tier of safeties behind HCD and Pryor, but I think he’ll be just as good in the NFL, this guy brings the wood in run support. Troy Niklas is a good looking TE and I think if we were able to get a LT in round one he might get more consideration here.

    Antonio Richardson T Tennessee

    Round 3: Jeremiah Attaochu OLB/Stanley Jean-Baptiste CB/Weston Richburg C/Zach Mettenberger QB

    Jeremiah Attaochu has 22.5 sacks over the last two years so he has the ability to get to the QB and he measured in at an impressive 6’3 252. He improved his play in space as the practices went on so I think he can make the transition to 3-4 OLB. SJB is all the rage of CB’s today with his Shermanesque size and transition from WR but since we took Gilbert in round one we don’t take him. If we are committed to improving our o-line through the draft then Weston Richburg might a good choice. I watched his video against Alabama and he looks good, doesn’t give up pressure on pass downs, has the ability to pull on running plays and gets to the second level on combo blocks. He probably wouldn’t be able to unseat Lyle this year but he’d be an upgrade of Gibson and a future replacement for Lyle at center whose contract might become an issue in 2015. Zach Mettenberger is BA’s type, a 6’5 QB with a strong arm. He had the injury to his knee, but with our stability at QB he wouldn’t need to be active this season anyway and it’s not like his game was predicated on athleticism and running, he is a true pocket passer.

    Weston Richburg C Colorado State

    Round 4: Jaylen Watkins CB/Jordan Tripp OLB/Dion Bailey S/Brandon Thomas G

    Jaylen Watkins (brother of Clemson WR Sammy Watkins) played safety for the Gators last year because of the high profile juniors Purifoy and Robertson that the Gators had at CB, but during the senior bowl practices Jaylen Watkins showed above average coverage skills and that, along with his versatility, is extremely intriguing. Jordan Tripp is an “if” pick, an athletic dynamo who I think would transition to ILB for us in the event we couldn’t resign Dansby. He would give us depth at ILB allow us to release Brinkley and would pair nice with Kevin Minter coming in on passing downs. Dion Bailey is a prospect that I had on my first mock and a guy I still really like, he played some linebacker in college so he is physical and a willing tackler and he had 5 INT’s last year so he has playmaking ability. Brandon Thomas was a LT at Clemson and he measured in at the Senior Bowl at 6’3 1/2 316 with 34 3/8″ arms, much like Zack Martin the experts think his best position will be inside at G because there just aren’t any tackles in the NFL who are sub 6’4″, but just like Martin I think he can play outside and that versatility on the line is important when you’re talking about the 6-9 o-line guys, on the roster. Since we went back to back o-line picks I go with Watkins.

    Jaylen Watkins CB Florida

    Round 5: Chris Watt G/George Uko DT/Ed Stinson DT/Jeff Janis WR

    Chris Watt is a guy I noticed when I was watching video of Zack Martin and he just looks the part of RG in the NFL. Geroge Uko is explosive and I think could excel in Bowles one gap scheme, the problem with him is that he had a production problem at USC which is always a red flag. Ed Stinson is the same as Uko, I think either one of these guys would be project picks as eventual replacement for Dockett and defensive line depth. Jeff Janis is a small school WR from Saginaw Valley State and ran a sub 4.4 at the pro day last year, he is 6’2 and had a big year his senior year with 83 receptions for over 1500 yards and 14 touchdowns…that’s all I really know about him, but if he can replicate that sub 4.4 at the combine he’d be the kind of WR that could take the top off of defenses and a benefit to our scheme.

    Jeff Janis WR Saginaw Valley State

    Round 6: Marqueston Huff S/Brent Urban DE/Tyler Gaffney RB/Logan Thomas QB

    Marqueston Huff is a bit undersized for S @ 5’11 and 198, but he showed excellent coverage skills at the senior bowl practices and has good speed. He played CB at Wyoming and during the Senior Bowl telecast Charles Davis said that a friend of his and Wyoming alumni said that Huff was the best athlete on the Wyoming team…a team that has Robert Herron who is a player I really like, I’m in. Brent Urban is a 6’6 290 DE and I really liked watching his video, he uses his arms to keep defenders off of him and gets to the ball carrier, he also uses his size to get into passing lanes. Tyler Gaffney is another tough running back from Stanford and while he doesn’t wow you with anything he is solid and could add depth on the cheap for our backfield. AND……Logan Thomas! I know that most people do not like Logan Thomas and JTDG has even said you’d have a better chance at winning the lottery than for Logan Thomas to be an NFL starter, but I just like the guy. I’ve watched 10 videos of his games from all three years he started and I honestly think that he has a future. I don’t think he’ll fall to the 6th round because I think some team will be desperate enough to take him much earlier, but if he is available I’d take him.

    Marqueston Huff S/CB Wyoming

  13. By Eazy E on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    That was a low blow Darren with the ”Fitz in his Prime” line. You should know I don’t care how elite a receiver is, if the QB is average to below average, running game is below average besides Ellington, and O-Line was better but still not close to good or great yet, the receiver numbers and game suffers mightily. Fitz WILL BE BACK TO FITZ’S NUMBERS WHEN A QB helps him out sheesh! The man is only 30 and still shows consistently that he gets open and all they need to do is complete passes WIDE OPEN!!!

  14. By Rugbymuffin on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Defense.

    So many teams in the last 20 years with incredible offenses that have lost during playoff time.

    Vikings, Patriots, Rams, and Saints come to mind.

  15. By Big Ken on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    So it looks like the Patriots had inquired about a trade for Fitzgerald last year before the draft, at least that’s what I’ve read recently. I think things are going to get interesting in the next couple of months.

  16. By Dynosoar on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Mike G,

    and if the ref’s had called the illegal blocks in the back on that pick 6, it would’ve been 10-7 at the half as well. It is what it is, we almost pulled it off and NFL Network still ranks it as the #1 Super Bowl of all time.

    That’s ok, next year we have a very real shot at home field advantage for the big game.

    Go Cardinals.

    JTDG,
    thanks. I agree with your assessment as well.

    D,
    What? Offer this trade instead, Fitz for Brady.

    (Although I don’t want to trade Fitzgerald at all, I believe this offseason our QB who played I believe every snap will connect just fine with his receiving corps and Palmer will break the single season passing record.)

    As to this Super Bowl, I’ve always maintained the best way to control the game is not controlling the clock, it’s controlling the scoreboard. This is done either by 1. Putting up more points with the offense or 2. Don’t allow points to be scored because of the defense.

    I’m going with the offense in this one. Manning get’s his second ring. I’m not cheering for the Broncos, but for Manning. After all, I have two favorite teams, the Cardinals and the Volunteers.

  17. By Andy Kw on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    What is the cap room for the Cardinals?

  18. By rick on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    I was jumping up and down on the back porch as Fitz was flying down the center of the field. I will never forget the best football moment of my life!

  19. By Chuck 1 on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc,

    No TE???

  20. By D on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Tired of seeing the replay of the Cards lost Superbowl last drive. Our passrush on that drive was non existent, B. Berry was out of gas…and our secondary was a joke..believe only DRC is still in the league…

    I will be rooting for P. Manning….coming back after all those neck surgies is miracle
    and John Fox appears to be a good dude who had his own health issues…plus I don’t like Pete Carroll or Seachicken fans…..

    If no wind, Peyton will carve up that D with the underneath stuff…

    Fans and players could care less about media day…it’s only about media looking for stories and former players pushing products…only good thing is the charity work…

  21. By Darren Urban on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw –

    RE: Cap room

    I don’t know that right now.

  22. By jasonc on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Andy KW-

    According to sportrac.com we are negative 3.2 million roughly and we have a surplus of 5.6 million and change so we have around 2.4 million in cap space, but that is without Zastadil’s contract. Our front office has some work to do. That is why fans need to realize that signing a high priced free agent LT, Dansby and extending PP doesn’t seem possible.

    Chuck1-

    I’ve posted a couple of times before about the TE in BA’s offense and I just don’t see it. If you go back and look at the TE’s that have played for him it isn’t the weapon that people seem to think it is. He likes to use two TE or multiple TE sets but that doesn’t mean that we are in dire need of a Jimmy Grahmn, we need a Heath Miller. A guy who can block and catch that is why Troy Niklas in the 2nd or CJ Fiedorowicz in the 3-4 round range are guys I’d look at if the team decides to draft a TE. Not saying that if we had a Jimmy Grahmn we wouldn’t find a way to use him, I just don’t see it as a priority.

  23. By Andy Kw on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    I knew the Cap Space wasn’t great but I did not think it was that bad.
    Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Daryl Washington, Calais Campbell and Carson Palmer need to agree to contract adjustments.
    -Fitzgerald is highly paid and if he wants this organization to have a chance to go to the Super Bowl, he will need to reduce his payment by a lot but still maintain the years he has left on his contract.
    -Darnell Dockett is a beast on the interior but he has to understand that he has a few years left in him and that in order for this team to take the next step, his payment has to be reduced. If he does not agree, we will need to find a cheaper DT through the draft or FA.
    -Palmer, Washington, and Campbell have huge contracts as well. They play really well but we need to have room to sign other players.
    -If we can’t get any of these players to negotiate their contracts, then I don’t know what to say.

  24. By jasonc on Jan 29, 2014 | Reply

    Andy KW-

    It’s way to early to worry about the cap space situation. Wait until they make cuts, re-structure contracts and do that cap magic stuff. I think they will be able to figure out a way to get what they need to get done this off season.

  25. By John The Draft Guy on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    jasonc,

    You know I like Justin Gilbert.

    But there is still the FA. and with FA, the top 20 picks are going to change. I think a Lewan can fall to us at 20. If we cannot land a LT in FA for obvious cap reasons, We need to start praying that a LT drops to us.

    But again, I like Gilbert.

    My favorite guy in the draft is Khalil Mack but we have no chance to land him. But logic tells me we really need a LT to drop to us.

    In round two, do not be surprised if the cards land Brandin Cooks. (if he falls that far- personally, I would give up a two and 4 to move up in the top of round two to land him) That guy fits the slot wr BA likes. Explosive. Home run threat going deep or catching a screen. How could you afford to double up Fitz or Floyd. Safeties will have to back off the line giving another explosive player, Ellington room to run. You also know Fitz and Floyd, being one on one down the sidelines, will lead to big plays. Love me some Cooks. (Think Percy Harvin or Tavon Austin)

    Got to think those huge DBs in Seattle would not enjoy seeing this guy blowing by them. And we already saw what happens if the leave Floyd one on one in Seattle.

    If we can get a LT in round one and land Cooks in round two, this offense would be better than 2008.
    32nd rated oline two years in a row. Got to fix it.

  26. By Big Ken on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    @Chuck1 They like Dray and Ballard, plus Housler for one more year under rookie contract. A lot of these crazy mock drafts have us drafting a TE in the first round.

  27. By ored on Jan 30, 2014 | Reply

    always could look at the TE palmer threw to at oakland,had close to 1000 yds.,think he’s a free agent with the giants now.besides cook, there is a speed reciever from wyoming i believe,might be a possibility,read somewhere he had comparisons to exsteeler wallace,hopefully without the drama.maybe when licht gets settled in,he and keim could discuss a trade for their 7 spot,something that works for both sides,that should give us a shot at mack,if not then gilbert,maybe a top LT,or the ucla pass rusher,either way i would be for a trade up this year,we’re really close to a win now situation,what better time to go for it than to have a backyard championship.if we gave up mostly picks from next year and concentrated everything on this year we should be good for two years with some free agent help,then we pick it back up in 2016,really not much worse than just having a bad draft and missing on everyone or having a horrible injury scenario.so far we missed on swopes,coop,two lbs,levi failed again,minter did’nt get a sniff because of los play…so really we improved with free agents and better coaching,would’nt be so far fetched we could give up much of 2015 draft,concentrate on this year to carry us til then,we know we’re close with a better o-line,sign a free agent and pick more depth thru the draft,this is a pretty deep group of LT’s,add a quality db,at least it’s a deep cb class,and once our injured are back and everbody sees our intentions then some of the bigger contracts will renegotiate.

    it’s just a fast forward of keims 3yr plan,we should’nt have to take on much salary,considering we’ll have few draft picks in 2015 and it gives our older vets a better chance before they decline much,and again there is the timing…what better scenario than a home game championship.might be abrahams last year,might also be enough to sway dansby,hell even bring back boldin if 49′ers don’t want him,lol.

    i have favorite players in the draft i like also(a certain small school qb witih pocket prescence,accurate,and a quick,quick release),a nice penn st.reciever,a lacy type runner in hyde,and virginia LT moses(to bring his team out of the wilderness to a home superbowl)…but if we really go for the gusto,then moses might be the only one chosen along with more immediate concerns at depth,and of course our game changer,whether that be gilbert for a lock down secondary,or mack/barr to pressure the qb alongside abraham.

  28. By jasonc on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-

    I agree that free agency will change the landscape not only for other teams but for our draft needs as well. Mocks this early are for fun and to talk about players that I like with a slant towards the Cardinals that I don’t get to see on other sites. It will be most interesting to see what kind of cap space Keim will be able to generate and what kind of players we will purse in free agency. I think our focus will be on a free agent left tackle because picking at 20 we’d have to pray, as you said, that a left tackle falls to us and I don’t think that is a good plan. If we are unable to get a left tackle in free agency I see us focusing on our free agents and using the draft to upgrade the offensive line. Hopefully the picks we’ve invested with Cooper, Watford and Massie can come in this year and take starting spots which would give us greater flexibility and ease the burden of finding new guys. Left tackle is the one position that we don’t have a current answer for which is why it is imperative for us to have a plan to address it this offseason.

  29. By Dr. G. on Jan 31, 2014 | Reply

    Good reading stuff….lots of homework done here…

    Anyone remember my post last week – goes something like this: If we draft an OT to start right away, we could have 3 basic rookies on that line. Palmer is not getting any faster…. Free agency might be able to alleviate this issue and use #20 for a surprise player dropping down or a stupendous trade!

  30. By John The Draft Guy on Feb 1, 2014 | Reply

    oh, I agree it is fun to mock draft. I also enjoy finding those guys who are gems that the cards should take. every year, i get passionate about a few players.
    from Von Miller (was hoping he would fall to 5) to Ryan Tannehill, to last year with Kenny Vaccaro. I think my guy this year is Mack.

    Picking 20th is difficult because there are so many factors that will change the draft. One thing I want you to keep your eye on is how some players will start rising after combine.
    I’ll give you an example, Dion Jordon was a freak in the workouts and he went from a mid first to 3rd overall. He wasn’t a 3rd overall talent on film.

    Stick to the guys you like on film and do not let the combine throw you off. An another example was someone on this board loved Alteraun Verner. He just thought he was going to be a top CB in this league. I thought he looked good on tape but in his workout, he ran like a 4.6-4.7. I said he couldn’t play in the NFL.
    Did you notice him in the probowl last week?

    So, I guess what I am saying is the draft will be influenced by FA and the combine and GMs falling in love with Athletes and out of love with the skinny Tom Brady’s. But I find to be true is, the guys you like on tape are the guys you stick with.

  31. By jasonc on Feb 1, 2014 | Reply

    Dr. G-

    That is a fair assessment. I think the learning curve would be the same mentally but the free agent should have a few advantages over a rookie: maturity, professionalism, experience in the league.

    JTDG-

    That is good advice. Although, there are some combine guys that have done well in the NFL like Chris Johnson and Dontari Poe there are far more failures. The combine is just another tool that teams should use to validate what they’ve seen on tape. For instance: Player A looks fast on film then he runs a 4.3 and confirms the grade you had on him. I think Keim used a poor combine in order to get a draft day steal in Ellington. He ran a 4.71 at the combine when he had a bad hamstring and a 4.61 at his pro day causing teams to immediately disregard how fast he looked on tape. I think most people would agree that he runs faster than 4.6 in pads on game day, just ask Atlanta’s defense.

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