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Watching those #Cardsdraft gems

Posted by Darren Urban on March 28, 2016 – 9:42 am

The draft is near. It’s one month away today, actually, and as part of the countdown azcardinals.com will have six videos to mark the time to this year’s selections. The #CardsDraft Gems will feature one player who was found after the first two rounds who has shown he can perform past the limits some of the draft analysts gave him when he was coming out of college.

The series starts with running back Andre Ellington — a 2013 sixth-round pick — today. Two weeks out from the draft (April 14) will be 2015 fourth-round defensive lineman Rodney Gunter. One week out from the draft (April 21) will be 2015 fifth-round wide receiver J.J. Nelson. Three days before the draft (April 25) it will be third-round wide receiver John “Smokey” Brown. Two days out (April 26), it will be third-round safety Tyrann Mathieu, and the day before (April 27) it will be third-round running back David Johnson.

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Posted in Blog | 23 Comments »


23 Responses to “Watching those #Cardsdraft gems”

  1. By jeffy1951 on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    To all those who criticize the quality of the drafts under SK ….. this list looks pretty darn good to me. I’d LOVE to see your critique on these guys! lol

  2. By Scott H on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Wow…just with those names alone, you see that this team has drafted pretty well. I remember hearing the reaction starting right after they drafted Matthieu that IF he could keep his act together and keep himself out of trouble, the Cardinals just got the best player in the whole draft. So far, that has appeared to be true!

  3. By Big Ken on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Right, now who’s this years gem? That diamond in the rough. This time of the year just drags on and on.

  4. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Draft;

    Come on guys. To declare SK drafts well isn’t accurate. (just like saying he doesn’t draft well isn’t accurate either) Here is a break down of his 3 drafts.

    Round 1 , SK struggles. It is a fact so far. Cooper and Humphries could never make to the field. Bucannon is playing a spot he was not drafted for.

    Round 2, a little better – He landed a two down LB who I think could be upgraded in Minter, He took a TE in Niklas who cant get on the field and then went with Golden, who is a nice rotational player.

    Round 3 – Here is where SK has done his best. I won’t mention the swing and miss with Martin, but John Brown, Tyrann Matheu, and David Johnson are all big time players for the cards

    Round 4 – He took Watford and Okafer in his first draft. Both guys are solid backups. He absolutely wasted a pick on Logan Thomas and then rebounded with a D Lineman in Gunter who could be a sold player for years to come.

    Round 5 – Ed Stinson, JJ Nelson, Stepan Tayler. In a way, he hit home runs here too. Guys who made the team and contributed. Cant ask much more from 5th rounders. Riddick was a nice flyer, worth the risk at where picking.

    Round 6 – Ellington is the highlight here. Swope, and Powell did not make the team.

    Round 7 – Funny, two picks have been TEs who did not do much. Christian was hurt and DC Jefferson did not make the team.

    So, grading our drafts, we need to do better in the first two rounds. In all three drafts, there were good players we passed on.

    Example; There was 5 interior Lineman taken in round 1 in 2013. Only Cooper did not start, with two being pro bowl players.How do you take the one bust out of the 5 lineman? Minter was chosen over LBs Kiko Alonzo and Jamie Collins. No matter how you spin it, that is not good.

    But when we get into those middle rounds, SK is grabbing guys that are producing like 1st rounders (Matheu, David Johnson, Gunter)

    So, SK, in my opinion, does so well in round 3 and 4 (Gunter), along with strong trades (Palmer and Jones) and FAs, he has made up for the weak drafts in round 1 and 2.

  5. By georgiebird on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    @JTDG,
    Pretty good synopsis of SK’s drafts in 2013-2015.

  6. By shannon robinson on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    You can cut a pie into seven pieces and everybody wants that first slice. Once everybody’s served then everything’s the same. More than with almost any other NFL team we have most of the players from our drafts still playing and on the Cards’ roster. We traded Cooper for Jones, so it takes one to get one.You’re jumping the gun to say DJ was a mistake or we”coulda done better.” Say that after he’s played right tackle for a couple years and we’re running over his side. This is not an instant gratification business. A little patience Johnny. I love watching Andre hit through a big hole in the line – off to the races, there he goes again. Now I want it on call.

  7. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Big Ken,

    I’m going to give you 4 players who I could see Keim “Stealing” in the 3-5th rounds.

    1. WR Kolby Listenbee – This 4.3 speed receiver can blow the top off defenses. With John Brown and JJ Nelson, he could add to an already fast receiving group, much like what BA has in Pitt ( Wallace, A. Brown, Sanders) . With the possible retirement of Fitz (hope not) and FA of Floyd, adding a guy like Listenbee in round 4-5 would be a steal.

    2. WR Jordon Paxton – Looking for a guy who is more polished, smoother route runner and better blocker than Listenbee, here he is. No, he can’t run as well as Listenbee but reminds me of Donte Moncreif of the colts coming out. Just NFL ready.

    3. Center Max Tuerk – Not much of a hidden gem, being on the top 5 of everyones centers, but getting a starting center in round 3 is a gem in my book. He comes in and competes right away for center.

    4. Hassan Ridgeway NT/DE – Ridgeway went to Univ of Texas as an edge rusher, but was turned into a 300 pound interior guy. As most edge rushers, he is athletic and can cause disruption inside. Could be a nice 5th-6th rounder.

  8. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Shannon,

    I will agree that grading the 2015 draft is too soon. I hope Humphries is mowing people down. The fact he didn’t even dress out can’t be a good sign though.

    I think the guy who is most difficult to judge right now is Golden. Not sure which direction he goes. He could be a Lamar Woodley or another guy who tries hard but just isn’t a starter.

    But there is no way people can still justify the Cooper pick. Yes , he was part of the Jones trade, which is the best thing he did for us. But lets go back to 2014, when cooper gets beat and Stanton goes down, only to watch Lindley lead this team. A handful of starts over 3 years for the number 7th overall.

    I love watching Andre hit a hole and bust it too. Wish he just wouldn’t get hurt on the play too.

  9. By Scott H on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Well, let’s be honest here….what the Pats REALLY got from the Cardinals in the Chandler Jones trade was the 2nd round pick. That was the draw. The Pats have tended to draft pretty well. So, they are probably confident that they are going to turn that pick into a player who is going to help them immediately. But we did NOT get Chandler Jones for Jonathan Cooper, with the 2nd round pick as a throw in. At this point, you would have to say it was the other way around.

    Cooper may yet turn out to be a player, but it’s not like the Pats know they can plug him in right away and count on him.

    AND let’s not forget that the Pats were probably OK with letting Jones go now before he was gonna be due to get PAID. That is now our issue, but….I’ll take it!🙂

    But Jonathan Cooper, straight up, did not get us Chandler Jones.

    That said, Shannon, I did agree with some of your sentiments. Drafting in the NFL is not ( always ) an immediate gratification thing. That is what teams and fans WANT. But….then, there is reality.

    To clarify what I said before about the 6 names listed above showing that this team has drafted pretty well….what I mean is that all of these players are anywhere from good to GREAT ( Brown, Matthieu, maybe Johnson ) at their respective positions. Others may feel that they should have drafted other players at other positions with those picks. OK. But they didn’t. So, if nothing else, they got good to great players at the positions they DID draft for.

    You can’t get EVERYTHING you need through the draft. Some of the key pieces have to come via FA or trades. Maybe this team hasn’t done well with QB’s and pass rushers in recent drafts. But they DID build the best / deepest WR corps in the league ENTIRELY through the draft. They’ve done well with DB’s, too.

    So, we got our QB via a trade and I have no problem with that! And we basically just got one of the best young pass rushers in the league in the 2nd round this year ( via another trade ). We were ( probably ) not gonna get something as immediately good as Jones in the 2nd round of the draft, so….draft picks can pay off in other ways! 🙂

  10. By georgiebird on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Since the Cardinals lost the NFC Championship game by such a wide margin, it’s probably academic that the Cards #1 in 2013 and 2015 contributed nothing. But if the Cards had lost a close game to Carolina, then the failure of Cooper and Humphries to contribute anything could have resulted in whiffs of major proportions.
    Regardless, SK (and BA) has done a great job of making September to January a very enjoyable time for Cardinals’ fans. Now, let’s stretch that January to February.

  11. By Eric G on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    JTDG

    I think Cards have to draft Tuerk or the best center available in Round 3. They have no center and must address the issue in this draft. Waiting to round 4 would be too late. I don’t see them going with WR with the depth they have at that position given Fitz, Floyd, Brown 1, Brown 2, Nelson, golden. it’s not enough of a need for them to address at Round 3.

  12. By Eric G on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Oh, and Cooper was a bust because of the broken leg. He looked good in the few games he played before he got hurt. Not Keim’s fault he got hurt. Fact is, Cooper was highly rated and it was the right pick at the time. Coop just wasn’t the same after fracturing his leg, he lost too much.

  13. By Jeff A on Mar 28, 2016 | Reply

    Keim does seem to struggle with the first two rounds and excels in the rounds beyond that. Although JTDG has a great analysis, I have to offer a second opinion on a few points:

    Cooper is a bust with an asterisk. You have to wonder how differently things would have played out if he didn’t get that injury and Keim can’t be blamed for the injury.

    Buccanon is a hit. Doesn’t matter he doesn’t play a traditional safety role. In fact, it may speak even more to his worth that a new hybrid position was created for him.

    I think I like Minter a little more than you do. He’s a great run stuffer and can be a force blitzing up the middle, but I concede he needs to do more to live up to second round billing.

    You already acknowledged in a later post, but it’s still too early to judge Humphries, but last season did not show promise.

    I’d call Golden better than a rotational player. He got lots of playing time and although he didn’t rack up sacks, he got a lot of hurries and was often the defensive player closest to the QB.

    Okafor a backup? Wasn’t he a starter? He was one of our top rushers until his mysterious non-football foot injury.

    Also, don’t forget the scouts who should get a lot of credit for finding these late round gems. They do a lot of research and Keim puts his faith in them to make the picks.

  14. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 29, 2016 | Reply

    Let me clarify a few things.

    Cooper;

    First, let me address the guy who was the 7th overall pick. What games did he look good in? A preseason game? There are a lot of guys sitting on couches who looked good in preseason. As for coming back, I have watched Honey Badger come back and play at a pro bowl level. Just come to the realization it was a bad, bad pick to take cooper. It just was. I said it then and still say it.

    Bucannon;

    It turns out he is a good LB. But remember, we had DWash, who was playing that LB spot before he was suspended. If Washington was a responsible human being, does Bucannon make it as a safety? Coming out, I said this was a bad pick because he was an in the box safety with questionable cover skills. If washington is there, are people yelling about Bucannon getting beat as a safety?
    This seems to be a good pick because the spot opened and turned out to be a more natural fit. And no, it is not a hybrid. He has been since the beginning a LB.

    Tuerk

    I agree he needs to be our 3rd round pick. even if you need to trade up.

    Okafor;

    hurt in 2013, rebounded in 2014, only to flop in 2015. the injury, to me, just shows his lack of commitment. So does the drop from 8 sacks to two. I see him nothing more than a rotational guy now.

    Golden;

    I have said it before and will say it again, he showed promise and to project him out over the next two seasons is almost impossible. He could be a 10 sack guy like Woodley was, or this could be his ceiling. I feel good about him, but you never know.

    WRs –

    It could happen in a flash of an eye. Fitz walks away after the year and Floyd wants to get Fitz money. Is Floyd a 15 mil a year guy? Don’t be surprised if you hear a wr called in this draft. Again, BA has always liked the Sanders, Antonio Brown, TY Hilton, John Brown, and JJ Nelson type of receivers. I would not be surprised if round 4-5 they call Listenbee or Paxton.

  15. By John The Draft Guy on Mar 29, 2016 | Reply

    One more Gem;

    Another name I wouldnt be surprised to see called;

    Jacoby Brissett QB

    big , strong arm, athletic QB in the mold of Winston. This is a better version of Logan Thomas. Has great touch and a rifle. Needs to be coached up. a perfect “role the dice in the 4th round” kind of guy.

  16. By Dr. G. on Mar 29, 2016 | Reply

    jtdg – – et al… Much appreciate the draft wishes and hopefuls… It is always difficult to determine how the draft will go with other teams after the first few picks. Your fav might be gone: but you still need a good board. Keim is heads above what has happened in the past here.

    Item:: It is an axiom that if you can get a couple starters, a couple backups, and some for STs, you have done well. Now, this is for the teams that are in the top tier of the league. For other teams, as the Cards were for a long time, you start just about every player you pick…and you become a AAA team for the rest of the league….the recipe for losing…

    For what it is worth, at #29, do not be surprised if Keim puts QB Lynch or QB Cook on the stage. The likelihood is that one of them will be there. We need Palmer’s apprentice right now. Barkley is not the long term answer…be well, Bird Gang

    FYI – – http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/prospectrankings/2016/all

  17. By Scott H on Mar 29, 2016 | Reply

    Dr.G –

    RE: We need Palmer’s apprentice right now

    Hey, I’m never opposed to drafting a QB when the right QB is there and you don’t have to over-reach for him. But I disagree that we NEED Palmer’s heir apparent right now. If Palmer were starting to look like Peyton Manning was looking last year, yes, we would need to address the future at QB right now. But Palmer shows no signs of wearing down physically, still has among the strongest arms in the NFL. Physically, I think he is younger than his age.

    Fine with me if they DO, but I don’t think they need to draft Palmer’s apprentice right now. I think it can wait.

    JTDG –

    Agree with you that this draft is already on its way to being a very good draft because we already got Chandler Jones in the 2nd round. Assuming the 2016 draft class doesn’t turn out to be a disaster, it seems like the worst this draft could be is good!

  18. By Dr. G. on Mar 29, 2016 | Reply

    Scott – – From your numerous posts, seems like I recall that you do not think Stanton or Barkley is the future of the franchise. Am I wrong? My view is that Stanton is an excellent band aid. And surely Barkley has proven nothing so far or we would hear about it. Arians picked LoganT over him in 2013. Camp might bring some light to Barkley…I will watch him in practice and hope.

    There are concerns for Palmer with the weird arm//nerve thing and the 2 ligament tears. He turns 37 before year end. He is a tough as they come, but I know many toughs guys in their 40s that can’t play in the NFL, esp QB. Do you want to be rolling the dice in 2018.

    I have not looked at the 2017 QB prospects – If Keim sees someone there, maybe they can wait to see what develops. But, I WANT THE FUTURE QB TO TRAIN BEHIND PALMER, not Stanton. Arians always says he wants about 2 years to do the grooming. Having the apprentice now is not illogical…we shall see what they do…

  19. By Dr. G. on Mar 29, 2016 | Reply

    Scott – – Please re-read this article, basically from the horse’s mouth.

    http://blog.azcardinals.com/2016/02/26/cardinals-will-draft-a-qb-unless-they-dont/

    But the search is important. Someone has to play QB when Palmer is done. You’d rather make that decision pro-actively, rather than having it made for you when the time comes…((An excerpt by Darren))

    ‘nuf said…we need the apprentice…

  20. By Scott H on Mar 30, 2016 | Reply

    Dr.G. –

    You are certainly correct in my not believing that Barkley is the answer for our future at QB. No ambiguity there, my friend! I don’t even want Barkley as our 3rd string QB right now, so….there ya go.

    Stanton, I have said I do not believe he is the answer for when Palmer is done. But never say never. Let’s not forget that – regardless of what any of us think – BA loves this guy and brought him here immediately after he was hired as our HC. And, supposedly he brought him here to be a starter. And BA has said he believes this team could win a SB with Drew Stanton. You can check the archives on that one, too. Does he REALLY believe that? Who knows. But if I have to pick a side, I say Stanton is probably not a starter here down the road.

    That would mean the QB position is yet to be addressed. That is not in dispute. Yes, as you say, somebody has to play QB for the Cardinals when Palmer is no longer doing it.

    But is that guy there in THIS draft, THIS year? I don’t think we know that. You can’t MAKE the right QB appear when you want him to, just because you think he has to be here right now. That leads to reaching and I really do NOT want to see them do that.

    All I’m saying is – if there is a QB in the draft THIS year that the organization loves, then go get him. Get him here now and start grooming him. I would have no problem with that. But if that guy is just not there in THIS draft, then don’t force it. Use the pick on another player that seems more likely to help this team more than a QB who won’t see the field this year or next probably will.

    I will end with your own words, my friend – we shall see what they do. And whatever it is, I will trust it.

    Man, does the draft take forever to get here every year, or what???

  21. By Dr. G. on Mar 30, 2016 | Reply

    Scott… I have posted with the graces of jtdg that Lynch or Cook will be a good fit for our QB gurus to groom…especially Lynch. Look up his profile and he may convince you that he would be a good choice for Palmer to lead… Keim will not disclose anything now, but all the so called experts like these two…later

  22. By Scott H on Mar 31, 2016 | Reply

    Dr.G. –

    At this point, I’ll be much happier in a few weeks when we can talk about what they DID. I always reach a point of saturation about a month out from the draft where I just can’t take any more mock drafts, speculation, etc. And I am officially there right now!

    But thanks for the tip. With your advice, I will keep an ear out for these names on draft day

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