About that draft position …

Posted by Darren Urban on December 15, 2010 – 9:42 am

The subject grew in debate as the Cardinals’ losing streak grew — Wouldn’t it be better for the Cards just to lose out and nab the highest draft pick possible? Andrew Luck, for goodness sake!.

Well, we’ve heard coach Ken Whisenhunt keeps planning on winning. Players have their own reasons, but none point to losing as a good thing. Plus there is the schedule, which not only included the hapless Broncos visiting last weekend but a trip to reeling, one-win Carolina this weekend (I told you the Cards wouldn’t lose out).

Couple of points to make here. Talking to people, unless you can get QB Andrew Luck, there probably isn’t anyone else to be available that’s worth tanking for anyway. And the Cards were never getting Luck. The Panthers weren’t going to catch them in the standings, and I doubt the Bengals will fall behind (climb over?) the Cards. Yes, I think despite Clausen/Palmer, both the Bengals and Panthers would be all over Luck.

That’s assuming Luck comes out in the first place. Logically, you’d think he would. But he goes to Stanford, his family has money (his father Oliver was a NFL QB himself and now is West Virginia’s AD) and compared to most, he does have some reasons to stay (although he’ll never be drafted higher than first overall, and the risk to return is large — I’d think Jake Locker would have gone higher last year than this). There are also those who have heard rumblings that Jim Harbaugh won’t bail as Stanford’s coach. So there’s that.

As for the Cardinals, they have one major factor in their favor draft-pick-wise. Their strength of schedule is so poor that they will get the highest pick of any team(s) they tie with (because in the draft, ties are broken on strength of schedule; the team that played the weakest moves to the front). That’s assuming they don’t tie any NFC West brethren. Even then, the odd games on the sked — matchupes with incredibly disappointing Minnesota and Dallas — will help in that regard.

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43 Responses to “About that draft position …”

  1. By Rich on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Defense – Adams and Washington are better in the lineup than Ware and Hayes because the defense needs SPEED!

    Skelton – Kid’s the real deal. Will have his ups and downs but he has all the tools, tangible and intangible.

  2. By Mark on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Luck was never in the offering. Cards will still end up in the top 5-8. Wouldn’t touch Mallett with a 10 foot pole. Locker is low 1st round early 2nd round and is a clear project. That leaves Newton (if he comes out). I would take a chance on him. It will take a year or two to get him able to read defenses, but he is smarter and more stable than Vince Young, has a better arm than Young, and I think is a better athlete than Young. If Newton could learn to read defenses then the Cardinals become dominant again. Hard to pass on that potential. Bring in Bulger, or make a trade for Orton (if reasonable), and hopefully Fitz resigns.

    If both Luck and Newton are gone then I look at Robert Quinn. Secondary look a lot better when there is pressure on the QB. Just ask Orton. I think Quinn has that Peppers-quality of being a game changer. He is athletic enough to move to OLB.

    … if those three are gone then it is a hard call on whether to go for a corner (Peterson/Amukamara-Peterson is more physical and Amukamara is more of a pure corner), or one of the 3 DL (Fairly/Dareus/Bowers-each is legit but bring something different.)

    Talking draft picks in December…

  3. By Blair on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    After sundays game you would even think about taking orton? He can have good games but in the long run the guy can’t get it done.

  4. By darrel on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    With both newton/skelton for the future would be great. We could possibly have the situation as philly with having two qbs

  5. By brad oneillb on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Psst darren- those of us that were calling for tanking for a shot at luck, were really just trying to convince whiz to go with skelton, washington, and schofield because we knew he wouldnt believe those rookies could help us win.

    I don’t think a team should actually throw games. i just think the risk to reward of playing your young guys goes way up when you are down as far as we are.

    I would love to see us win out with skelton and company, but i see no poiint in winning out with DA. I think he may be salvageable but he has played himself out of the hearts and minds of the fans and probably the coaching staff so its time to move on.

  6. By cards62 on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    We are going to have a very good draft position this year, and be able to pick up some good players no matter how we finish. We fans want the Cardinals primarily to play well and play young guys so that we can see how good they are, and definitely play Skelton to see what the future may hold. It just made no sense to us to continue trotting out Derek Anderson as we know what he is, and how could Skelton do worse than 6 points a game. The last 3 division games we were just horrible so it would not have surprised me if we did not win again this season after those games. I was pleased the team played by far and away their best game of the season under John (not ready yet to be a prime time player) Skelton first start. It will not bother me if we lose the rest of our games as long as we play with heart & passion, play well not perfect but well, and we get better for 2011 and answer some questions for next season. I would love to see us play a game where we run the ball 40-50 times in a game with Beanie and Tim each getting at least 20 carries just so we can see how well our line and backs will hold up and what John Skelton would look like with play action. I know the kid is green and we won with defense and Feely’s monster day, but the key is we played very well and won big after losing 7 games in a row and looking worse than dead and we did this with Big John’s first start at QB.
    Most of all we fans need hope for a brighter future.
    Thanks Steve, and Go Cards beat the Panthers oops I mean play very well against the Panthers.

  7. By Chuck 1 on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Draft or sign a FA tight end AND THEN USE HIM AS A RECEIVER more than once a year.
    As a potential QB draftee, consider Pat Devlin, who holds all of the PA high school records and has had a phenomenal senior year at the U. of Delaware and has them in the FCS playoff semi-finals. Who else QB’d at the U. of D.? Joe Flacco and Rich Gannon.
    Here’s an excerpt from the U. of D. website:
    “Devlin, a Top 10 finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award earlier this season, was nearly flawless (in the quarter final 16-3 win), completing 27 of 38 passes for 261 yards and putting the game away in the second for the Hens with scoring tosses of 24 yards to sophomore wide receiver Nihja White midway through the third quarter and nine yards to junior wideout Mark Schenauer early in the final stanza. Devlin, the national leader in pass completion pct. with a mark of 68 percent, also surpassed the 200-yard mark for the seventh straight game. “

  8. By D on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Cards will be in the top 10 for the draft–agree with Urbs, if no Luck, then address other needs. FA Vet QB is a given.
    Not sure the Cards would use that high of a pick on a LB. (Even though J. Miller was a good player)
    If not LB and if they like Toller’s progression and re-sign Breaston, Hightower and Lutui, then I would guess the pick if kept would be a Off. Tackle.

  9. By Chris B on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Chuck, we have good receiving tight ends in Spach and Patrick, but your point of using them more than once a year is spot on.

    We need to draft an OLB first. We’ve been too old at that position 3 yrs + now. Cody Brown fell out and Schofield is in the works. But we need an OLB that can start (earn his spot) right out of the gate. I don’t watch college football, so I don’t have names. But that’s what we need.

  10. By Voice of Reason on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Nice take, Chuck, on the Devlin kid. Historically high completion percentage is key in this offense (as has been proven this year).

    If they go OT in the first round, it has better be as a replacement for the last OT they picked in the first round. JB has been solid since he came into the lineup, and the Cards have had a 100 yard rusher in 8 of his last 10 starts on the line.

  11. By Voice of Reason on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    But I still take Cam Newton if he’s there. Ryan Mallet is a possibility, but he reminds me an awful lot of DA — this is the only year where his completion percentage was good. In years past, not so much.

    Locker is also intriguing, although his sub-par 2010 means he’ll be available in Round 2.

  12. By Rich on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    agree with Chuck – we need a tight end who can draw some attention.

  13. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    So if Arizona is goin after a good rookie QB are they just going to sign some wash-up like they did this year? I already see this coming

  14. By Rodgerscromartie17 on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    If Arizona ends up signing Orton I will probably hang up my jersey for the season, us fans deserve better than that

  15. By SteveDCO on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Darren – Didn’t Graves say he doesn’t believe in drafting O-line high in the draft?

  16. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    SteveDCO —

    RE: OLine philosophy

    That does seem to ring a bell, post-Levi. There are always exceptions to every rule though.

  17. By brad oneill on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    get to know anthony castanozo cards fans. he is an ot from boston college whose only issue with weight is he doesnt have enough. He is 6 foot 7 and pretty quick. He will most likely still be on the board when the cards pick even if we do win out.

    but if cam newton is still on board im all in on that guy. yes he has character issues, but at 6’6 and with that kind of speed and accuracy we can hire him a life coach.

  18. By Scharf on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply


    Whoever the team signs I will continue to watch the games. Win, Lose, or Tie. I will watch them from kickoff until the clock reads 0:00 in the 4th. I love watching my Cardinals and hate to see them lose, but to just hang up my jersey and quit is entirely out of the question. If I were you I would rethink that last statement, and if at the end of your thought process you decide you still want to hang up the jersey. I would recommend you sell it. Arizona doesn’t need fans that boo at the stadiums.

    You can get angry, You can get upset. But You should never boo your team, regardless of what is happening.

  19. By Peter in Canada on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    I think the whole point of whether to draft a QB in the first round depends on how Skelton looks in the next three games. If he plays well he is at least the backup next season and we should get a FA QB but not the likes of Orton. It should ideally be one who can play a couple of years while Skelton develops his skills. Unless the drafted QB is ready to start(unlikely) we would still need a vet and a promising QB would be on the practice squad like this year getting no reps. If Skelton tanks then draft a QB by all means.

  20. By Scharf on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Besides, Kyle Orton is not a bad Quarterback by a long shot. He has had his ups and downs, but it is not entirely his fault the Broncos are doing so poorly this year. There are a number of problems with Denver, including losing several of their star players to injuries (Elvis Dumervil to name one) or having their 2nd Year (now unemployed) Coach giving the boot to their star players. (Peyton Hillis, Brandon Marshall). Also, I am not just pointing out Peyton Hillis just because of his now amazing career at Cleveland, but because of his play when he was a Bronco.

  21. By Dan Crowell on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    I think that the Cards should pick up Mcnabb for next season and draft another position with their first pick. I think Skelton is going to be a good QB and Mcnabb could teach him alot if he can’t beat him out. What do you think Darren?

  22. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Dan —

    RE: Skelton/McNabb

    I think we will see on Skelton. I don’t think McNabb — even if available — will ever be a target.

  23. By Gary K. on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    I agree about coaches and players playing to win games, despite how it might affect draft status. I think perhaps you might be able to get away with tanking meaningless games in New England or Indianapolis, where the whole organizational culture is stable, but the Cardinals have had a losing culture for so long that tanking games would just beg for that losing mentality to creep back in after the Cardinals have come so far to change it the past few years.

    I’m also glad to see that people don’t seem to be salivating over Mallet. I’ve got serious questions about him from the neck up. I will take good judgement and accuracy over size and arm strength every time.

  24. By reap37 on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Can’t disgree too much on the dicussion about A. Luck. I just think the kid is a once in a decade (at least) pro prospect and if we could do a draft day trade, he would be well worth it. I’ve seen him play and he is the real deal. Shame if he had to go the terrible teams mentioned. With AZ, at least he would make a huge difference right away. He may not go Pro in this draft anyway, as you’ve said.Of course, we don’t know how Skelton may develop but there’s nothing wrong with having two good QBs on the roster.

  25. By Eazy E on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    And darren, that’s why were in this quandary now. McNabb vs. DA, Matt Leinart, Max Hall, John Skelton, I’m taking McNabb a million times over those guys and a million times over most qbs in the league.

  26. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Eazy —

    RE: McNabb

    I believe you would be in the minority, at least in the NFL.

  27. By Pheenic Cromartie on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Darren, what do you think about trading for Kevin Kolb? It would most probably cost us a 1st and 2nd Round pick, but Kevin Kolb’s only 26, proven, would fit well in our Offense with the WR’s we have, and could potentially be our starter fro the next 10+ years.

  28. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Pheenic —

    RE: Kolb

    Last I saw, the Eagles — if they even did trade him — want two 1sts.

  29. By georgiebird on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Let’s be real, no one wants to lose football games by missing tackles or fumbling the ball on purpose. Another dis-incentive for the Cardinals to lose on purpose is the fact that- over the past 50 years- the Cardinals are probably the worst drafting team in all of football. I can go back with you to 1960 and recite all the Larry Stegents and Steve Littles that have been #1 draft failures.
    Without consulting a book, I believe that OJ Anderson, Roger Wehrli and Larry Fitz were probably the only #1 Cardinal drafts who exceeded expectations. Some were better with other teams such as Ahmad Rashad, Garrison Hearst and Dave Butz.
    So if any team is going to avoid gambling on the roulette game known as the draft- it’s the Cardinals.
    And remember one (if not the most) important historical fact in NFL draft history- In 1965, the Cardinals failed to sign their #1 draft choice for a “mere” $400k a year and lost the player to the AFL’s NY Jets- that player -Joe Namath.

  30. By TBru on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    I thought their was a McNabb talk moratorium on this blog. I think right now we have to focus on the next three games, Give Skelton as much work as possible, lets worry about the offseason and the draft after the Frisco game. Speculating about players under contract with another team. I am sure we will bring a veteran QB hopefully someone closer to to Kurt Warner, than Derek Anderson (probably something in the middle) and guessing Max Hall will be the clipboard holder. I think the OL and LB are the areas we really need to to focus on upgrading.

  31. By Sedona Chris on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply


    My belief is that the Cards should trade their first pick off to someone willing to give up a lot… The positions we need help with aren’t worth high picks… Skelton is worth the time… and all of this talk about McNabb is absurd… the guy was a great talent at one time but he’s on his way out… Who do you feel will be available for a reasonable price as our veteran back up QB as it seems to be inevitable that Anderson is on his way out.. Also… do you see us giving up Hall to help secure one?

  32. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Sedona —

    RE: Veteran backup

    We will see. Someone like Bulger will be out there. As for Hall, I’m not sure he will carry much value.

  33. By darrel on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Darren I have two ?s do you think the. Cardinals are interested in signing hightower to a long term deal I knw this is the last yr Of his deal and hes really not franchise back a good one but not great … and does kw son still play for hamilton if so what # is he just curious thanks

  34. By Darren Urban on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    Darrel —

    RE: Hightower/Whisenhunt

    I do think they want Hightower around but I’m not sure about a long-term deal yet. He is scheduled to be a restricted free agent.

    As for Whisenhunt’s son, he never played for Hamilton. He played for Seton, but he graduated.

  35. By Keith on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    The cardinals had great draft positions throughout their history by losing and look where it got them. I agree that YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME! A culture of winning will not be sustained if players and coaches have such a lack of pride that they start tanking games. Keep fighting Cards!

  36. By Fran P on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    I think it makes the most sense to bring in Bulger, develop Skelton, and draft possibly AJ Green with the first round pick. Possibly could pick up Locker with an early 2nd. If we can get a big time middle linebacker in free agency then a receiver woud help out Fitz and maybe we could get back to a high powered offense. A little help at offensive tackle would also help. I think that could be achievable within a reasonable budget and really use resources wisely. Darren what do you think? Thanks!

  37. By Darren Urban on Dec 16, 2010 | Reply

    Fran P —

    RE: Offseason

    Don’t see them taking a WR with the first pick. And until the CBA is worked out, I don’t know what happens in FA.

  38. By Chuck 1 on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    For the life of me, I cannot understand the fascination that some Card fans have with McNabb.
    He was an elite QB, but is over-the-hill.
    The Cards do NOT need someone of his current ability.

  39. By Tarl Sampson on Dec 15, 2010 | Reply

    I would never expect the cards to TANK a game. I just believed that we should play skelton, and if we DID lose, it wouldnt be bad at all. It would only help us in the draft.ALWAYS play to win, but look on the brightside of things in all circumstances.

  40. By adrian mcgill on Dec 16, 2010 | Reply

    we also need speed for our defense play obrien schofield

  41. By Kevin on Dec 16, 2010 | Reply

    Wow, Skelton has one good game (that wasn’t really that good — I agree it was important for him not to turn the ball over, he did have good pocket presence, and there were some drops — but yes, the Cards dropped some DA balls as well and even if the Cards convert 3-4 Skelton drops into catches that gets him up to a 50% completion %), and people are talking about not needing to draft a QB? He did better than I expected and it was enough to win so that’s great, but I don’t see how anyone can think at this time that we’ve got our QB, or even that Skelton is a good long-term backup. He’s played for one game (plus part of one quarter) against one of the worst teams in football. He is from Fordham. He got drafted in the 5th round. Yeah, I know about all the guys (Warner included) overlooked in the draft, etc. because QB’s are so hard to evaluate and it would be great if Skelton turned out to be even just an average QB, but we really have no idea what we have yet. Also, for the people who think all you have to do is trade up to get Luck — there are 32 teams in the NFL, many of which would love to get him as well (including several that will draft before us). You can’t just assume that we’re going to be able to put a package together that’s more attractive than every other team and move up (if even the team holding the #1 pick — Carolina most likely — will even part with it at any cost).

  42. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 16, 2010 | Reply

    The more I see Skelton in interviews and on the field, the more I realize why Whiz really wants to bring Skelton along slowly and to protect and not “damage” him. No need to shatter his confidence in a season that will have no postseason. I really like this kid, and he’ll get a shot at the starting job next year.

    I still see a FA QB coming in for backup/competition/depth, but as long as John manages the following games well and doesn’t turn the ball over (i.e. loose the game like Anderson and Hall have been doing), he should be the off-season favorite to land the starter’s role, although you know Whiz will make it a wide-open competition, and the best player will get the start.

    Let’s just hope Whiz’s judgement at the QB position next preseason is better than it was this year. He’ll never admit it himself, but in retrospect, it’s plain for all to see that his misplaced confidence and trust in Derek Anderson was probably the biggest mistake of his professional coaching career.

  43. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Dec 16, 2010 | Reply

    Does anyone think the 49ers would pass on Cam Newton if given the chance? I want to win, but sure as heck don’t wan’t to see the 49ers drafting before us again in 2011.

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