Taking the thought process wide

Posted by Darren Urban on April 7, 2011 – 3:29 pm

Took part in a mock draft (it’ll be on sooner rather than later) today and got another version of the top four. I wasn’t told who took who, but by the time my “pick” came up, these were the four gone — Cam Newton, Von Miller, Marcell Dareus and Blaine Gabbert.

(That was the order listed too; it’d be interesting to see if that matches the teams. Miller to Denver? Dareus to Buffalo? Gabbert to Cincy?)

I stayed chalk with my thought process in that regard. I stuck with defense and went with cornerback Patrick Peterson. But … obviously, wide receiver A.J. Green remains on the board in that scenario. Anyone reading my stuff knows I think receiver here is highly unlikely. Highly unlikely. The Cards already have a top receiver in Larry Fitzgerald and they clearly want/expect him to be here long-term. Bringing in a second such playmaker at that position — especially when you very well should  be able to find a playmaker at another position (like Peterson, for instance) — makes little sense to me. You aren’t even sure you have a QB who can get it to Fitz yet, much less to two such guys.

That being said, there are those who’d like to see it (I’m looking at you, Georgiebird) and there are arguments that can be made, as long as you operate under the assumption the Cardinals see Green as an exceptional, off-the-charts talent. (I’m not saying they do, and there are those who don’t even think Green is better than fellow draftee-to-be Julio Jones). For the moment, let’s make that assumption.

The Cardinals aren’t sure if they can keep Fitzgerald, whose contract runs out after the 2011 season, long-term. He needs to sign an extension, and while both he and the team have said many times they want it to happen, Fitz has also made plain his desire to win, and that involves the fluid situation of finding a QB. Even if Fitz is a lifetime Card, the rest of the receiving corps is still in question. Steve Breaston doesn’t have a contract. Early Doucet hasn’t proven he can stay healthy. Andre Roberts, as well as he finished the season, hasn’t proven he will succeed.

Then there is the idea — again, depending on the grades we won’t know — that Green would be the best player available, too good to pass up. We’ve played this game before, back in 2007, when it was Levi over Peterson when Edge was around. Need was above “best player,” and maybe this year the need — other than QB — lies on the defense.

(But even then it’s not always cut-and-dried even when it works. Cards went BPA in 2004, because Fitz was the BPA. Would the Cards, who already had star-in-the-making Anquan Boldin, been better off with a top three class of Roethlisberger, Dansby and Dockett instead? Sure, Kurt Warner came along a year later, but it’s interesting food for thought).

I reiterate, I think the Cards go defense. I think Peterson would be the pick over Green. But there’s always room to speculate.

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58 Responses to “Taking the thought process wide”

  1. By Phoenixraven1 on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Peterson is the pick if that’s the order…still say if cBA is done we are swapping that pick…KOLB….

  2. By Mark in Chandler on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Quinn over Green

  3. By D on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Good job-
    Denver is just blowing smoke, they won’t take Miller, he’ll be there at 5

  4. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Miller

    I don’t think Denver will take Miller. I do think Buffalo will.

  5. By Sedona Chris on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    i have to agree with you on this one… we have to plug some holes on defense so that we can develop a much more consistent play… that being said, if gabbert is still around for us to chose, i don’t see us passing him up… unless we get an amazing offer for our pick… as much as i love skelton, we have too many questions surrounding the position (ie: will we bring in a vet)… i think our focus needs to be on shoring up the gaps on defense and rebuilding our lines (retirement, FA, trade, etc)… because you could have the best qb in the draft, but without protection, he’s going to be injured frequently (matt stafford anyone?)

  6. By Tom on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    I’m with you on Miller/PP
    If both are gone by #5, possibly examine trading down.
    The mocks with Cards going QB are ridiculous due to the poor QB talent this year, and the idea we should use #5 on a WR is also silly.

  7. By D on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Buffalo will take Cam. They need to sell tickets. Panthers won’t take Cam at #1.

  8. By B on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    I really really really really hope that after the lock out the Cards resign Steve Breaston.

    He is gonna tear it up where ever he goes next year.Be a shame to let him walk…but ya know Rod Graves and company are known for letting good players walk…SMH

  9. By Austin C on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    If you look at top draft analyst big boards, they have Patrick Peterson as the best player in the draft or ranked higher than Green. Based on that, if you are going with “best available” then Peterson fits the bill. If you are are going based off of “need”, then he fits the bill there as well.

  10. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Austin C —

    RE: BPA

    Well, what a draft analyst thinks and what a team might think — in this case, the Cards — might not be the same thing.

  11. By brad oneill on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    I can’t believe you put that wide receiver in the same category as fitz. The kid may be good, hell he may be great but comparing him to fitz is just silly.

  12. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Well, the point about not drafting Green because he doesn’t have a QB to throw to him or won’t be able to share the ball is questionable because if he goes, as projected to Cincy, he’ll have Dan Lefevour or Carson’s brother passing to T.O and O.C.
    Same thing if he goes to Cleveland (though not as talented receivers), it’ll be Colt McCoy (aka Max Hall’s SMALLER bother). Drew Brees Part Deaux? Uh, no.
    Darren, you may have commented before and I apologize if so, but IYO is Robert Quinn a viable option if Miller, Peterson and Gabbert are gone? Or even if Miller is gone?

  13. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands/Walter L —

    RE: Quinn

    As a matter of fact, I have commented on Quinn.

    Sure, he is an option. Not sure how strong.

  14. By Mike Ellingboe on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply


    Interesting thought about Big Ben, but I think Fitz turned out to be the wise pick. Pitt was able to shield him early in his career with a run game and “D” we didn’t have. Not that I would, but if there is a QB from that class I could exchange it would be Rivers.

    Refresh my memory, but I tend to recall the Levi pick was less to do with the Edge being here as much as it was about the O-linemen that were currently in place?

  15. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Mike —

    RE: Ben/Levi

    Well, you can argue Rivers was better, but I was coming from the angle that, had the Cards chosen someone besides Fitz, it would have been Roethlisberger.

    In the case of Levi, I think it was both. Clearly, they thought they needed to address the line first and, to be fair, as talented as Peterson was, there were big concerns about durability coming out of Oklahoma.

  16. By drummer-1 on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Heres double standard, I say draft for need not bpa,lets say you have payton manning as your qb you go 4-12, but you need DB, but the bpa is a QB do you draft the QB or go for need? I think if the Cards drat a QB with the first pick i think would be a wasted pick, they can’t have any contact with him once he is drafted, and when the cba is done still have to agree to a contrct, so he’ll be behind the 8 ball from the start, and wont see any playing time till 2012 season, so wasted pick for 2011..

  17. By B on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    There isn’t a qb that is a BPA in the top 5.

    We went need over BPA with Levi Brown over Peterson,’s that working out?lol

  18. By Moeisbetter on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    I just don’t see PP7 being the pick. We would have SO much money invested in the secondary in 2 seasons if that’s the case. We decided to let Boldin walk so we didn’t have to pay to receivers. Why then would we do any different in the secondary?

  19. By Eazy E on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    In that scenario, I’m definitely taking peterson even though green is very interesting, but I don’t like this draft, cam and von gone but peterson would be nice regardless.

  20. By Walter L on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, if Buffalo does in fact draft Miller at number 3, what do you think the chances are of the Cards taking Robert Quinn at number 5? He fits the OLB mold maybe better than Miller given his weight, and he has better repertoire of pass-rush moves. The only downside is he has to learn to play standing up. With recent success of college DE’s making the transition to rush LB (Brian Orakpo), do you think the Cards would feel comfortable with the pick or be weary because of the failed transition attempts (Cody Brown, Aaron Maybin)?

  21. By Robert Hugunin on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Draft Peterson then trade him to Jerry and the Cowboys. I think he will give up a 3rd and their first. Then draft BPA with Dallas pick.

  22. By georgiebird on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for the mention.
    Just hope we don’t draft Miller-historically, Cards are so bad with drafting LBs.
    No doubt Cards want Gabbart but if he’s gone let’s go BPA no matter who he is.
    Last year, a healthy Dez Bryant (with all his baggage) was the class of the draft- granted the two DTs were impressive. And Bryant established himself with a backup QB.

  23. By Darren Urban on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Georgiebird —

    RE: Drafts

    Cards haven’t been great at LB, but I’m not sure how that would matter with Miller. Either Miller is going to be good or not, whether the Cards take him or the Bills or someone else.

    “No doubt the Cards want Gabbert” — I, for one, do doubt it, at least at No. 5. Not ruling it out, but I do not expect it.

  24. By James on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    The Cards would be crazy to draft Gabbert!I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again,Gabbert IS NOT a top 5 QB.He’s a middle-of-the-pack first round pick AT BEST!Cardinals please don’t draft Gabbert or Newton for that matter.I would,as a Cards fan, rather see them sacrifice a season and pass on drafting a QB than see them draft Gabbert.I have seen a lot of his games at Mizzou and trust me he’s not the answer.

  25. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Eric Hill, Ken Harvey, Ronald McKinnon, Reggie McKenzie, etc..
    The AZ Cards have drafted well at LB, for the most part, Buster Davis and Cody Brown, withstanding.
    I have more a problem with the drafting of QBs, ergo no Newton or Gabbert.

  26. By Gang6230 on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    i think the cards dont go qb even if they are available, if they wanna build a winning team i think they go defense. the panthers go qb so does cincy
    wisenhunt philosopy is whatever gives us the best chance to win.qb will be adresses in the free agnecy whenever that happens.

    anderson gets cut hall goes to practice squad and the cards sign a free agent

    fitz signs and extention and 2011becomes a winning season

    what do you all think??

  27. By Phoenixraven1 on Apr 7, 2011 | Reply

    Do you see this lockout issue really making a QB that much more valuable to us? I hope if we do draft Gabbert it is truly because he’s worth it!

  28. By Eric Randall on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    The Cardinals are very foolish for wanting Gabbert, Gabbert wasnt even talked about 3.5 months ago….His stats are nowhere nere that of Ryan Mallet or Andrew Luck….Gabbert has a very good agent who built a superstar out of a mediocre talent….Gabbert is being compared to Kerry Collins. Are the Cardinals really going to utilize a 5th overall pick to draft a Kerry Collins type QB….Draft Blaine Gabbert and the Cardinals will be a loosing franchise for years to come….And they will inevitably loose their biggest moneymaker, Larry Fitzgerald…

  29. By cardsalltheway on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Good point(maybe) but how much money, I know A. Wilson is paid too much $$$ but who else?

  30. By Old Man Riva on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Crazy thought…if who you listed are gone by #5, why not trade down (not too far though) and besides getting someone else’s first round pick, get their 2nd round as well and we get 3 of the the top 75 players instead of 2? I don’t believe there are that many impact players available this year so trading down wouldn’t really hurt and we get to fill some more holes.

  31. By cardsalltheway on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Comparatively speaking A. Wilson probably doesn’t get paid too much. It’s just the most among the Cardinal defensive secondary…
    Michael Adams(CB) Unrestricted Free Agent
    Marshay Green(CB) Exlusive Rights Free Agent
    A.J. Jefferson(CB) Exclusive Rights Free Agent
    Rashad Johnson(S) $480.000
    Trumaine McBride(CB) Free Agent
    Kerry Rhodes(S) $2.425.000
    DRC(CB) $925.000
    Greg Toler(CB) $480.000
    Matt Ware(S) Free Agent
    Adrian Wilson(S) 3.5 million + 3 million roster bonus
    Total = 9.885 million
    I’ve said it before, the new defensive coordinator(Horton) ought to be able to coach up a middle round (DB) draft pick since he used to be a DB himself. However, you’d think Ken W. would’ve been able to do the same at TE since he used to be one himself:(
    If Von MIller is gone…
    Cardinals 1st Round pick (OT) Tyron Smith, USC

  32. By Jeff Gollin on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    I agree. Peterson would have been my pick (Some rate him #1 top prospect. And you can never have too many shut-down corners – ask the Jets).

    But there are other options to consider, depending on what the Cardinals’ board looks like –

    Fairley – If, during his interviews and backround vetting, he put to rest the off-field concerns – well… Darnell (who occasionally is used inside) could use some backup support .

    Quinn – If he is rated close enough to Miller, the Cards might opt to fill a need with a highly rated prospect.

    Peterson or J Jones – Breaston took a pounding last year and Doucet has not proved to be a paragon of durability. (And besides…you can never have too many WR’s…- )).

  33. By Jimmy P. on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply


    I know there isn’t a CBA yet and everything, but have you heard anything about possibly signing Nick Barnett from Green Bay?

  34. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Jimmy P —

    RE: Barnett

    I have heard nothing about potential FAs, other than the Bulger speculation.

  35. By John the draft guy on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    I hate to admit it, but you may be right with Miller going to the Bills. It makes a lot of sense, I just don’t want to accept it.

    My thoughts about Peterson is, I don’t know if he is the best CB in the draft. Prince may be a better pick because he is more of a true corner. Peterson presses well but has trouble playing off WRs. I see safety all over this guy.Could we see an upset at CB?

    Quinn is such a gifted athlete . He did sit out a year and is changing positions. Yes, those are red flags. He is the next best passrusher after Miller.

    So, Darren, at 5, Shouldn’t it come down to Prince Amukmara or Robert Quinn?

  36. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Amukmara

    He won’t be the fifth pick. I saw somewhere where one pundit thought Jimmy Smith was better than Prince.

  37. By t.c. on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    I’ve heard that PP, like Role was, might be better suited to the Safety position. Could he give the Cards new defense some flexibility in coverage that would allow Adrian Wilson to do what everyone seems to hope Von Miller could for the Cards pass rush?

  38. By CardsFan on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    I agree that I don’t think the Cards would take green but what do you think the cards pick would be if newton, gabbert, miller and patterson are off the first 4 picks. I feel like this is a pretty possible scenario and I haven’t heard anything about it anywhere.

  39. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    CardsFan —

    RE: Four gone

    Well, I think there is a feeling Dareus will go in the top four. I think it’s more likely a QB is there than Dareus.

  40. By CardsFan on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    sorry meant peterson

  41. By John on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Peterson is an excellent choice with Miller off the Board. Robert Quinn could be the surprise pick as he is highly rated and fills a need on the team as DE/OLB. However, Peterson does have less risks as Quinn sat out the past year. The Draft will be interesting for sure.

  42. By John the draft guy on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Interesting what cardfan has laid out.
    Dareus may be the top player in the draft and many feel he is a good fit as a 5 technique DE in a 3-4.
    With Campbell and Dockett there currently (neither truly a 3-4 end) , do you take Dareus?

    I think you would have to under the BPA guidelines dont you think.

  43. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Dareus

    You’d have to think about it — but only if you think he can make it work in this scheme.

  44. By John the draft guy on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Heard the same thing about Jimmy Smith. He is the Ryan Mallott of CB’s. Lots of talent on the field, questions off of it.
    I think because of that, Prince has to be rated higher.

    Isn’t it interesting that Bowers and Fairley are not talked about in the top 5 anymore? I heard Mike Mayock talking, saying the teams’ draft boards don’t have guys rising and falling like us “Experts” do. You have to wonder how much impact Bowers or Fairley will have since they were talked about as possible #1’s and Bowers had 15.5 sacks and Fairley dominated.

  45. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: “Falling” players

    As I mentioned before, nobody “rises” and “falls” as much as no teams had set any kind of board in the first place. Once they start doing those things after the NFL season, the experts’ lists start to fall in place — and players move.

  46. By John the draft guy on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    With that being said, Can you see Fairley or Bowers going in the top 5?

    Lets say,

    1. Newton
    2. Dareus
    3. Miller
    4. Bowers
    5. We have Fairley, Peterson, Quinn, Gabbert, Amokmara, or anyone else you want to put here.

    BTW, Mayock said in this situation, the cards would run to the podeum with the cards saying Blaine Gabbert. I don’t see the production from Gabbert and therefore am not a big fan. But then again, in 83 the 6th QB picked threw more ints in college than TDs. Of course Marino went on to do OK for himself. Am I just wrong about this kid?

  47. By Darren Urban on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Fairley/Bowers

    Bowers isn’t going high anymore. Too many questions about his injury. I just don’t see it. I wouldn’t be surprised if a few teams had him off their draft board completely because of injury concerns. Fairley doesn’t seem to be impressing anyone anymore, at least as a top five guy. Again, his resume isn’t as lengthy as others (QBs don’t count; QBs never fit into the “normal” equation).

  48. By John the draft guy on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Could Gabbert, Miller, Peterson be like these drafts?

    If you could redraft in ’05, would you take Antrel Rolle, Demarcus Ware, or Aaron Rodgers?

    How about ’09, would you take Malcolm Jenkins, Clay Mathews, or Josh Freeman.

    How about ’04, with a choice between Big Ben, Danta Robinson, Will Smith?

    All of these guys are probowl type players. A great passrusher, QB and Best DB. You would want them all, but if you don’t have a QB, It’s a no brainer isn’t it? How could we pass on Gabbertt?

    So what is the most logical thing for the Cards to do; Is it drafting Gabbert?

    or is this draft like ’07, where your choice was Brady Quinn, Gaines Adams and Darrelle Revis.

    That would set us back a few years. And we would all be mad we let Patrick Peterson (Revis) go.

    I think Whiz and company have a lot of work to do. Because lets face it, we don’t have a QB, but a Brady Quinn type doesn’t solve anything.

    I think you must look at Gabbert first. ( I dont think he is a franchise guy but experts like Mike Mayock say he is). If Whiz feels good about him, pull the trigger. But you can’t be wrong or Clay mathews (Miller) or Malcolm Jenkins (Peterson) went somewhere else.

    I’m a defensive guy and I would still take Ware and Mathews. Just like I would take Miller or Robert Quinn. But Gabbert makes sense.

    OK, I’m a little “all over the Board” . But hey Darren, you said no to a wr and wrote about maybe taking one. I guess the draft does that to you.

  49. By drummer-1 on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Stay away from Gabbert, why waste a 1st round draft pick on a player that wasn’t even mention’d in the 1st rd till andrew luck stayed in school, and why have another project QB when they already have skelton, in my opinion will turn out to be pretty good if giving the chance. I hope coach do the right thing and not take Gabbert just to please the fans and do whats right for the team.

  50. By Jon L on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    I haven’t seen too many mock drafts that have Newton and Gabbart going in the top 4 and Green falling out of the top 5. I agree with you that without a QB it might be pointless to have another top tier receiver, but sometimes receivers like Fitz can make a QB look better, If they think Green could be that kind of player it might make sense to take him. It would make it much harder for teams to double up Fitz every single play. No matter how good the QB is Fitz won’t get too many receptions if the D can play DC on him every play. If the Cards draft a QB i am going to be extremely upset. I could understand picking up a vet. but why get another project?

  51. By Mike on Apr 8, 2011 | Reply

    Bad teams stay bad becaues they make bad choices in the draft — even at #5. If the Cards have a strength it’s at Cornerback. Genius pick.

  52. By mikeso602 on Apr 9, 2011 | Reply

    I just hope cards go for Miller. If available, I think with three young lb’s (Miller, Washington, Shofield) and Horton to develop,we will have a young mean defense that we desperately need. Also hoping that our front line steps up we should be good!

  53. By cards62 on Apr 9, 2011 | Reply

    Darren I like your pirck of Peterson so I hope you are in the war room ha ha and remeber to get me Kyle Rudolph. tightend Norre Dame in the second round.

    I think great CBs are harder fo find than great Wrs and there are some very good underclassmen WRs. Kid out of South Carolina is off the charts,

    Von Miller I have grown to like to so either one is fine with me and I would not be too upset if those two are gone and we draft Green out of Georgia.

    I will be upset if we draft a QB and Drummer-1 makes a good point. This year with the strike teams will not be able to work with their drafted QBs thereby giving you another reason not to pick a QB in the first 2 rounds.

    Buffalo just wants to win some games so I could see them not drafting a QB in round 1. I would be surprised if Carolina and Cincinnati does not draft a QB.

    Go Cards and please finally get me a tightend.

  54. By DoblerFan on Apr 9, 2011 | Reply

    I think if A.J. Green is still on the board at #5, someone will be calling to jump ahead of the Brownies. Question is – do we take Peterson, Green, or trade down for an extra pick(s). Give me the trade with picks.

    Yo B, I can see someone overpaying for the fragile Breaston. He’s a gamer but I surely hope we don’t overpay.

    Has anyone heard if Peterson ever played W/R.

  55. By Bill L on Apr 10, 2011 | Reply

    The story is Fitz. If he wants to WIN, he is gone…….and QB is just the tip of the iceberg. Start with ownership……Cards are 4th from BOTTOM in salaries. Has ownership changed and will no longer milk the cash cow to death……if the answer is NO, color Fitz GONE………On to mgmt. Let Dansby go, draft Levi Brown, let Matt go(or draft him if you are a hater), pay Porter 17+ million….if #1 has changed, this group needs to go. Money alone won’t cure it, money can’t beat stupidity……..On to coaching, when your head coach sabotages your QB, acts as his own OC, thinks Levi Brown is worth a damn. Maybe he just can’t tell or work with talent, players or other coaches.

    Only way Fitz stays is if it is ALL about the money……..which it just might be.

  56. By drummer-1 on Apr 10, 2011 | Reply


    you must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning, just a ranting about nothing…. Please can we let the Leinart thing die he’s gone ( thank god), if he would shut his mouth and worked at earning a starting job maybe he would still be here, you just don’t get a starting position because you’ve been here longer. ….I agree coach sucks, I can’t believe he had the nerve to coach the cardinal too 4 playoff wins and a superbowl (what nerve of him he sucks)he needs to go..

  57. By Mario on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    I hope they pick Patrick Peterson if Miller is off the board. I’d hate to see us miss another future pro bowler with the name PETERSON stitched to the back of their jersey.

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