All In the draft room, combine interview

Posted by Darren Urban on April 11, 2011 – 3:54 pm

So you want “All In,” here’s a chance to come pretty close – a glimpse of some of the behind-closed-doors things that go on before the draft. The latest webisode from the “All In” series is up, a riveting piece from Tim DeLaney that not only goes over some of the ins-and-outs of the pre-draft process but also gives some visuals of the Cards’ decision-makers in the draft room as the draft meetings are underway.

Oh, and I know I had mentioned I was lucky enough to be in the interview room for a couple of combine chats between the team and potential draftees. Tim was too – with the camera – and you can see some of that in the video, including a few moments with Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert (this is where I feel free to stoke the rumormill … if Ken Whisenhunt’s interaction with Cam Newton at Auburn’s pro day got everyone fired up, what about this!?!?!)

No, you’re not going to know who the Cardinals are going to pick if you watch the video. But you will get to see some things not usually on display for the world.

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41 Responses to “All In the draft room, combine interview”

  1. By James Sancto (English Cardinal) on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    Great video, it’s brilliant to get an inside look at the interview process and with one of the most coveted players in the draft.

    Darren, good job on NFL Network. I like your philosophy on our draft strategy; it seems very plausible to me that Blaine Gabbert is not going to be be our pick even if he is available at No. 5.

    Keep up the good work.

  2. By Joe Holst on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    Who were the top 10 in there draft board last yerar?

  3. By Darren Urban on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    Joe Holst —

    RE: Top 10 2010

    To be honest, I don’t know. I do know Dan Williams was No. 11 and Daryl Washington was No. 12, however.

  4. By az1965 on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    Really cool stuff… Thanks

  5. By SteveDCO on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    I think what you just said there is critical.

    Williams and Washington bith considered 1st round talent.

    Schofield was a 1st rounder before getting hurt.

    That is a lot of young talent to add to a defense in a year. Add the proper leadership and a pass rush and some very nice things can happen.

    Here’s hoping we get to see a 2011 season!

  6. By Mark on Apr 11, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, I know you said many times that the cards should draft a pass rusher/defense with the first pick and i totally agree, but where do they go if Von Miller is off the board. I say go Patrick Peterson if available, and if both are gone i would try to trade down. Maybe they can grab Brooks Reed in the second round as a pass rush option. I know all the mocks have us taking Gabbert, but I just dont see him much better than guys like Christian Ponder or Andy Dalton.

  7. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Mark —

    RE: No PP or Miller

    To be honest, I don’t know where they go then. And while I feel strong about them going defense, I guess I wouldn’t be stunned if they took a QB.

  8. By Eazy E on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cam Cam Cam!!! Only QB I would draft at 5!

  9. By Jeff Gollin on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Great stuff! Keep it coming!

    I was able to pick out three prospects that appeared in the video – two 2nd/3rd round offensive linemen (Cannon and Rackley) and our possible #5 guy, Gabbert.

    While a Cardinals/Gabbert connection makes logical sense, in past years, when lower-profile guys were reported to have been interviewed by the Cards or visited the team facilities, they’ve often become Cardinal draft picks or UDFA’s.


  10. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Jeff —

    RE: Combine interviews

    Just FYI, the Cards interviewed 60 guys at the combine (which they do every year). I have the list in front of me (and no, I won’t be printing it). But it’s safe to say they won’t ever get a hold of the vast majority of these guys.

  11. By Ottis Anderson Fan on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Very good job! I also like the idea that the video is available as a download for the iPod.

    I like Gabbert’s composure and confidence, but as said here before, do the Cards at this point think he is better than John Skelton who already has a year under his belt and significant playing time. Maybe it is because of his good looks, but Gabbert reminds me of Joe Montana (not that he necessarily played like Joe did at ND).

  12. By cactus jeff on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    What would your top 10 look like right now?

  13. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff —

    RE: Top 10

    Good question. My top 10 mock picks? Or my top 10 players, regardless of who is picking them?

  14. By cactus jeff on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Top 10 players regardless who is picking

  15. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Cactus Jeff —

    RE: Top 10

    I have to be honest: There’s no way I really know, since I don’t scout. My knowledge of these guys comes from everyone else’s knowledge of these guys. Also, since the Cards have the fifth pick, I’ve looked closer at the top 7 or 8 than 10, since that’s all the Cards need to worry about (God forbid they make a trade — I’m in trouble then).

    I’d have the usual suspects (Dareus, Peterson, Miller). I would have Gabbert in there, although knowing he’s a risk. I do believe Newton is a slightly bigger risk, although I do think he has bigger upside. I think, with QBs at a premium — and since it seems more top 10 guys carry warts this season than most seasons, for some reason — Newton probably belongs in there. I think both receivers (Green and Jones) belong in the top 10. That’s seven. Quinn? Perhaps. I think Bowers may have slipped too much. I think there is a chance Clayborn belongs in the top 10.

    Again, though, I’m just not sure. Pre-draft has never been my forte.

  16. By DirtybirD on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren, what do you think the Cardinals will do if Peterson , Miller and Gabbert are all gone by the 5th pick? Do they trade down or take the best player availiable? Ok Darren, you’re on the clock…..

  17. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    DirtybirD —

    Trading down only works if someone wants to trade up. Let’s say the first four picks are Newton, Peterson, Miller, Gabbert. Who’s trading up — actually, more importantly, for whom would anyone trade up? I don’t see it. Dareus? I guess. I’d consider a trade down depending on how far back.

  18. By seven q on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    both! how do you have both??

  19. By John the draft guy on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Whether we get Von Miller at #5, or maybe a Brooks Reed in the second round, it seems like we will get a passrusher at OLB.

    What role do you see for Joey Porter then? A rotational guy? Cut? Plays opposite Miller?
    I know that without knowing who we take makes that answer difficult, but what role , if any, do you see Porter in?

  20. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Porter

    I think, with a salary of more than $5 million for 2011, Porter will first have to be willing to restructure his deal. I do see him as a rotational guy — and maybe even a starter — if he’d be willing to be the mentor. If Porter’s feelings are that he doesn’t want to be that guy, I don’t see him sticking around. Whisenhunt noted Porter played a lot more snaps than they originally planned last season but he didn’t play well.

  21. By Chris on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Finding Fitz a QB? If you look at what the Cards need most, it is not a QB! The only guy you could put behind that line who might have a chance of being successful would be Michael Vick. If you put anybody else back there they too will get crushed as all three did last year. First and foremost the Cards need to improve the O-Line. Secondly, they need an OC and a good one. When Kurt Warner left not only did the Cards lose an excellent QB but they also lost their OC as he ran the offense. He did the game planning and the play calling. Then they need help on defense, pass rush help would be top priority. The Cards corners are not that bad. Without a pass rush they get exposed as any secondary would. Adrian Wilson couldn’t cover Roger Goodell but that is a different topic. Study the game tapes people and then tell me the first thing you would do is get a QB! Really!

  22. By John the draft guy on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Gabbert seems to be every “experts” pick for us.
    But let me ask you this,
    How much does John Skelton play in that 5th overall draft pick? What I mean is, if it is believed that Skelton can develop, why take another QB with a first round pick?
    But, if Skelton is clearly a back up guy, and you liked someone (Gabbert) , you may think of pulling the trigger and drafting a QB.

    I know you can’t read Whiz’s mind, but from anything you heard at the tail end of the year or off season, is there a believe that Skelton will develop into the guy or not?

  23. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Skelton

    Let’s say this: if the Cards spend the fifth pick on a QB, you have a pretty good sense that they have doubts about Skelton, or at least doubts he can be as good as whomever they pick No. 5. Because when you take a guy No. 5 overall, no matter the position, you expect him not only to be a starter but an eventual Pro Bowler, right?

  24. By Mario on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Thanks for being honest on NFL network. I think you hit the nail on the head if that scenario plays out. I have a hard time believing those guys on Gabbert when he didn’t even win his bowl game. How can you be a franchise QB if you can’t carry your college team? Even fans at Missouri don’t want him back after that interception.

  25. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Mario —

    RE: Gabbert and bowl game

    I will say this: I don’t think winning or losing a bowl game has much to do with how you evaluate a player. The interception was a detail, but it’s only a detail.

  26. By John the draft guy on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    This is interesting;

    Parcells also told the Herald that the decision to take quarterback Pat White in the second round of the 2009 draft “violated our principles.”

    “He just wasn’t a prototypical quarterback pick,” Parcells said. “He was a great college player, and we let that color our judgment.”

    Parcells attributed to decision to draft White to a “fever in the personnel department” and the quarterback’s success with the Wildcat package and the spread offense.

    Isn’t there a fever about 2 spread QB’s who can run the ball this year?

  27. By John the draft guy on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply



    I was hoping you might have insight about the organizations expectations of Skelton BEFORE the draft. That way, we would feel confident which way the Cards pick.
    If they have no faith that Skelton is the guy, these guys connecting Gabbert to the Cards makes more sense. But if they feel Skelton is the possible guy, Bringing in a Bulger and drafting my favorite guy, Von Miller, makes more sense.
    So any magical insight?

  28. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    John the draft guy —

    RE: Skelton part II

    I believe they think Skelton can become a good QB. I believe they also think he is a couple of years away. I believe that if you have a guy who is a couple of years away, you have to keep trying to find a QB even if you think Skelton can become a good one. If you end up with two, great. Trade one. But until you know you have one, you have none, if that makes sense.

  29. By drummer-1 on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    I really hope they think Skelton can be the guy for years to come, the 4 games that he played gave me some hope.. I can see Bulger coming here for 2 years while he grooms the Skelter.. I say build the D this year and work on the O next year..Any thoughts on that Darren..

    What do you think about A.S.U new unifroms.. pretty nice i think..

  30. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Drummer —

    RE: Skelton/Bulger

    Again, as I have posted elsewhere, if you think Skelton is two years away I don’t think you can count on him for sure, and need to work on a second option. Two years away means not close right now, which to me means too many variables before he is close.

  31. By Scott H on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – Saw ya on NFL Network last night. Yes, I know, you do not have a crystal ball and you cannot tell us what the team is definitely going to do or not do. But from your commets, it sounds like you feel the best direction for them to go in is to bring in a veteran QB ( Bulger, specifically ) and go defense in the first round. Sounds like you believe that giving up the 5th pick in a trade for Kolb is just too high a price to pay.

    Assuming I heard you correctly, I really don’t necessarily object to any of that. It’s just that I’m not really all that psyches about Bulger. Or, more specifically, I’m not psyched at all about the prospect of Bulger as a starter for any extended amount of time. As a mentor and teacher for Skelton ( or another young QB ), fine. I think he would be great in that role. As the starting QB for this team for an extended period? I don’t see it. I just see a guy who is two years removed from a couple of seasons worth of getting the crap kicked out of him. I do not see another Kurt Warner waiting to happen. So, obviously, my thoughts on Bulger are completely dependent on what they are bringing him here to do.

    In regard to Kolb, as much as I would like to see him here, I guess I have to agree that the 5th pick in the draft might be too much. It makes me wish their 1st round pick were further down the trough at a point where trading for Kolb made more sense. You mentioned the possibility of maybe trading their 1st round pick in 2012…..hmmmm…..not a bad idea, perhaps. If the Eagles would go for that, I would be alright with it. That would land them the best overall QB option available right now ( in my opinion ), they could draft a defensive guy at #5 this year, and we ALL have to hope that their first round pick for next year will NOT be in the top five! I kinda like that idea…do you think it is truly within the realm of possibility?

  32. By Darren Urban on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Kolb

    It’s hard to think a trade and this year’s draft can even happen given the labor situation. Beyond that, we’ll see. So hard to tell who would even be interested or anything like that.

  33. By drummer-1 on Apr 12, 2011 | Reply

    Darren i see your point, i just said 2 years because i think they would offer a 2 year contract, not that it would take that long for Skelton to develope.

  34. By Jeff Gollin on Apr 13, 2011 | Reply

    Darren – Excuse me for being greedy and trying to pushing the envelope but –

    Is there a way you guys could videotape actual pre-draft and draft-day war room activities with the names of specific prospects bleeped-out (to preserve confidentiality, not give away trade secrets etc.)?

    It’s one thing to get a sense of what Wiz, Rod, Michael and Steve are thinking “in general” but it only whets our appetite for what’s really going on behind the scenes when the rubber meets the road.

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

    Jeff —

    RE: war room video

    Don’t see it happening. We looked into having a camera in the war room draft day but that request was declined.

  36. By Scott H on Apr 13, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    One more QB-related question – and I hate to use the “L” word here, but I know that Matt Leinart is a free agent this year. Assuming there will be free agency at some point AND that the Texans don’t keep him there…do you see Pete Carroll jumping on him so they can be re-united in Seattle? I’ve wondered about that possibility ever since the Cardinals released him. Hey, Hasselbeck’s days there might be over and they really have no one waiting in the wings. At the very least, they would need a veteran there to compete with Whitehurst. Bringing in Leinart would make all the sense in the world for them if that were their situation. I’d say this is worth keeping an eye on…and imagine what it would be like for Leinart to get a chance to get his revenge against the Cardinals twice a year!!! THAT would be some must-see TV, that’s for sure!

    Honestly, would you agree that Leinart in Seattle seems like a very likely scenario if he hits the open market? I think Carroll wouldn’t be able to get him there fast enough.

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

    Scott H —

    RE: Leinart in Seattle

    I don’t understand, with the knowledge Hasselbeck might be getting near the end of the line, why the Seahawks wouldn’t have signed Matt last year when they had a chance if they really thought he could be their answer.

  38. By mahonri on Apr 13, 2011 | Reply

    If Miller, Petersen , and gabbert r gone the cards should get aj green to give skeleton more weapons it could be boldin and fitz again fitz wouldn’t get double coverage if green is there

  39. By Scott H on Apr 14, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    OK…didn’t think about that. But hadn’t the Seahawks already traded for Whitehurst before Leinart was released? Did they really NEED another QB at that point? What I see as clear NOW that may not have been clear THEN is that Whitehurst really doesn’t look like the answer for them. Last year, Hasselbeck was still there – regardless of his future – and they had already made a trade for a QB. This year, Hasselbeck may be gone and they are incredibly thin at that position if he goes. Those situations are drastically different. That’s why I think Leinart will definitely be on their radar if he becomes available.

    Plus, with the career he’s had ( or, should I say NOT had??? ) since he entered the NFL, I would think Leinart would definitely want to be back with a coach who he feels might bring out the best in him. It just seems the perfectly natural place for him to land if he becomes a FA.

  40. By Darren Urban on Apr 14, 2011 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Leinart/Seattle

    I wouldn’t doubt Matt would love to go to a place that doesn’t have a QB in place and with a coach with whom he had massive success.

    I doubt that coach is still interested in Matt. I could be wrong. But I don’t think I am. If the Seahawks draft a QB, I just don’t see it. Again, I know it was late in the preseason, but if a team really had high hopes for Leinart going forward, I would have thought they would have signed him when they could have last season. One team — Houston — had interest.

  41. By Scott H on Apr 16, 2011 | Reply

    Darren –

    Yeah, I hear you. Thanks for the input. I’m not really all that interested in Leinart or the Seahawks…there just isn’t much else to talk about these days!

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