One week out, Whiz and Graves talk draft

Posted by Darren Urban on April 21, 2011 – 11:59 am

Coach Ken Whisenhunt and GM Rod Graves held their pre-draft press conference today. No surprise — they did not announce their preferred player to be available when they select fifth overall. But some of the things they did say:

— Graves said the Cardinals have taken some phone calls from teams about the fifth pick and he expects to take more as the time to make the choice approaches. Whether the Cards actually would deal it would depend on the offer and the players available at that time.

— Whisenhunt, who earlier in interviews had said he didn’t “see a Sam Bradford” in this draft clarified to say that meant there wasn’t a top QB with a lengthy body of college work. The QBs available, among them the top candidates Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert, just have a shorter resume and it makes them harder to evaluate.

— Whisenhunt also acknowledged opinions are “all over the place” on the QBs available.

— Asked about needing an impact player at No. 5, and the idea a rookie quarterback wouldn’t necessarily make that immediate impact, Whisenhunt said “I wouldn’t pigeon-hole a decision for that pick.”

— The Cards are dealing with the flip-flop of having free agency after the draft this offseason because of the lockout. Do they relish the change? Not necessarily. “We are creatures of habit,” Whisenhunt said. “This is something different. It’s something we adjust to.”

— A young quarterback can succeed but he has to have the right support around him. Do the Cards have the right people in place to support a rookie QB? Not last year, Whisenhunt said. “That’s what we’re in the process of trying to fix now.”

— Cards have hosted a bunch of players pre-draft, between 20 and 30, Whisenhunt estimated (I do believe I have run into one or two in the building).

I’ll have a story up later today.

Posted in Blog | 54 Comments »

54 Responses to “One week out, Whiz and Graves talk draft”

  1. By carlo7000 on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    after the press conference do you still think they wont draft a quarterback with the fifth pick??

  2. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Carlo7000 —

    RE: Presser

    I don’t think we learned a whole lot concrete out of that presser.

  3. By lets talk cardinals on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Idk if the Cards should Go WR or Defense with the 5th pick. Having a Top receiver besides L. Fitz would be awesome but Peterson is going to be awesome for 10+ years & we have many young talented LB idk see the need of Miller as much as the need of P.P. Mmmm tough, defenetly not QB unleess Cam Newton is there. That would be a Gamble that will have the Cards like Charlie Sheen #WINNING

  4. By D on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Good job D
    Good to see the brain trust trying to create some trading down interest if their guy is not there at 5

  5. By Kurt on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    This affirms that the Cardinals are on the right track. But if Miller and Gabbert are off the board look for the Cardinal’s to move down for OL help, round 1

  6. By K-DUB on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply


    At draft time could teams trade picks since they are not yet players?

  7. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    K-Dub —

    RE: Trades in lockout

    Yes, picks can be traded. Players cannot. You can’t pick for another team and deal a guy, either.

  8. By Lion Mike on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    I’m guessing 2 of the teams looking to trade into the #5 spot are Dallas and Detroit. Both who love Patrick Peterson and know they are fighting with each other to get to him.

  9. By Dewayne on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    There is no way they draft a qb! I believe we end up with Patrick Peterson. Von Miller would have been great, but Peterson will do. Besides the niners want peterson. Anything to piss off the niner fans!!!

  10. By Alex Graham on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Im not looking for us to take a QB at number five particularly if Von Miller is still on the board. Patrick Peterson is not high on the cards needs list but it might be worth considering how much damage the defensive backfield was able to create two and three years ago. Peterson and DRC could make our DB’s as difficult to throw against as the Jets backfield. If the cards would go this route they would still have to pick up a pass rusher in the second round and they would have to gamble on free agency later this summer to solve QB problems. If they are able to get Von Miller at 5 then they could pick up a QB in the second round and still look at signing a free agent. If Gabbert is available at five and we turn it down the mistake could be significant. Meanwhile the offensive line still needs a lot of help. If they trade down in the first round they might be able to pick up a Cam Jordon or Robert Quinn and have an extra pick later.

  11. By Joe Holst on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    If they sign Marc Bulger and draft Robert Quinn which is possible then there 2 main pick ups would be guys who didn’t play football last year.

  12. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    “Tis the season for misinformation. Bottom line is what are the Cards largest needs? QB and pass rush. If Gabbert is deemed “the guy” and available, there’s your choice. If not, Miller(more likely) or Quinn would make the most sense. I highly doubt all 3 will be gone with the 5th pick.
    Two questions please, Darren:
    Any video of the pre draft presser available?
    Without naming names and going by who you saw in the hallway, is PFT’s Arizona player vists list remotely accurate?

  13. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    AndyStands —

    RE: Video/player visit

    I am sure the video will be posted by the end of the day.

    I haven’t seen the player list. To be honest, you act like I’d recognize most of these guys in their slacks and golf shirts. I do not.

  14. By Cards4Ever on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    And what was the point of this presser?

  15. By We Missed Q on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    I would not be surprised to see Graves draft A.J. Green to replace Fitz. He did the same thing to Boldin when we could have had Rothlisgerger or even better Phillip Rivers. I am NOT saying I want it to happen, I prefer Peterson, then Miller.

  16. By DoblerFan on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Awesome! It would be wise to get more early round picks instead of reaching. Thanks for the good news. One week to go!!

  17. By Rugbymuffin on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Who said there will be free agency after the draft ?

    Ridiculous !

    These clowns are fighting over money, and money doesn’t have a watch, or a care about responsibilities or schedules.

    Plus, if there is free agency I would think it is a lock that the Cardinals won’t do anything. They didn’t spend when they had sell outs, and season ticket holders, why would they spend now ?

  18. By ster44 on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    I just seen the Von Miller Sports Science and that man is amazing if he is there and so is Gabbert the Cards need to go Von Miller what do you think Darren?

  19. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    ster44 —

    RE: Pick at No. 5

    I think it’ll be interesting to see what they will do. I personally would go Miller, but I am not in the draft room and I certainly am not making any choices.

  20. By Travis McCollum on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    A lot of the same old stuff never giving his thought pattern away. Away maknig people guess at what he is doing.

  21. By Mario on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    If they draft a quarterback…it will be like when Miami drafted Ted Ginn Jr.IMO. I’d like to see Whiz’s presser after that selection. Ala Cam Camerson “Wait till you see this guy run the spread offense”.

  22. By RelayTV on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Well they are saying the right things.

    I still hope I see them pick Peterson next week. I have been pouring over footage of Miller from last season, and I am just not convinced.

    Don’t get me wrong, he’s very gifted physically, but he seems to be a speed rush only kind of guy. And I saw a lot of teams just block him to the outside and then run the ball right through his gap for big yards.

    He didn’t seem to be able to spin back inside, or swim off inside, he seemed to always go outside.

    Yes, I am not a pro scout, and a better game plan from our new DC might fix that, but I didn’t get the sense that Peterson was getting burned for big yards like Miller did.

    Anyway, I’m real excited to be going to the draft this year, but worried that unless they resolve the lockout, it may be the only NFL I get to see this season.

    I line up for tickets Wednesday night.

    I’ll try to post pictures, if I can.

  23. By MikeFlorio on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    I heard that Lienart was also in talks about a possible return???

  24. By R Robles on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Miller, Peterson, & Gabbert is there Gone then lets trade for more picks but stay in the 1st Round. Maybe trade with the Pats because they got so many picks ?

  25. By Stephn Baldetti on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Darren Do you think Arizona wants Von Miller bad enough that they might try to trade up ahead of Buffalo, and take him? Just to play it safe?

  26. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Stephen —

    RE: Trading up

    I do not see the Cards trading up for anybody.

  27. By HD on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    How bout we go for Mark Ingram, 1st rd., then deal Bennie for a seasoned QB.We ned need a running back who doesn’t stub his toe every other week, and then miss 3 games.

  28. By cards>niners on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    what would the format be for the 2012 draft if there is no football this year.

  29. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    cards> —

    RE: 2012 draft order

    I don’t think you have to worry about that.

  30. By vikesfan on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    how about we re-sign Tavaris Jackson and then give you our #12 for your #5, so you can waste your next four years on that project?

  31. By Eric on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    I don’t think we can go QB with #5 mainly due to our OL being horrendous last year. I think we go defense at 5 (Von or Peterson) then take a OT/OG (Wisnewski), and build the draft on that. No more flyers…we need players.

  32. By tygr on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    don’t go QB we already have a raw rookie QB in the line-up two of those is a crowd…….trade the pick work on OL

  33. By Keegan on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply


    Would the Cardinals, beyond all odds, not select a QB to get skill players and try to develop John Skelton? And if that doesn’t work out, then is there any QB’s that would interest us in next year’s draft, such as Andrew Luck.

  34. By Darren Urban on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Keegan —

    RE: QBs/Skelton

    Yes, there is a chance Skelton will be the main one to be developed. As for next year, how about we get through this draft first.

  35. By DoblerFan on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    Gotta say, only if Von Miller is available at #5 would I not refuse a quality trade.

  36. By Packaddict on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    There”s an old saying…”Defense wins championships..’

  37. By Chuck 1 on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    What was the number of fewest wins that a team had in the NFL in 2010?
    That’s what the Cards have to shoot for so that we can be assured of getting the #1 pick and taking Andrew Luck!!! LOL!!!

  38. By drummer-1 on Apr 21, 2011 | Reply

    LUCK,LUCK, LUCK, LUCK… Please stop….better yet i hope we get him and he fails.. now go ahead and bash me, i’m ready

  39. By Fitzgerald on Apr 22, 2011 | Reply

    Keegan, is your first name John? If so, send me an email or hit me up on facebook.

  40. By Matt in Philly on Apr 22, 2011 | Reply

    It’s preposterous to consider drafting a QB in the first-round without a line to protect him. As it stands, I think we have only two starting offensive lineman under contract (I may be mistaken) — Brandon Keith and Levi Brown — both of whom continue to be “projects”. I really think that if Miller isn’t available, we should trade down, taken Aldon Smith out of Missouri, and draft as many O-lineman as possible in the hope that Skelton (or perhaps Mallett) will be ready to start by the time those lineman have gotten themselves straight. We are in a serious hole here. St. Louis appears to be in the best shape of all the NFC West teams b/c they have both a QB and a line to to protect him. SF may not have a QB, but they’ll have a tremendous O-line once they get one, and they can be more comfortable working a young QB in. Even Seattle has made moves to shore up their line long-term, and have a potential starter in Whitehurst. We have nothing. No line. No QB. I like the idea of drafting a passrusher to put pressure on our NFC West counterparts, but if we don’t have a line to protect a guy, we’re going to be screwed.

  41. By cards62 on Apr 22, 2011 | Reply

    Draft time is exciting.

    Okay my fellow GMs. Von Miller is taken at # 3 and Blaine Gabbert is taken at # 4. We can select Patrick Peterson at # 5 or trade down with either the Cowboys or Lions and pick up their 3rd round pick?

    Still on the board when we are selecting is Tyron Smith OT USC, Prince CB Nebraska, or Cam Newton QB Auburn?

    What are you going to do???????

  42. By brad oneill on Apr 22, 2011 | Reply

    Breaston is a top receiver!!! we dont need another one we need to keep the guys we got. lets go for a defensive player and worry about the qb later.

  43. By Pheenic Skii on Apr 23, 2011 | Reply

    Darren, this is off-topic, but do you think that, if the Judge rules in favor of the players on Monday, the Owners will wait until after the Draft to appeal the ruling, so that they could get four days of trading, signing, picking up, etc.?

    Anyways, good to know that they’re evaluating everyone. Try to get Von Miller, but I’m going to trust their decision.

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

    Pheenic —

    RE: Judge ruling

    I expect an appeal (and continued delay on the offseason starting) from whichever side loses the decision.

  45. By Chuck 1 on Apr 23, 2011 | Reply

    Matt in Philly,

    Is it true that the citizens in Philly are going to stage a protest march on Easter against the Easter Bunny??? Sorry. Just couldn’t resist.

    You are spot on about the Cards O-Line. Without significant improvement, it will be another LONG season, regardless of how many pass rushing studs Graves, Keim, Whiz and Horton draft snd free agent QBs are signed.

  46. By drummer-1 on Apr 23, 2011 | Reply

    @Matt in Philly..

    Am i reading this wrong, SF will have a tremendous O-LINE, once they get one( HUH )..Isn’t that like saying the cardinals will have tremendous QB once they get one..

  47. By DoblerFan on Apr 23, 2011 | Reply

    Round #1 – OLB Von Miller
    Round #2 – OT B. Ijalana
    Round #3 – CB Das-I Rowlings
    Round #4 – RB Taiwan Jones

    Brad – Breaston is a oft injured #2 who will be overpaid in free agency. I do hope we get him back but at the right price.

  48. By Mike Ellingboe on Apr 23, 2011 | Reply


    In the scenario you presented, with our QB situation being what it is, I don’t think we could afford to bypass Newton. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not completely sold that we wouldn’t be picking up another Vince Young but his potential to be as effective at the next level as he has at every one preceeding it can’t be overlooked.

    Needless to say I’d be very suprised if both Newton and Peterson are available at #5.

  49. By Isaak on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply

    Just wanted to say a big thanks to you Darren from all us fans. We really appreciate all that you do for us. Especially for trawling through the endless questions that occur after every blog.

    From myself and all the fans

  50. By BostonCards on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply


    Who do you think they take if, Newton, Miller, Gabbart and Peterson are gone?


  51. By Darren Urban on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply

    BostonCards —

    RE: Fifth option

    Great question. On that one, I do not know. Someone might want to trade up for Green or Dareus.

  52. By Scott H on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply

    After I heard Darren suggest the possibility of offering the Eagles our #1 pick for NEXT YEAR for Kolb, I’ve come to love the idea. Whether the Eagles would go for it…no idea. But think about it – that would give us the best overall QB we could get right now ( my opinion ) and we could use #5 this year on a defensive stud at a position of need. What’s not to like??? IF the Cardinals are significantly better this season – as we all hope they will be – then their 1st round pick in next year’s draft will be much further down the trough. And if Kolb turns out to be the QB we need, then he will have ABSOLUTELY been worth what we gave up to get him. Yeah, there’s some pretty big IF’S there, but…fact is, we need a QB NOW and we need tons of help on defense NOW. Such a deal with the Eagles would give us both NOW. This scenario has my vote.

  53. By Doblerfan on Apr 24, 2011 | Reply

    @ Scott

    Whats not to like?!?! How bout a #1 pick for a W/C system QB that hasn’t proved much along with a new 5yr 60-70 million dollar contract with alot of guaranteed $ we could be stuck with if he doesn’t work out This is the kind of stuff that sets Franchises back years for panicking. I just don’t think it’s worth the gamble. Draft D and OL.

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