The day before with Whiz and Graves

Posted by Darren Urban on April 27, 2011 – 11:49 am

With the draft beginning tomorrow evening, had a chance to touch base with coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves for a few final thoughts as the Cards are finished – basically – with the pre-draft work.

— Whisenhunt figures the number of calls the Cards have received about the fifth pick and trading have been about the same. “You have to weed through them, because some of them are just exploratory, and some are serious,” Whisenhunt said. I can’t say there are more or less. We really won’t know until (Thursday) which are serious, because there are a couple that may get more serious when we get closer to (the draft).”

Graves said the calls have slowed over the last 24 hours. But anyone who wants to call will be heard. “What we try to do is keep our options open,” Graves said, acknowledging a trade-up is “less likely” than a trade down.

If the Cards do move, it’s got to be done smartly. “Once you start talking about moving, you just never know who is going to be there,” Whisenhunt said. “Once you talk about moving back to get a certain player, there is no guarantee. You have to have a range where you know you are looking at a couple of guys where you have to have a strategy.”

The Cards have gone through as many scenarios as they could. Sometimes, it doesn’t mean much. Last year, Whisenhunt said, “we didn’t think there was any way” nose tackle Dan Williams was going to drop to the 26th pick, but then he did. Because the Cards are picking fifth this year, the focus on a smaller group of players is “more intense” but it is still harder to get a read on how the draft will play out, even when talking the first four picks.

“Usually we have had free agency,” Whisenhunt said. “It’s a little easier to target what team’s needs are because they have addressed some things in free agency. Let’s say, if you have assessed a team’s needs at five, if they have been through free agency, they had addressed two of those. It’s different this year from that standpoint, because you don’t know what team’s priorities are as much as you might in the past.”

Graves thinks generally, the absence of free agency before the draft means teams will be more likely to draft for need. But for the Cards, he noted, “best player available will drive a lot of our thinking.”

Finally, for everyone wondering about the Cards and taking a quarterback fifth, here is Whisenhunt’s final words on the subject, emphasizing again it depends on the assessment the team has given the prospect (which, conventional wisdom says, will be Blaine Gabbert when we are talking about the fifth pick).

“There is not a cut and dried way to say, this guy can do it or this guy can’t,” Whisenhunt said. “I think we have spent a lot of time with these guys this year, looked at a lot of tape, that’s part of the assessment. Taking a player at the fifth pick, you’d like a guy to make an immediate impact and we need it after going 5-11 last year. But you also have to look at the other areas where you could address it because we have also said that’s an area that is important to address this offseason. You have to weigh those things.”

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16 Responses to “The day before with Whiz and Graves”

  1. By cowboyssuck on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    don’t think the cards will go for gabbert. best defensive(miller, peterson) first then locker, kaepernick, or dalton, whichever is left, second.

  2. By BMH on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    excited about the draft tomorrow…hoping we get chance at Gabbert or Miller..then Peterson. If one of these 3 are on table I’ll be glad.

    GO CARDS!!

  3. By Jimmy P. on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Let’s get Patrick Peterson. Don’t pass on another peterson again in a draft please whiz

  4. By daniel on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    PP or Von Miller with the 5th pick , && Andy Dalton inthe second round

  5. By D on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Panthers, Buffalo and Cincy all may take a QB-if two of the above take a QB then AZ won’t have a choice-trading Peterson for more picks maybe hard to do, but the Cards have a lot of holes to fill and without a pass rush it doesn’t matter if you have two shut down corners, the defense will not improve enough to win enough games for the playoffs…

  6. By Ty on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    I would like to see the cards take a chance on mark herzlich with one of the 6th round picks. Darren, what do you think the chances of that are? It could be a big pay off.

  7. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Ty —

    RE: Herzlich

    I have a hard enough time predicting the first round much less the sixth round.

  8. By Jesse on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Why even waste a second round pick on a QB?
    Go more D or O-line.
    I only see it happening if someone ranked really high drops like Clausen did last year.

  9. By Gang6230 on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    The best thing in the world was to dump leinhart and move on now will be the chance to start over. I think the Cards go defense either linebacker or corner or De. Maybe just maybe they will trade for kolb. In the 2 or 3 round Judging from whiz words their not going qb. What ur opinion now Darren ?? On the way they will go draft ??

  10. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Gang6230 —

    RE: Draft path

    I still have a hard time thinking they go QB, but then again, I am beginning to think both Newton and Gabbert are off the board by No. 5 anyway.

  11. By Kurt on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Miller will be gone at 5 wouldn’t be surprised to see him go #1

  12. By wayne on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    I think if Von Miller is gone to the Bills, and Gabbert is available we take him which would surprise me because didn’t coach Whiz himself say “I don’t think there is a franchise QB in this draft” or am I wrong and had a nightmare ? Being a Mizzou Tiger I watched every game he played and I think he will be an average QB in the NFL (which is ok) he only played for 2 years because of Chase Daniel and should of stayed at Mizzou for his senior year.

    Thanks, Wayne

  13. By cahongisto on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply


    So I started thinking about our draft needs and one thing crossed my mind… maybe our pass rush was so bad because our defense was put on the field so often? has anyone considered that maybe offensive line is by far our biggest need with just depth at linebacker after that? I mean I don’t think drafting a QB or a Von Miller is gonna make a difference if our defense is on the field two to three times often then the offense is… and with running backs like Wells, Hightower and the hyphen it is a bit inexcusable that our hall of fame assistant head coach does not have a better offensive line to coach up and use. And also I’m curious if you have ever been to the draft and if so what it was like to be there?

  14. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    cahongisto —

    RE: draft in NY

    I have never been to the draft in NY.

  15. By Lone-Eagle on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    It’s been a while. I hope things are better for your family as well as I hope you had a good Easter! I have more been concentrating on this darned lockout than the draft, which is a bummer. However, I believe taking a QB at pick # 5 is a mistake. I think the defense needs to be shored up. If they are still available, Peterson or Miller in that order, if not trading for more pick sounds wise. It may not be the “sexy” choice, but it might be the more intelligent choice. This lockout is going to end eventually and the Cards need to pick up a solid veteran who can jump into the starting role and teach the 2nd year players. I still believe Skeleton will be an excellent QB, but he definately needs some more seasoning. Then again, who knows what he did this offseason? Guess we will find out. Either way, taking a QB at # 5 I think is risky. That is just my opinion. Lookin forward to the draft!!

  16. By Eazy E on Apr 27, 2011 | Reply

    Cam, Von, or Pat P are the choices!!!

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