Draft meetings have begun

Posted by Darren Urban on April 2, 2012 – 1:50 pm

Free agency isn’t over (No, tackle Demetrius Bell still hasn’t signed anywhere) but the arrival of April means a greater amount of attention turned toward the draft. That means, at the end of the third floor here in Tempe, the door is officially closed for the month as general manager Rod Graves, coach Ken Whisenhunt, the scouts, personnel men and assistant coaches all begin to intimately break down all the potential draftees, give them final grades and, by the time it’s over, rank them on a top 120 board to take the guess work out of the draft days.

This year is much different than last. Picking 13th is a significant change from 5. It’s usually pretty easy to narrow down who will still be on the board at No. 5. At No. 13, a ton of combinations can arise and it’s so hard to get a handle on who will be there for the Cards at No. 13. When the process is winding down, the Cardinals usually go through a series of their own mock drafts, trying for as many scenarios as they can so they can prepare for a number of different on-the-clock cases.

The later start of free agency does back up the clock a bit, but once draft meetings begin, the tenor of free agency chases tends to be more subdued. If the Cards were still to sign Bell, for instance, the dynamic of the draft would certainly change for the Cards. It would give the Cards more leeway, especially in the first round. If they don’t acquire another offensive lineman/tackle, there is little question that will increase the need in late April.

In the meantime, though, the Cards will build the draft room so they can smoothly pull the trigger over the three days of the draft.

Posted in Blog | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “Draft meetings have begun”

  1. By DontTakeLoses on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply


  2. By Kofari on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    I Expected Cardinals To Do A Good Job In Free Agency.Darren Do U Think Cards Done With Free Agency?.Cards Stills Has Needs At LT WR G OLB MLB

  3. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Kofari —

    RE: Free agency

    I don’t think they are necessarily done, but I do not expect them to make all those additions. Maybe one or two more before the draft.

  4. By Darrens Favorite on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren any thoughts on Marcus McNeil? I know he has had some injury problems with the flip side being that he is a great LT (ok VERY good LT). Do you think it is that he hasnt fully healed? I would think if he was healthy that he could sign anywhere with an incentive laden contract.

  5. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Favorite —

    RE: McNeill

    I think if he was healthy he’d be getting more attention than he is. That makes me wonder about his status.

  6. By Blake Allen Murphy on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply


    Cardinals still have interest in Bell? Seems like he’s asking for too much money but do you think they’d still want him at a more fair price, even if they have to overpay a bit?

    Also, if Cardinals faced with choosing a WR or a Pass Rusher, which way do you think they’d lean? Would it depend on who’s left on the board for that? Thanks!

  7. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Blake —

    RE: Bell/WR vs pass rush

    1. Yes.
    2. That one is hard to tell. I think it would depend who is on the board, yes. In my mind, it’s easier to find a receiver than pass rusher.

  8. By D on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    I don’t see AZ able to move down.
    I don’t see Reiff still on the board at 13
    Both Ingram and Floyd could be there at 13
    Doubt if anyone in the top 12 takes DeCastro at G
    but you never can be sure…(could be still too high to take at 13)
    depending on a few teams prior to #13 pick.
    (I don’t see Ingram as a DE for Jac or Seattle, but KC
    does run a 3-4, so he could be gone by then)
    Upshaw will be there at 13, is that too high for him?
    So many possibilities and questions which is why they are starting 24 days
    prior to the draft…

  9. By Craig on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Do you know if Stewart Bradley has been seen around town, working with coaches in the off season. I really thought he was a good pick up last off season and still have high hopes for him as a starter in our defense. I think he just never got used to the defense that Horton was running and that’s why I was wondering if he has been seen with Horton.

  10. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Craig —

    RE: Bradley

    I haven’t seen Bradley, but bottom line, players are not allowed to work with coaches until late this month.

  11. By Eric Fontana on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply


    Some mocks have Reiff available at 13
    I bet it is one Ingram OR Floyd
    There has been talk of KC
    Ingram could go to a 4-3 or a 3-4 team
    Way too high for Upshaw

  12. By Eazy E on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    It depends on if we sign Demetrius Bell, because if we do, needs move to WR and OLB. I really like Michael Floyd and Jonathan Martin at 13. Melvin Ingram would be a really good pick also, very athletic. Those are early favorites in my opinion.

  13. By JP on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply


    Does this mean you have to take the long way around to the bathroom?

  14. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    JP —

    RE: Bathroom

    Ahhh … a loyal reader.

  15. By Andy K on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    Any words of LaRod Stephens Howling on when he is going to sign back with the team?

  16. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Andy K —

    RE: Stephens-Howling


  17. By cards62 on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren wil you be communicating with us live during the draft on April 26th?

    Thanks and go Cards!

  18. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    cards62 —

    RE: Communicating live

    I will be monitoring the blog, but the best way to get me that day will be via Twitter (@cardschatter).

  19. By Hammy on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Here we go Cardinals! Im sure we will have a good draft, we draft good every year. I think that who ever the best player on the board is at 13, then thats who we will draft.

  20. By Steve on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Darren, great job keeping us posted! any idea when Wolfley or Kent goes on NFL Network to speculate the Cardinals pick? or is it Foxsports?

  21. By Darren Urban on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    AndyStands –

    RE: trades

    It still comes down to a team that wants to move up. Honestly, I dont think it increases the chances, no.

    RE: snarky

    Hi pot, I’m kettle.

  22. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Same photo as last season. The door seems to be backwards, opening out, with the lock, on your side. Tempted to turn the lock and not let the brass out until secrets are devulged?
    With draft pick salaries being “slotted”, Darren, do you see the possibilty of more trades than usual? (And of course, there’s a “possibilty”; don’t get snarky.)

  23. By Blair on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply


  24. By Ben on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply


  25. By cardsdraft on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    I think no matter what happens, LT signed or not, we should take DeCastro at 13, he’s way too good of a prospect to pass up, unless of course Trent Richardson or even Blackmon manage to slip to 13 😀

  26. By Peter in Canada on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    I think people tend to forget that there is more than one round of the draft in the excitement over who we should take at 13. Last year we got Sherman, Housler, Acho and Carter who all got a lot of minutes. Williams would have got a lot of time too if he had stayed healthy. If the draft is up to last years standard we will be all right.

  27. By martin leyva on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    If need draft a DE, i would love to see Quinton Coples of (NC) at 13th, with his strength and speed, at 6’6′ he would be a great mixs up with both Calais Campbell and Darnell Dockett.

    Would also like (WR) Michael Floyd on the other side of Larry. with seedy Andre Roberts in the middle.

  28. By AndyStandsUp on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Great Darren, not only are you calling me a illegal controlled substance, but you’re saying I’m racist as well.

    Touche’ on your part.

  29. By Marcelo on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    I hope we are just an OT away (and 13 positions ) of drafting michael floyd, I have been watching some of his videos, he’s not a player from hell, but he’d bring it up in the Desert….

    I`ll be delighted if Cards bring him in….

  30. By smack28 on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Pretty funny that ESPN’s NFL Live has deemed the Cardinals as the biggest losers in Free Agency this year. Their biggest point is resolving the negative issues with Kolb after making the Peyton Manning run. It is a good point. Where is this team going? Why is there no word on Kolb re-working his contract to open up cap space? Why does Calais not have a new contract to open up space? It seems like these guys have all but thrown in the towel on FA. Seems pretty crazy to me considering this is a weak draft with very little immediate starters available. I hope there is a plan…

  31. By martin leyva on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    I’m with You! I also think we need to draft Loyd, By watching his Tapes, He’s Hard to Bring down and He can catch anything. He is a Beast Among Beast! Floyd has the big structure like LARRY and He also has the big Hands to Snatch the ball out of the Air.

  32. By Steve on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    Michael Floyd could end up being another David Boston with all the off field issues. I cant see the Cardinals taking someone that high with 3 DUIs already.

  33. By in fitz we trust on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    sooo darren why dont u put together a mock draft of your own???

    were not signing bell, other teams ( eagles ) for example have much more cap space to throw around.
    were gonna take a DE/LB in the first round. UNLESS riley falls to us
    3rd round pick should be a speed WR
    the other rounds will shape around other teams pick.

  34. By mike on Apr 2, 2012 | Reply

    AZ needs a good draft.

  35. By brad oneill on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    i love darrens approach to the draft- not yet, too early, don’t know, oh guys the door is closed and i wont be saying anything until after the draft.

    **** draft Day ****

    I think they made good pics

    about next year- its too early to look now.

    Rinse repeat.

  36. By VonKromDom on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    I still think if Melvin Ingram is there at 13 you have to take him. You can grab OL’men & WR’s in later rounds. In my opinion pass rusher is number one priority for the first round in this draft. With the only exception being that they trade up to get Matt Kalil. Especially with how they “supposedly” coveted Von Miller last year. And I truly believe that if he were there at 5 last year he would be in a Cardinals jersey. And we would be looking for a corner this year.

  37. By cardsalltheway on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    It sounds like combine interviews shown to NFL fans(cognitive player meat display) is the direction the NFL wants to go. So, how about Cardinal fans seeing how “the Cardinals usually go through a series of their own Mock drafts…”

    How do they do this? Does each person(Rod G., Ken W., scouts, personnel men, and assistant coaches submit their own Mock draft?

    I think Cardinal fans should see(afterwards of course) who was more right etc… Each person/area/group of people should compete to be right on. Or, isn’t competition really that important within the Cardinal Org.?

    Wouldn’t these Cardinal Mock drafts show fans the level of knowledge that exists among the Cardinal Org? What could be wrong with that? What would be the downside as far as they’re concerned ~ assuming they wouldn’t like the idea since they ain’t doing it already?

    Go ahead, ignore me as you’ve so proudly stated you do(cater to the ‘drummer-1’ types), take my idea and use it as your own, I don’t care, just get it done. You can set the trend!

    If player interviews are to be shown then what is wrong with showing fans the above?

    I suggest the Cardinal Draft Process would improve exponentially if things were more transparent(afterwards of course). People would be held to a higher standard, or is that the downside?

    BTW, who falls into the “personnel men” category?

  38. By BleedCardsRED on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    Stop asking about McNeil people. He is not good anymore. I live in San Diego and have seen most of their games the last couple years and last season in particular, he did horrible. Missing assignments and giving up sacks or tackles for loss left and right. Cards dont need that burden.

  39. By cards62 on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    Thanks Darren I will be in touch on draft night. I hope a lot of other Cardinal Fans are also on line and watching.

    Peter our Canadian Brother. You are right to build a team you need to draft well rounds 1 thru 7, but which rookie last year on the Cardinals made the biggest impact no questions asked? The greatest Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald, also round 1. Exceptions of course, Tom Brady, Kurt Warner, but if you want great success you better nail your first round draft choices.

    Cardsalltheway – Not always wise for the wizard to reveal everything just like playing poker those playing against you learn from what you reveal and we do draft every year.

    Smack 28 I would love to argue with you about free agency moves and trades, but I can not as I have not liked our moves the past 2 years. We knew last year free agency was going to be the wild wild west, but my opinion we were not prepared for the pace, this season we knew if we wanted to sign players we needed to have our salary cap in order and once again, my opinion, we were not prepared.

    I really believe Michael Bidwill wants to win a superbowl for his father, but we are not moving fast enough or smart enough.

    Go Cards

  40. By cobra on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    @ cardsalltheway,

    It would be idiotic for the cards to divulge any info on their draft process. Every team in the league would use the results to predict future cardinal drafts.

  41. By Sir60 on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    Every man being considered as a first round draft choice has excellent athletic skills. They are all fast, coordinated, and excelled playing college football. A choice, therefore, must be made based on attitude, character and need, in that order. I think the Cardinals have done well in the last few years.

  42. By Jon L on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    hey darren,
    Do you think there are any positions that the cardinals would consider not drafting even if they had an amazing talent drop to them.

  43. By Darren Urban on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    Jon L –

    RE: amazing talent

    No, I don’t think that would happen.

  44. By Jaime Ortiz on Apr 3, 2012 | Reply

    Take Malvin Engram or David DeCastro, both players never quit untill the play is over, never been in troble with the law, high caracter guys, just the tipe of guys that coach Ken W. likes. Cardinals need a solid draft that can compensate for the lack of free agency signings. Cardinals are learning that free agency is not the answer to their needs (Stewart Bradley, Todd Heap), they found out that thrue the draft they can get better resoults (PP, Acho, Carter, housler, sherman). Skelton>>>Kolb= NFC West Champions. GO CARDINALS

  45. By Eazy E on Apr 4, 2012 | Reply


    I’d have to agree with you and NFL Live though. Losing out on Peyton I think because we didn’t have enough guts to cut Kolb and give Peyton an extra day or so to make a decision=NFL Offseason losers Title Belt! Salary Cap woes don’t help and really not doing anything in free agency, No Calais long term deal, WRs galore and none are cardinals as of now, OT HELP, OLB HELP, and another CB, so they had great points, they’re main point was Peyton which is true, Peyton or Kolb, Lord Lord Lord!!!

  46. By Eazy E on Apr 4, 2012 | Reply


    I do disagree with your last point on the draft being weak though, The draft is super strong at many positions.

  47. By Frankie on Apr 5, 2012 | Reply

    Micheal Floyed !!!!! Come on don’t go another season with only Larry out there help him out …. We miss boldin get another play maker … He is compared to Larry and with him Guiding him we could have a monster duel of receivers !!!!

  48. By William Barry on Apr 15, 2012 | Reply

    Michael Floyd tested well at the combine, and alleviated any concerns about his alcohol related instances….He would be a great addition w/Larry Fitzgerald. As far as LB, how about Mychal Kendricks…he has a high motor, and great potential, and tested well at the combine. I’d like us to draft with the intentions of getting more draft picks…We will ROCK this year to the playoffs!!!!

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