Edge and the falling value of running backs

Posted by Darren Urban on April 17, 2014 – 11:01 am

It was a rainy Saturday in March 2006 when Edgerrin James visited the Cardinals for the first time. Kurt Warner was gamely trying to hold his annual flag football tournament on the practice fields, and the Cards were in the process of locking up a star running back. The price, in the end, was four years and $30 million. James didn’t collect all of it, but he still got plenty. The Colts felt James was on the downside, not worth the cash, and in the end, they were proven right that they didn’t need him — winning the Super Bowl in 2006 with young Joseph Addai and the serviceable yet forgettable Dominic Rhodes at running back.

The overall trend to run through running backs when they were cheaper and then move on hadn’t enveloped the NFL completely. But that’s about when the Cards’ thought process turned. From there, Tim Hightower was a fifth-round pick who essentially replaced Edge in 2008. Beanie Wells was added in the first round for 2009. Ryan Williams was drafted in 2011. Then came Andre Ellington and Stepfan Taylor last season. The Cardinals have not spent anything close to significant money on a free agent running back since Edge. They have yet to have a running back drafted play past his rookie contract. The reality of the NFL is that the position has not only be devalued, the bottom dropped out of the market faster than Arizona home sales circa 2009.

Only Williams is scheduled to make at least $1 million this season, and whether he remains on the 53-man roster for 2014 is very much up in the air. Ellington (who only will make $495,000) is the starter, and whether Taylor ($495,000) or Jonathan Dwyer ($795,000) is the other back, there is little (relative) investment. You see the same across the league, with the money being paid to free agent running backs, with the way running backs are sliding down the draft every year. The way things have gone, that No. 3 overall pick spent on Trent Richardson might be the last time a top 10 pick is spent on a back ever.

Of course, “ever” is a long time. Sometimes, a back is special and deserves the big money. Adrian Peterson comes to mind (and no, we won’t go into how he ties into the Cardinals and the Edge signing right now.) But these days, it doesn’t look like many Petersons will emerge. Not the way colleges are using running backs themselves, and not the way the NFL is handling them once they get to the pros.



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81 Responses to “Edge and the falling value of running backs”

  1. By Mark on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    A really good read on the evolution of the NFL. Things sure have changed and passing the ball is more important then ever. I really hope we can keep our backs healthy all season and make that playoff push. Cardinals can go anywhere if our defense keeps playing with the same intensity.

  2. By D on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    Colt’s were right, he had a HOF career until his knee injury, just a shell of himself when he got here (like Emmett) but of course that Oline was nothing to brag about either. Remember that sweet ride he had delivered at the SB.

    I think 4mil that the Jets paid to Johnson is too much.

    SF is looking to trade RB L. James for a draft pick since they have Lattimore getting healthy, I see SF with all those draft picks being a big mover on draft day, question, would SF and AZ do a draft day deal on moving spots?

    Darren, do we know if any NFC West teams have ever done deals together on the first day of the draft? I am guessing that has never happened and probably never would occur.

  3. By Darren Urban on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    D —

    RE: NFC West deals

    I would highly doubt it.

  4. By Dan on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    I used to love watching Terry Metcalf and O.J. Anderson play for the Cards. Those were two great backs and I believe if Ellington stays healthy, he can be as productive as Metcalf was. Dwyer and Taylor will take a lot of the snaps in order to keep him fresh and healthy. He wont be an every down back like Anderson but he will be a very productive runner for our team

  5. By Corgon on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    I think the RB position is in the process of evolution at the moment. Once it will solidifie itself, the RB-s will be a premium position again. Andre Ellington has good hands, but he still a RB. When 2017 the draft will be filled with players better than Andre, someone will spend high picks on them.
    Chosing a TE 10-15 years ago in the top 10 would be like a Jaguars like move, but today….There is a pretty good chance Ebron will be the Bills 9th selection and noone would question the idea.
    We can say, “he is a good college player but in the NFL…..” all the time, but from 10 years now they will be the NFL. The coaches are changing, the players are changing, the game is changing…whether we like it or not.

  6. By All day on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    Hearing that the 49ers are looking to trade Lamichael James. Any chance the Cardinals would be interested. Obviously reading within the division is difficult but what are the chances?

  7. By Andy Kw on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    I like our chances of trading our #20 pick to the Cleveland Browns. An NFL Analyst believes that the Arizona Cardinals will be looking at QB Derek Carr. The Browns are high on this QB Prospect and will probably trade up from #26 to secure him. In exchange for our #20 Pick, I expect their #26 pick and a #19 Third Round Pick. I just have a feeling that we will be receiving more than our original 6 picks.

    1.) DT Ra’Shede Hageman (Minnesota) 6’6” 310lbs
    -This team has to gear up for DT Darnell Dockett or NT Dan Williams departure. Williams is entering the last year of his rookie contract and there are a few rumors of trade possibilities. But he has a chance to be resigned next offseason. Dockett is 32 and is not getting any younger. He is regressing and Hageman can learn a lot from him.
    2.) SS Deone Bucannon (Washington St.) 6’1” 211lbs
    -We need a starting Strong Safety to cover big receivers and he fits the bill. Nothing else needs to be said.
    3.) CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste (Nebraska) 6’3” 218lbs
    -He physicality and size are his strengths. His big leap ability makes him a Corner to be feared. He has the potential to be a great CB in the Pro level.
    3.) QB Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech) 6’6” 248lbs
    -This prospect will take time. We should keep him under the wings for 2yrs and see if he has developed on his third year as a pro. He has the speed, arm strength, and size that fits Bruce Arians’ scheme. Only time will tell if he lives to his potential.
    4.) OLB Adrian Hubbard (Alabama) 6’6” 257lbs
    -OLB Lorenzo Alexander should transition to the Inside Linebacker role, since this team lacks depth. Adrian Hubbard has the size and speed to provide a huge pass rush boost. This guy can bat down passes as well so he has mechanics. He could learn a few things from Shaughnessy and Acho.
    5.) DE Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas) 6’3” 247lbs
    -We keep loading up on Texas DEs. He can be converted to OLB and I think this team should move OLB Alex Okafor back to Defensive End, which is his strength.
    6.) TE Jordan Najvar (Baylor) 6’6” 256lbs
    -Bruce Arians wants TE’s that block first then receive. This guy has the bulk to protect the QB and create lanes for RBs. This guy will have a similar role to our former TE Jim Dray.
    At the end of the preseason, I would expect this team to cut ties with their former 2nd Round Pick RB Ryan Williams.

  8. By D on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    Logan Thomas in round 3? He’ll be lucky to be drafted in Round 7. I do like the idea of trading down adding a pick. They will resign Dan Williams and I do think this will be DD last year in AZ. Could maybe get Tuitt in Round 2 and draft your safety in Round 3.

  9. By br on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Disagree on Logan Thomas, when I first started singing the praises for this guy 4-5 months ago I was pretty confident Cards could steal him in rd 5 , but he is shooting up the draft boards everyone is realizing he had no WR who could catch a cold let alone a football, he has a few minor flaws in his delivery and that is it (experts opinion not mine!) I predict he will be gone when Cardinals go to pick in 4th round. Do ypu realize Va Tech has never had a 1000 YRD Receiver, alot of that is they like to run the ball but alot of it (especially) in the last 6-8 yrs they like to drop the ball more than catch it. Plus Thomas was recruited to play TE ( he was one of the best in high school) so he has value in the draft other than QB. He willis ranked as high as 5th QB by some services no lower than 8th that I have seen lately. Was hoping Cardinals could steal him in rd 5, but they will have to pull the trigger in rd 3 if they want to steal him now! ( could possibly get him in rd 4 but would have to move way up)

  10. By Andy Kw on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    We find a safety, a potential replacement for Darnell Dockett, we add depth at the OLB position, we find a replacement for TE Jim Dray, get a QB that fits Arians’ scheme: why do you guys dislike my mock draft? We can possibly get more picks along the way. Why don’t you guys show me your mock drafts and compile a better one. I would like to see you guys try.

  11. By br on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Andy kw
    You have fallen into this defensive draft rut as well?? I thought we were buds? πŸ™‚
    Cardinals defense was stout last yr and will be stout this yr, our offense needs help right side of o-line wide open btwn the tackles RB (Dwyer not going to cut it) speed at WR…allhigh priority needs before we address replacements for guys who may or may not be here after next yr. I do think a SS who can cover TE’s wouldbe a good 2nd rd pick, but otherwise, oline, speed receiver, running back in that order (rd1, 3, 4) is the direction we need to go to have home field advantage in the SB next yr!!! With immediate offensive help (ie…Martin/ND oline with first pick) and RB to stop defenses from keying on Ellington which I think they will do every game this yr, and a blazing fast WR who can hold on to the ball ( living in NC I got to see Ginn drop quite a few passes) but gives those things to Palmer and he is in the running for league MVP!! All my opinion of course, and I seem to be in the minority, everyone is harping defense for the draft, but offense needs the most improvement. Look back at prior blogs I have put up mocks, as well as thrown some names out for each position on sleepers, small school gems, and possible UDFA rookies the Cards should look to sign after the draft (alot of those were defense to add depth, which in my opinion is all we need on defensive side right now, other than a big SS to stop the TE’s from killing us. I think SK & BA are going all in win this yr mentality, then build for the future starting with next yrs draft, strongly believe with the depth in this yrs draft if they guess right on the picks ( cuz alot is luck if these kids pan out or not) they are looking for 3 or 4 starters or very significant contributions from them, out of this draft!

  12. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw,

    The reason I hate your mock has nothing to do with the positions. It has everything to do with the players.

    Hageman isn’t a first rounder. I think the guy disappears for large parts of the game and really never lived up to his potential at Minn.

    Bucannon is an in the box safety. If you think he is going to lock down TEs , you are highly mistaken.

    Logan in the 3rd???? I just dont get it.

    2 OLBs?? why.

  13. By fightingbird on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    whatever happened to Bennie Wells

  14. By GARY NICHOLS on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw your on.not

    1st. Calvin Pryor if he is still on the board, if not Ra’shede Hageman
    2ed. Gabe Jackson or Cyrus Kouandjio
    3rd. Trent Murphy
    4th. Daniel McCullers
    5th. Marcel Jensen
    6th. Bruce Ellington

    Have a great day, and may God Bless You

  15. By Dynosoar on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    Andy KW,

    my best guess as to why they are called mock drafts is they get mocked. No, seriously, I believe the reason is that everyone has spent a lot of time putting together their own mock drafts and so they’re extremely invested in their personal research.

    This is why I tend to give a thumbs up to anyone who has reasoning with their mocks, whether I agree or not. A lot of effort and time has been put into them and a thumbs up is the least I can do. (I don’t give all mock a thumbs up, but if there’s solid reasoning, I do.)

    Do I always agree? (T. Stone, I only agree to save you the gift card, haha.) No I don’t always agree, but I haven’t spent the time either. I wish I had the time to compile a spreadsheet with all the mocks over the last four months. That would be a fun project. Maybe I can sneak it in early some Saturday morning before my to do lists begin.

  16. By Dynosoar on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply


    why don’t you think Thomas will be drafted?

  17. By GARY NICHOLS on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    I hope Teddy Bridgewater doesn’t go to a team we will have to play this year, because he will make every team he plays against look bad.

  18. By Coach K on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply


    Logan Thomas is a major project with all the tools. He will get drafted, but not in round three. He will get a look in round five at best, and round seven at worst. But definitely in the last three rounds of day three. He is too much of a project.

    Your round one choice was once projected in the middle of round one, but now Hageman has been pushed well into round two by several wide receivers moving up into round one. There are now as many as eight receivers projected to go in round one. I can believe it.

    I like a trade down with Cleveland, but for much more. We would need their 26 of round one, plus their second round pick at minimum. If not, we may decide to keep Carr if he falls. However, I have a feeling nothing we expect is going to happen draft day. This is going to be the most shocking, entertaining draft in history in my opinion. So many scenarios, and so much depth.

    This is the draft you want to trade down and get extra picks. Those who do it right will end up with a boat load of really good players.

  19. By Keith on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    I agree with Andy, i see us possibly trading with Clevland. Maybe still even getting Bridgewater at 26.
    Somebody really good will be taken in the first round and getting another premium pick would be awesome!
    I feel Keim will make at least 2 trades during the draft.

  20. By rod on Apr 17, 2014 | Reply

    I am hoping for Pryor in 1st. Bitonio in the second and Mettenberger in the third. And extra picks.

  21. By Will on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    But Darren correct me if I am wrong, didn’t Edge bring a little swag to the team, a little something that helped bolster the lockerroom. I am not arguing the value of the running back today, but I am of the opinon that the James signing was a little more than just a running back it was also about the attitude.

  22. By Darren Urban on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Will —

    RE: Edge

    That’s not quite the point of the post. I think yes, Edge brought some “swag.” But the Cards were still a bad team and losers of 8 straight his first year here.

  23. By Big Ken on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Andy, I like your mock but subtract Logan from the equation. How did we get two third rounders’ anyway? Interesting Dan Williams rumored to be on the block. I’ve read that too.

  24. By Big Ken on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Oh trade with Cleveland.

  25. By Andy Kw on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    I would love to see WR Brandin Cooks a Cardinal

  26. By D on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Okay Andy KW I will take up on your offer. My tradedown Mock with the Browns. The Browns don’t go for a QB with thier first selection but want to move back up into the lower part of Round 1 to take D. Carr and they have plenty of picks to do it. Cards will add another 3 rd pick by moving down to 26 still above SF (in case they are after the same player) It’s a 150 pt value difference, close to the value of the Brown’s second 3rd round pick.

    Round 1 (26th) S. Tuitt DE.
    Your 5 technique Def lineman from ND that will replace DD after rotating with DD this year. He is younger than Hageman and has good exp in 3-4. He needs a year to learn how to be a professional.

    Round 2. Z. Mettenberger. QB
    Can take a year to learn under Palmer and get healthy.
    A potential Big Ben in the making.

    Round 3. C. Lattimer WR
    With the age of Larry and Ginn need a young WR to groom.

    Round 3. C. Loston SS
    Another playmaker from LSU that has the size for the spot.

    Round 4. J. Hurst RT.
    Can compete with Massie for the RT spot. (he played Left in college next to Cooper but can play RT too)

    Round 5. D. Kennard OLB
    Good depth at the crowded OLB spot for AZ

    Round 6. X. Grimble TE
    Blocking TE from USC

    They can add a ILB in free agency after the draft for depth. Cards can see if McCann and Bethel can be the 4th and 5th CB this year maybe both will make it so AZ doesn’t have to draft a CB next year.

  27. By Big Ken on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Derek Carr troubles me because his brother was such a bust in the Pros. Probably not a fair comparison.

  28. By awesomest wilson on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    If Johnathan Dwyer is so good, why was
    he available? I ended up with him and mendenhall
    for rbs in fantasy two years ago and had poor I live this out on television. We need to
    draft a rb and clear up the roster.

  29. By erik on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply


    Like Dynosaur, I appreciate that you take the time and research to put those together. It is always great when people do creative things they are passionate about. I thumbed it down because, while I love the Cardinals, I have seen so many mock drafts my head is about to explode. I just want to wait for the actual draft and then I will look up all the info on the players selected.

  30. By Dan on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    I will be awfully upset if we take Hageman with the # 20 pick! He is a project and while he may turn out to be a beast and a nice replacement for DD, it’s not what we need now. As for L. Thomas, I would prefer Mettenberger or Mccarron

  31. By Andy Kw on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    I just don’t see Zach Mettenberger as a 2nd Round selection. I think the Arizona Cardinals would be foolish to draft him in the 2nd. We can utilize our 2nd Round Pick a little more effectively. We need a Strong Safety, if Pryor and Clinton-Dix are off the board in round 1, we would need to hope Deone Bucannon or Jimmy Ward are available in the 2nd.

  32. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Andy kw

    Here here! Totally agree with you, Mett, McCaron are both college game managers ( surrounded by the best at every position) they are not NFL QB’s. Besides I think CP is a Cardinal two probably three more seasons.

  33. By Dinesh on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    I am a clemson grad and I watch all ACC games. Logan Thomas in RD 3 would be a Joke. They guy would be lucky to be drafter in Rounds 6-7. Watch his tape. He has no accuracy and cant hit a moving target. he might be a physical specimen, but you cannot teach accuracy. you either have it or you dont.

  34. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Dinesh –

    You may want to practice what you preach…most of his throws hit his receiver s in the hands, they just tried to catch it with there body, and none could catch a cold! Mark my words Thomas gone late 3rd early 4h. If he is on the board when Cards pick in the 5th rd it will be a HUGE mistake not to take him!

  35. By Andy Kw on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K, br, Dynosoar, JTDG, D, Big Ken,
    -Let me adjust my draft with a little more addition to the offensive side of the ball but with balance on defense. I will include my Browns’ trade but I will also, hoping, the Arizona Cardinals will try to trade RB Ryan Williams to the Ken Whiz Tennessee Titans. CLE (#26 1st Round, #19 3rd Round) TEN(#13 7th Round)

    1.) WR Brandin Cooks (Oregon St.) 5’10” 189lbs
    2.) SS Deone Bucannon (Washington St.) 6’1” 211lbs
    3.) OLB Trent Murphy (Stanford) 6’5” 250lbs
    3.) DT Kelcy Quarles (South Carolina) 6’3” 297lbs
    4.) QB Logan Thomas (Virginia Tech.) 6’6” 248lbs
    5.) OT Wesley Johnson (Vanderbilt) 6’5” 297lbs
    6.) CB Walt Aikens (Liberty) 6’1” 205lbs
    7.) TE Jordan Najvar (Baylor) 6’6” 256lbs

  36. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Andy kw

    Wow that ia pretty big adjustment, if you truley feel that is how you think we should draft and not adjusting to appease a bunch of amateur football fanatic want to be gm’s then I like this version a ton more than the other, I would still go Z.Martn/ND in rd 1 if he is there, but if we trade down he is probably gone by #26 (probably gone by #20 to be honest) only other thing I May do is draft a RB I love the kid from Towson Terrance West, and if we can somehow trade Williams (i doubt we get any takers) but if he is not on the roster, then I would snag West in 3rd (most experts are sayng he may go in 2nd rd) but if he is there in 3rd then I hope we grab him, of course in my opinion we culd draft a SS ( one that can cover TE/Big Slot Guys) 2nd or 3rd rd, and all other picks could be offense and I would be happier than a pig in poop! Although I do like the CB from Liberty think that wuld be a good value pick, and even though I know I will hear crap, every other pick being offensive would make me a very happy man (knowing if we upgrade the offense we will have home field advantage in the SB next yr!!! If we draft defense for depth and replacements for guys who may not be here for the 2015-16 season we will end next yr just like this yr…watching the playoffs on tv!!!)

  37. By SteveG on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Three more weeks of fans doing mocks that mean nothing..THANKS OBAMA!!!!

  38. By Big Ken on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    A mock on has the Texans trading their 33, 65,181 and a 2015 3rd round pick to us for the 20th pick. Christmas in May!

  39. By Big Ken on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Texans selecting Bortles.

  40. By Andy Kw on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Shutup Steve G

  41. By Dynosoar on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Andy KW,

    if Dinesh’s observations are accurate, what other QB would you take and when? Interesting, a WR in the first. What do you like about Cooks over a SS? I love that you’ve found a way to get us two extra picks.

    I’ve heard others speak of size regarding Clinton-Dix and Pryor (they are shorter than many TE’s), but I do believe our Honey Badger is on the shorter side of 6′ as well and he seems to be doing pretty good.


    I’m with you. I rarely look at college players specifically enough to put together a mock draft and Darren does such a bang up job putting together all the information after the picks that what I need to know is available when it counts (that last was for SteveG).

    I do appreciate the time involved that others put in. And it’s fun to speculate.

    My one question, how much time does anyone put into looking at the mock drafts for other teams and compare to what you’ve put together? Ok. Ok, so that would take a weeks vacation I know, but does anyone look at other team fans mocks? I think that would prove interesting and fun.

  42. By Buck on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw You have already drafted every player in college, high school, and Pop Warner. When are you going to quit?

  43. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Buck…happens to be very interesting read for myself and quite a few others, what else is a bunch of football junkies supposed to do to do until draft weekend arrives (gotta blame the nfl for pushing the draft back this year!)

  44. By rod on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken-

    David Carr was an outstanding QB, he could spin the football.

    He got thrown to the wolves for day one with the expansion crappy line of tue Texans, he got the snot knocked out of him by defenders every game and it ruined him.

    I think history looks at him a little differently if he gets drafted by a team that could have kept him upright.

    Just sayin’

  45. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw,

    If you think Whiz is giving up anything more than a bag of rocks on an oft injured unproven Rb, you have lost your mind.

    As for you mock, way back before FA, Jason and me debated about Cooks He was my first round pick at 20 But as we signed Ginn to a 3 yr contract, it made sense the cards are set with Fitz, floyd and Ginn for a while And while I would leverage myself with a wr to protect against a split with Fitz during his contract being redone, I would not make him a 1st or second rounder.

    As for Bucannon, I cant make myself any more clear, this guy will get burned by athletic TEs like Vernon Davis and Jarod Cook. He is a in the box big hitter who will play the run and hit guys over the middle, he will get in passing lanes on short passes and get picks, but, as our defense does, ask him to run 15-20 yards with a TE or WR, he will be toast.

    Murphy is a try hard high moter guy and Quarles is a solid addition behind Dockett.

  46. By Keith on Apr 18, 2014 | Reply

    K Andy-

    1) OLB Dee Ford, Auburn
    2) DT Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
    3) C/G Weston Richburg, Colorado State
    3) SS Craig Loston, LSU
    4) QB Tom Savage, Pittsburg
    5) CB Nevin Lawson, Utah State
    6) WR Robert Herron, Wyoming
    7) P Kirby Van Der Kamp, Iowa State

    I know it’s mostly BS anyways! We’ll know in 3 weeks.

  47. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    I’m going to do something we were taught in the Marine Corps never to do…going to ASSUME the Punter you have listed is a joke, or a form of sarcasm? Considering we have one of the best punter already & we have NO 7th round pick due to the Carson Palmer trade.
    If it was posted as a joke, it sure made me chuckle!

  48. By Mike Ellingboe on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Andy Kw,

    I wasn’t going to weigh in on this, but who cares if anyone likes you mock? It’s not like anyone, no matter how many darts they throw at their pretend boards, is going to get more than 1-2 out of 6 anyways. Every player can be picked apart, if you like what you’ve put, go with it. I’ve seen mocks a lot less logical from those who supposedly know better.

  49. By Louisville Card on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    @gary Nichols

    I couldn’t agree more about Bridgewater…

    If for some crazy reason he falls to the cards at #20, like Rodgers did for the Pack and they don’t pick him I’ll have to wonder about BA and Keim. Most people that don’t think he can translate to the NFL haven’t watched his game tape. All he does is win games, make clutch throws from the pocket or on the run, can take a hit(see Florida bowl game tape), and lead a team with humility. Why would attributes like that not make you a fit for any team JTDG?

  50. By georgiebird on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    re:running backs
    The value of running backs may have gone down throughout the league over the past few years. A running back is worthless for bad teams who can’t throw the football.
    But for teams who have established passing games such as SF, Sea, Pats and Saints, the very good RB is just as important as ever. I’ve seen enough of Marshawn Lynch and Frank Gore ripping off big gains to salt away a victory.
    The Cardinals offense sits right at the cusp of a team who could benefit big time from a top notch RB

  51. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Your last paragraph says it all, on the cusp is right, that is why I’m so perplexed as to why all ( or most ) still put up mock drafts with the first three rounds defensive picks, when we need starters on offense, difference makers!! All the defense really needs is depth picks (with SS being the exception ) I really like the idea of trade moving down in 1st getting a few extra high rd picks and using those extra picks on offense! Imagine what CP could do with an extra second or two of pass protection, and a serious solid btwn the tackles RB so opposing defenses cant key on Ellington, 1st rd should be an O-Line pick to step in on right side and become an anchor for next decade (holding my breath that Martin /ND will be there but I doubt it!!) Would go into cardiac arrest if Cards come away with both Martin and T. West/Towson at RB! OH happy days!! Heck if we could come away with those two the other picks could all be on defense for all i care. (Well maybe L. Thomas/Va Tech to complete the Hat Trick. ( Go ST Louis Blues!!!)

  52. By jason on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply


    I watched the videos of Tom Savage on and to me he looks like a WAY less athletic version of Logan Thomas. I liked a lot of his throws but he makes just as many bad throws as Thomas, in the Miami game alone the defense dropped three INT’s off of terrible decisions by Savage. It made me go and look at their common opponents and I think you’ll be surprised by the results.

    Common opponents Virginia, Georgia Tech, UNC and Miami

    Logan Thomas 76-113 67.3% 1169 7 -1
    Tom Savage 85-149 57.0% 1018 6-4

    Logan Thomas severely outplayed him against common opponents and even won their head to head match up when VT beat Pitt 19-9. Savage was throwing to Tyler Boyd and Devin Street who are both going to be playing on Sundays.

  53. By jason on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Not trying to down play Savage I like him as a prospect as well just think it’s funny that the media has talked Savage up so much lately and has even made it into McShay’s top 5 QB’s in the draft while Thomas continues to get zero credit.

  54. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply


    Thanks for taking the time to post those stats! I agree with you on the Savage/media talk up to an almost “do no wrong, god like status” only worse media stroking I have seen is the media slobering all over the current resident of the White House!
    Thomas is far and away more talented, and athletic than Savage, and his so called accuracy issue is created by his skill position compadres cant cath the dang ball, thats it…if BA & TM repair the few minor issues with his release that the so called experts say he has, and with him throwing to receivers who can actually catch the ball (Ginn should be gone by the time Thomas would take over at QB) then his accuracy is only going to go that much higher!
    Thanks again for the #’s
    One other huge advantage for Thomas over Savage is Thomas can easily revert back to TE or even multi-purpose receiver/running back especially in the redzone, teams would have to be prepared for him to run, or split out wide or cover him as a TE, orbe prepared for the “halfback pass” or he could lineup under center as a QB, and run some form of a wildcat ( or in our case “wildbird” πŸ™‚ like Tebow, only successful and talented!!!

  55. By jason on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Whoops missed a game and it was a big one because Savage has his best game and Thomas had a terrible game….Duke.

    Thomas 97-151 64% 1383 7-5 (21-38 214 0-4)
    Savage 108-182 59% 1442 12-4 (23-33 424 6-0)

  56. By Louisville Card on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Why even talk about Savage and Thomas we have two decent backups already. If you’re going to spend a pick on a qb in this draft he better be starting by next year…Neither Savage or Thomas will ever start a full season in the NFL so why talk about the next backup qb’s in the draft.

    I get that the draft is later and there’s not much to talk about now, but do you really want the Cards wasting one of their picks on Savage, Thomas, or Mettenberger. Just because they have cooler last names doesn’t mean they’ll be good. None of them are worth a pick since the cards have great backups…

  57. By br on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply

    You take a QB that you think has potential, a good yr or two of coaching and you may have your franchise QB teams do it all the time, franchise QB’s that walk in on day one and were drafted top 5-10 dont grow on trees, this year there is one day 1 starter ( or who is nfl ready i should say, because some will walk in and be thrown to the wolves because the team has no other option) Bortles is it, the rest are decent enough to sit for a yr maybe two and then go on to hopefully an average nfl career, Cards dont need to draft a QB especially not in rds 1-4 but using a later rd pick on a project that has good potential is commonplace in the nfl, and frankly just good business. Wasting a pick in rds 1-3 on a QB is nuts, unless Bortles falls to us in somekind of miracle! This is a very weak QB class, the rest of the QB’s would still be on the board in rd 3 in most good QB years. I’m just greatful we dont need a QB this year because desperate teams do desperate things like reach way to far for a QB, which this year any QB drafted before round #3 (with the exception of Bortles, and as much as I hate to say it, Manziel,) is a complete waste of your first two picks.

  58. By br on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Andy kw and
    One note on Aiken/ Liberty, he could be a steal in the later rds for us ( or any team) he didnt start out at Liberty he actually played his Freshman yr for my beloved Fighting Illini of Illinois, and played quite well, made the B10 freshman all conference team so he has proved he can play with the big boys, plus two of his best games against Wake Forest and NC State also led the B10 in forced fumbles. In his 3 yrs at Liberty he was all conference, as well at Illinois he played alot of Safety ( could be the answer in covering TE’s) he is a very good tackler and plays very aggressive vs the run ( something that PP is horrible at doing) also decent in press man coverage, one more added bonus is special teams, played the gunner position with distinction. BUT (and there is always a BUT when a player gets multiple honors and starts as a Freshman ( for one of the best programs in the best conference in the nation) πŸ™‚ Zook dismissed him from the team for stealin laptops and other devices from the dorm rooms of other Illinois athletes! Felony charges that were later pleaded down to misdemeanor in court! So he has off field issues, and issues with integrity ( which is pretty high on my list of no no’s) now, was it a one time screw up and very bad judgment by an 18yr old immature teenager, or could it rear its ugly head down the road?? Had no issues since that one and has kept his nose clean while at Liberty U. (Barracks thieves in the Marine Corps were the worst kind of scum, but we dealt with it internally usually with a nice “blanket party

  59. By Big Ken on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG-Whiz has done stranger things. Like draft Ryan Williams in the first place. What’s wrong with reuniting coach and player?

  60. By Keith on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    If you have an Anthony Barr or a Aaron Donald at 20, I think you take him at 20. Otherwise, you look at opportunities to trade back and get more picks. Can’t really decide until draft day when your on the clock.
    Still upset from that year we were in a position to take Suggs and traded back and got Calvin Pace and Bryant Johnson.

  61. By Gary Nichols on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Louisville Card

    Thanks for the post. A lot of people are looking at Teddy’s pro-day workout without looking at his game films. Because if they did, they would see one big difference in him. He was throwing without gloves on. Every game he played in he had the gloves on. I don’t thank any of the other QBs have used gloves doing games. This shows he is a big time QB ready for the NFL and its cold weather. God be with you always.

  62. By br on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply

    Louisville Card

    I have 2 serious questions for you when it comes to Bridgewater. Its obvious you have a bias by your posting name, which is great I would expect that from all loyal fans, im a diehard Fighting Illini fan and would like to think all of them are worthy of high draft picks but I like to think Im not quite that biased.

    I figured when Teddy refused to participate at the combine he was trying to delay the obvious, that he was overrated, he wanted to work out at his pro day so he could throw to his receivers on his home turf thinkng that would help his results and cover his weaknesses, i may be wrong about him, and hope I’am, never want to see a young man fail at anything, but my questions to you
    Why didnt he participate at the combine?
    If gloves make such a huge difference for him why didnt he wear them at his pro day?
    Again, I hope he proves me and any other doubter wrong but I dont see anything more than a great college QB and an average pro game manager, and I believe any team who takes him high in round 1 (because they are desperate for a QB) are not going to get a franchise QB, hopefully in a couple yrs he will be a solid starter for a decent team, but I cant see anymore than jusst that, and lately more and more so called experts (which I’am not!!) are starting to question all the earlier hype and he is going to fall down the boards, i just hope he is gone before Cards pick, then BA & SK wont be tempted to waste a pick when we have bigger needs.

  63. By Chuck 1 on Apr 19, 2014 | Reply

    Andy kw,
    Play nice.

    Mike Ellingboe,
    Nice to see you back.

  64. By Andy Kw on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply

    If OLB Aldon Smith is cut, I say we go after him. This guy can play and I feel that the players on this team can get him back on the right track.

  65. By CN Punk on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply

    Normally i don’t comment on something like brining Aldon Smith on board the Arizona Cardinals, but bringing that cancer into our locker room would be one of the dumbest things this coaching/front office staff could do, and would go against everything they have said about wanting “football players, who love to play the game”. He is immature, and isn’t showing any signs of wanting to improve. How intelligent can a guy be to get arrested for a bomb threat in an airport, AFTER 9/11 no one, let alone a pro-bowl NFL player should even be talking about such things anywhere near an airport. There is a reason we are going to be hoisting the Lombardi Trophy after the 2014-15 season, because our team is constructed of players and coaches willing to fight and sacrifice for one another that call themselves a family. Aldon Smith does NOT fit that bill and more than likely won’t even be playing next year to see us make history.

  66. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply

    Alright Jason,
    here is why Logan Thomas has issues. Below are his 2013 stats. A couple of things jump out.

    First, the Bama game really stands out. 5 for 26? I really dont care that his wrs are not good, that is just horrible

    But throw out Bama, look at his stats.
    Miami and UNC look like an allstar QB. He follows up UNC with a less than exciting game against Pitt and a horrible game vs Duke. Another poor game against BC, Then two good games vs Miami and MD. The two horrible games to finish the year.

    Inconsistent all year. He had 3 games (UCLA, UVA, and Bama) where he was under 45% comp . He then had 3 games where his comp % was over 67%.
    14 TDs and 13 INTs. Up and down.

    He went to the Senior bowl and from throw to throw, was just like his year, inconsistent.

    08/31 BAMA L 10-35 26 5 19.2 59 2.3 0 1 5 2 0.4 0
    09/07 WCAR W 45-3 31 17 54.8 200 6.5 1 2 0 0 – 0
    09/14 @ECU W 15-10 43 25 58.1 258 6.0 2 1 7 9 1.3 0
    09/21 MRSHL W 29-21 34 18 52.9 181 5.3 1 2 23 58 2.5 2
    09/26 @GATECH W 17-10 25 19 76.0 221 8.8 1 0 16 58 3.6 1
    10/05 UNC W 27-17 28 19 67.9 293 10.5 3 0 9 2 0.2 0
    10/12 PITT W 19-9 34 19 55.9 239 7.0 1 0 16 27 1.7 0
    10/26 DUKE L 10-13 38 21 55.3 214 5.6 0 4 24 101 4.2 1
    11/02 @BC L 27-34 41 24 58.5 391 9.5 2 2 20 38 1.9 0
    11/09 @MIAMI W 42-24 31 25 80.6 366 11.8 2 0 10 42 4.2 0
    11/16 MD L 24-27 31 19 61.3 210 6.8 2 0 13 -17 -1.3 0
    11/30 @UVA W 16-6 29 13 44.8 229 7.9 1 1 15 -26 -1.7 0
    12/31 @UCLA L 12-42 12 4 33.3 48 4.0 0 0 3 49 16.3 0

    I’m sorry, I just cant get on board. If Arians takes him as a flyer, great.

  67. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply


    Your argument for Thomas over Savage is Thomas can revert back to TE??

    Well Jason and br, this should fire you up.

    Rob Rang of CBS Sports has a two round mock .

    Cards 20th pick – Demarcus Lawrence (love this guy)
    Card 52nd pick – Tom Savage

  68. By br on Apr 21, 2014 | Reply

    JTDG –

    I know I already saw this crap mock draft, sone cursed and thre my phone across the room….lol
    Hopefully Cards front office is smarter than this guy!!! I have no issue with a 5th or 6th rd on Thomas or even Savage (BA & SK can judge talent and future progression of a player better than I can, I just think Thomas has a much higher ceiling and he sure as heck is more athletic, actually comparing them to one another doesnt really equate to much since they are totally different tyypes of QB. As far as Thomas being the smarter choice in my mind it is not even close, Thomas’s WR’s were awful holding on to the ball, Ithink if BA can get ahold of him he can coach up that freakish athletic ability change his delivery that the experts say need minor fixes and in a couple yrs your looking at a bigger faster stronger Russell Wilson! With Savage at best your looking at about a half of a Tony Romo. Thomas having the ability to convert to TE is not a reason to even draft him in the 3rd round, let alone 5th or 6th rd flyer on him, but it is nice to know that if you have a freakish athlete like that his future wont depend on making it as a QB and no matter what round he is picked in it wont be a wasted picked because he is not QB or bust, where as Savage, or any other project that you draft and just doesnt develop into the future QB you hoped for gets cut. You have to admit Thomas is a great value pick no matter the round ( other than rd1-2 obviously ) because hi is so versatile and such a great athlete.

  69. By jason on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply


    I’m cool with Savage….just don’t see the Cards spending a high draft pick on a QB.

    I’m not trying to get you on board with Thomas I just think it’s weird that you are super critical of Thomas, but you think we should take a look at Savage?

    I was just curious how they fared against common opponents since they play in the same conference and I thought you’d be interested/surprised by the results.

  70. By jason on Apr 20, 2014 | Reply


    I know you really like Logan Thomas but JTDG isn’t wrong…he has red flags and while his supporting cast didn’t help him they aren’t the cause of his erratic play. If you watch the Duke game it’s pretty awful stuff and it’s hard to defend him for his play that game.

  71. By br on Apr 21, 2014 | Reply


    I dont think Cards should waste a pick on a QB either. Would love it if Thomas was around 5-6th rd when we came up to pick,due to his versatility I think he would be a steal for any team, even teams that have young solid QB’s already entrenched under Center. I just firmly believe from watching him these past few yrs that he could be a franchise QB, and alot of the low completion rate is on his supporting cast, they drop a huge amount of passes. Does Thomas need some work, yes of course. Iis he a sure fire perennial Pro Bowl franchise QB for the next decade…Could be with the right coaching (which the Cards have) but a 5-6 th rd pick for that talented of an athlete is a huge value pick in my book. Unfortunately I think Thomas goes off the board late 3rd, early 4th, I would not use a pick in the 3rd on him ( unless we trade for extra picks or he just blew away BA at his private workout, ) but if he is still available in 5th I would love to see Cards snag him, if nothing else he can be a nightmare for opposing teams lining up all over the field, and in the redzone the possibility’s are endless, then in two to three…hell maybe four yrs before CP hangs up the cleats, if Thomas has been molded into the future QB that BA wants then he takes over if not you still have a versatile weapon (highly likely he reverts to TE) but it was only a 5th rd pick.

  72. By Big Ken on Apr 21, 2014 | Reply

    I’ll bet they go with a TE or a RB for depth before they draft a QB this season. The only scenario I see is an UDFA for competition for Lindley. They’re not completely sold on Mr. Lindley.

  73. By Mike Ellingboe on Apr 21, 2014 | Reply

    Enjoying the back and forth about potential QB’s, but I’d be very surprised if we go that direction. I don’t know exactly where Keim stands on it, but Arians couldn’t be more of an open book. He’s stated if Roethlisberger or Luck were available he’d obviously add them, but in looking at this draft class I don’t see either, (although I know some see Roethlisberger in Bortles). I seriously doubt he’d draft a project at the position, either. In the past he’s hitched, or had his wagon hitched, to first round QB’s, and the first thing he did upon his arrival here was to go get Palmer. I think he’s smart enough to know you need a thoroughbred at that position, and putting your job on the line for a guy with a lot of holes in his game isn’t a mistake he’ll make, unlike his predecessor. He’s said, as well, that he likes the current chemistry of the three QB’s he has. Add that up, and I don’t see a QB this year. When he does pick one, I have no doubt they’ll go all in on a first rounder. Until then, I don’t expect much on the offensive side of the ball in this year’s draft, per Keim himself.

  74. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2014 | Reply

    Guys I dont think anywhere you see me mocking or fighting for the cards to take Tom Savage.

    I think I said he is interesting and we should take a look at him. And of course, after much research, decide if he is someone to take. To be honest, I do not know about taking him. Those gun slingers are fun to watch but dont have many rings. (from Dan Fouts to Matt Stafford)

    As for taking a QB, I am always a little torn on this subject. We do not need a QB. But we have seen in the past Warner retire with a year on his contract and the cards scrambling for 3 years to replace him. Can Palmer play 3 years? I think so. Will he? I have no idea.

    That is my fear is Palmer decides to walk before we are ready.

    The flip side is, we are close. The cards came on strong last year and are a contender. Is it wiser to get those difference makers to get us to the next level?

    No doubt the cards will need a Strong Safety, Maybe a right tackle. Then everything else is depth. I think that is what we will see in this draft.

  75. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2014 | Reply

    One more comment about Logan Thomas;

    NFL Network reported that teams that are talking to him have asked if he is willing to play TE. His size and speed makes for an interesting prospect at TE.

    Not a good report for his QB prospects though.

  76. By jason on Apr 22, 2014 | Reply


    I’m really tired of debating this so this is my last post.

    I paraphrased you correctly if you go back and look at my post “take a look” at Savage is what i said, but my contention is the same: You’re hyper critical of Thomas and have stated that he can’t be an NFL QB even going so far as to compare him to high profile busts Tim Tebow and JaMarcus Russell but you’re ok with taking a look at Savage who has similar bad mechanics and decision making. You like to bring up the Alabama game as why Thomas is terrible but he had 8 drops that game 2 on throw over 20+ yards and 2 on throws 10-19, but did you think to watch the game or account for that? His stats wouldn’t be so awful if you take that into account…but do you watch the game? Do you research Thomas? Or do you just take what media scouts say about him as gospel? I know he isn’t perfect….but at the same time he isn’t as flawed as you like to portrait. He is a mid round pick that has the tools to be a NFL QB just like Savage or Mettenberger. I say again put Logan Thomas with NFL caliber WR’s and I’d love to see his stats.

  77. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 22, 2014 | Reply


    i agree, we have wasted too much time debating over Thomas.

    My latest comment was just a report that came out that teams have asked if Thomas would consider moving to TE.
    Not my opinion, just a fact they stated on the network.

    FYI – For the record, I have never used the Tim Tebow as an example. Thomas has so much more talent than Tebow. I also said a while back the cards should kick the tires on Thomas. I’ve said if the cards take a flyer, great. The Jamarcus Russel example is more about wasted talent than anything. For whatever reason, he has a Duke game or the 3 games he was under 45% comp. It seems like a legit concern. That is enough of a concern that would prevent me from drafting him in the first 5 rounds.

    Savage interest me and I am not sure why. Not a guy I would usually look at. There is something about him that has more than me taking interest. As I posted above, Rob Rang (he is not alone) has the guy going 52nd overall.
    Again, for the record, I have never said draft him.

    The only QB I have mocked was Mettenberger. That was because in my mock, we traded down with the Browns , then the Jags, giving us two extra picks. It makes sense to take a chance on a QB with”the houses money” so to speak. I liked what I saw out of Zack in the 2012 Bama game and his pro day.

  78. By jason on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    This pretty much sums up what i’ve been saying this entire time.—-more-pro-ready-than-cam-newton-was-in-2011–214727831-nfl.html

  79. By jason on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    By John The Draft Guy on Jan 15, 2014 | Reply
    Logan Thomas;
    With his size and strong arm, I thought he was someone to watch till I watched him. Tim Tebow comes to mind. You are a coach and you put the best athlete at QB. He excels and wins games, but really isn’t a QB. He is an Athlete. Gil Bryant has a good article.
    0 0 Rate This

    Um, this is what you said…

  80. By Big Ken on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply

    “Must consider new positions”. So it’s like graduating from med school and becoming a tree surgeon?

  81. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 23, 2014 | Reply


    you got me on the Tebow comment. I would have sweared I never compared him to Tebow. I must be getting old and forgetful.

    I even forgot about Gil Bryants article. Wow, I need to make an appt with my doctor.

    Ben Ken,

    No it is like getting an NFL check instead of living in the real world like you and me.

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