In the draft room, time to mock

Posted by Darren Urban on May 6, 2014 – 10:24 am

Today, the front office and coaches and scouts mock.

After oodles and oodles of mock drafts have been sent out through the internet since, well, since last year, really, the GM Steve Keim and his group spend part of today doing their own mock scenarios. The point, of course, is to try and get some kind of handle on what players might be there at 20 when the Cardinals pick and what the Cards would do in that case.

“We’ll do a mock draft, several mock drafts, and our pro scouts will put together a nice, neat board,” Keim said. “We’ll play out some different scenarios and then we’ll be ready to talk about our (undrafted) free agency process a little more with our scouts and our coaching staff.”

The team’s “120” board takes care of the players the Cards will pick, in whatever way they are thrown at the team come the time the Cards will be on the clock. Still, there are benefits to mocking at this point other than just trying to predict an outcome.

“The mocks I’ve been involved with in past with different organizations, usually it’s a nice stress reliever,” said vice president of player personnel Terry McDonough, who was hired by the Cardinals after last year’s draft after spending a decade in Jacksonville. “You do it a couple of days before the draft and everyone is a little nervous and you have a few laughs. You have the scouts and the coaches and a lot of the coaches in the past aren’t as up on a lot of the mock drafts like the scouts and so you kind of give them a list of the players who are going to go in the first round, it’s realistic.

“The most fun thing I’ve been a part of in the mocks I’ve been involved in, you go through a one-, two-, three-round mock, sometimes you get to the second round and inevitably, someone takes a guy who has already been taken. Usually that’s the guy who gets hammered because he’s not paying attention what’s going on. You hear (someone make a buzzer sound) and the room gets loud and guys have a laugh. It’s an embarrassing moment. But other than that, the pro department does a nice job with the other teams’ needs and it’s fun.”

Bruce Arians joked that Google provides 18 pages of mock drafts when someone goes searching. Keim said it’s probably good not to look at them — “They confuse you and get your mind scrambling for sure.” Still, like everyone else who mocks, the Cardinals will see Thursday just how close they have come.

“This year it’ll be closer (to the truth) because everyone knows who the top 10 or 15 picks will be,” McDonough said.


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36 Responses to “In the draft room, time to mock”

  1. By dan on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Hey Darren,
    With 32 teams going seven rounds, plus compensatory picks, shouldn’t the Card’s board be more like a “220 Board” than a “120 Board”?

  2. By Darren Urban on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Dan —

    RE: “120”

    I will post about this sometime before the draft, but ultimately, you’d be surprised with how many players last. Also, they will be able to tweak it going into Day 3.

  3. By Andy Kw on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Fine, I hate to do mocks and bore you Cards fans again but I promise, this will be officially my last mock for the 2014 NFL Draft:
    -Transactions: The Arizona Cardinals trade their First Round Pick to the Cleveland Browns for their original 2nd, 3rd and 5th Round Picks:

    2nd: SS Deone Bucannon, Washington State (From Browns)
    2nd: OLB Trent Murphy, Stanford
    3rd: CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Nebraska (From Browns)
    3rd: QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech
    4th: WR Paul Richardson, Colorado
    5th: OT Michael Schofield, Michigan (From Browns)
    5th: CB Walt Aiken, Liberty
    6th: TE Jacob Pederson, Wisconsin

  4. By Aj on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Thank the Lord for no more mock drafts as of Thursday night. BA and Keim both said that 99% of the mocks out there were incorrect as is.

  5. By Matthew on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Do any of you Cardinals fans think this is a good mock draft us or not?

  6. By Coach K on May 6, 2014 | Reply


    Round 1- Joel Bittonio, OT, Nevada (Love his nasty attitude-will beat out any right tackle we have on the roster right now.)

    Round 2- Deone Bucannon, SS, Wash. St. (Big hitter and size)

    Round 2- (Trade bonus) – Trent Murphy, olb, Stanford. (100% all-beef cock-strong, manhood). Bullets will not move him.

    Round 3- Kareem Martin, DE, UNC (Huge upside with excellent length)

    Round 4- Logan Thomas, QB, Va. Tech (Why not? Perfect chuck of clay for B.A. to mold into a great QB)

    Round 5- Max Bullogh, ILB, mich. st (Leadership and toughness.. Period)

    Round 6- Jeff Janis, WR, Sag. Valley (6-3, 215 lbs with 4.39 speed). Are you kidding me. Could be the biggest steal in NFL draft history. Insane size and speed combination. Level of competition was lower, but not this kids talent.

  7. By o on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    i think predicting trading out of the 1st round entirely is a bit premature,may decide on who falls to #20,might be someone we really like,if that’s the case,stay put and consider trades in later rounds.we have a history of doing trades closer to the picks to see who might be available,i’m sure steve and co.have this all factored in as to when to consider a trade and when to pull the trigger.

  8. By SteveG on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Get some help Andy Kw….

  9. By AzDesertRat1953 on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Thursday can not be here soon enough to make these mock happy wanna-be HC’s and GM’s start to focus on something real.

    Maybe the Rookies that have been drafted and if they will have an impact on this 2014 AZ Cardinals Team or will they even make the Team, why did BA and Keim draft him as #1 and so on, now that is Real.

    GO CARDS!!!

  10. By LARRY on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    @Darren Urban What do you think the Cardinals biggest need in the Draft is?

  11. By Darren Urban on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Larry —

    RE: Biggest need

    Biggest need IMO is a young pass rusher. But again, the Cards don’t want to be dictated by need:

  12. By John The Draft Guy on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Andy kw

    The only guy worth picking on your list is Walt Aikens and he wont last till the late 5th in my opinion.

    Coach K

    Bittonio is a solid player but a first round tackle who may be a better guard, while you have Sowell and Massie who can do the job???

    You also will not get a 2nd two with moving down 5-7 spots. Show me in the past drafts where someone dropped from 20 to 25 and got an extra two.

    You both love Trent Murphy and Dieon Bucannon. Got to say I would be upset if we draft either. Murphy is a try hard guy but he is not better than Okerfer, who we drafted last year, or Acho. We want an upgrade.

    Bucannon is just not a guy good in space. I think the cards front 7 did a great job against the run. We now have a run stuffer at ILB with Minter. Why do we want a thumper at safety when the league has evolved in a passing league. Adrian Wilson was a great safety, but he played near the LOS. Back him off 10 yards and ask him to cover in space, he struggled. That is Bucannon.

    Sorry guys, nothing personal, but I hate your mocks

  13. By John The Draft Guy on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Personally,In the first 19 picks, I believe a run on 9 defensive guys, 2 QBs, 3 WRs, and 4 OL and a TE.
    From 20-40, there will be a run on QBs. Teams may try to trade up or sit and pick. I could see the Patriots taking Mettenberger in the second round. If you are the cards, if your guys are gone, trading down makes sense.

    I think there are about 6 good safeties in this draft and the cards will need to draft one in the first 3 rounds. Dix, Pryor, Ward , Brooks, Bailey and Reynolds.

    I also feel that there are some very good pass rushers. I would rate them as Mack, Clowney, Barr, Demarcus Lawrence, and Dee Ford. It would be very tough to pass up one in round one. With Marcus Smith being a round 2 guy. I don’t think anyone else is an upgrade over Okefer and Acho.

    OT might make sense but I can’t believe there is a need early. Sowell and Massie are good enough to hold down the fort.

  14. By steve on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    JohnTheDraftGuy, I know you mentioned awhile back that Anthony Barr would maybe be available at #20, I am not so sure but I agree with you that DeMarcus Lawrence is pretty good as well and could be a darkhorse pick for Keim in the 1st round. Keim and Co. might have Lawrence rated a top 15 player and I wouldn’t be surprised.

  15. By brownie on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    Im hoping for Calvin Pryor to be there for us at 20, guy is a beast!

  16. By Coach K on May 6, 2014 | Reply


    I just flt like adding my own smoke screens the last few days. Frankly, mocks are just for fun to pass some time. you will notice I have posted completely different mocks every few days to keep the fur flying. The truth is, I have no doubts Kim is going to take the absolute best players from extensive scouting that neither of us is privy to. They have these guys screened down to their family life, off field activities, and their math scores in middle school.

    I am excited to know we can trust Keim and him team to pick the best possible players based on a multitude of criteria we don’t have access to. The bottom line is, The Cardinals are only two players away from being a superbowl contender, and this draft is deep enough to deliver two and maybe even three impact players to bring us there.

    I know Carson, Docket and Fitz need to get it now, not later. And I think BA, Keim and their staff will deliver by drafting players who will contribute this season in some manner.

    So it is written, so it shall be done! – “Yul Brenner”

  17. By ak24 on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    John the Draft Guy,

    Ed Reynolds is a top safety and Deone Bucannon isn’t? I needed that laugh, thank you. There’s a reason Reynolds elected not to run the shuttles or the 3 cone at the combine. The guy has zero explosion and quickness. Bucannon on the other hand fits perfectly with HB. He’s got the length, athleticism, tenacity and instincts to be great. There isn’t a single noteworthy scout, coach, analyst that has Reynolds ranked over Bucannon. Not one.

    And PS, it’s spelled Okafor.

  18. By ored on May 6, 2014 | Reply

    if yul brenner wrote it,must be so,after all he had the requisite smooth dome of keim and ba.must have something to do with their iq shedding hair follicles that they found restricting.

    since keim and ba seem to be up to excelling under pressure,i’m sure they consider last draft as just the opening act,grab your snacks and drinks,we are in for a treat.

  19. By jason on May 7, 2014 | Reply


    I think you should take a closer look at Deone Bucannon. I wrote this kid off after reading your evaluation of him as a box safety, but then I went and watched his videos and he has much more ability in space then you give him credit for. He was more athletic than all of the top safeties at the combine and his instincts are apparent on film as he is in nearly every frame around the ball not to mention his 15 career INT’s. He was a four year starter and a three year captain. I have him as my third best safety for us behind Pryor and Ward.

    I would like to know your thoughts on Shazier. I’m late to the party on even considering him because at his size I feel like he is destined to be an ILB in our scheme and with Washington and Minter I don’t feel like there is a place for him to start. Then I had two thoughts: 1) Minter has been described as not the pass defender that Dansby was and part of the reason Dansby was so effective last year was because both he and Washington were three down backers and both had the ability to blitz from that ILB position. Bringing in Shazier for passing downs would allow him to fill that Dansby role which Minter maybe cannot. 2) We need depth at ILB with the loss of Dansby and the looming suspension of Washington. I know we signed Foote but neither Foote, Minter or Alexander will be able to fill the shoes of Washington if he missed a significant amount of games. Even with that being said Shazier would have to be the BEST player on board when we pick because Keim has already said that they wouldn’t change their draft board for the Washington suspension. If we take Shazier I feel that our hybrid 3-4 moves further to the 4-3 or wide 9 line up.

  20. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply


    why Reynolds over Bucannon;

    First, I am going from what I see. Not what analysis say. You have no idea what the personnel guys or scouts think yet. It is not who is best but who is best for the cards.

    The cards have replaced a very good coverage LB (Dansby) with a thumper in Minter. Minter’s strength is not in coverage. If teams run a two TE set and force the cards to stay in a base defense, they better have a SS who can cover in space.

    Bucannon reminds me a lot like ADub. ADub was a beast against the run and blitzing. But he took terrible angles early in his career and although very fast, struggled one on one vs talented TEs.

    I feel that the Safety the cards bring in, should be someone who can cover. Reynolds would be the 3rd round guy and what I have seen out of him is an athlete. He is 6’2″ , fluid, good instincts, can tackle, and is a playmaker. Put the ball in his hands and he can score from anywhere. But best of all, he can jump on Vernon Davis or Jared Cook and cover them one on one.

    I just don’t believe Bucannon can do that. He would fit better as a Kam Chanceller. Enforcer in the middle of the field who floats around in the intermediate and short routes.

    Just my opinion.

  21. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K

    Fun mock drafts;

    Oh I get it. I have seen you and others taking different angles on the draft. But how about this for a different angle.

    Texans trade with Falcons.
    Falcons at #1 take Clowney.
    Lions trade with rams
    Lions at #2 take Watkins
    Jags stay put and take Mack at #3
    Browns go with Manziel at #4
    Raiders take Mike Evans at #5
    Texans at 6 take Bortles
    Tampa and jets trade and Jets take at 7 take Odell Beckham
    #8 is Vikes who missed out on Bortles and go with Aaron Donald
    #9 With a rookie QB last year, they need to give him protection and weapons- Either Ebron or Mathews. Tough choice but I go Ebron.
    #10- Rams after trade are thrilled to land Mathews
    #11-Tennessee has two guys to pick from, Anthony Barr or Justin Gilbert. Horton needs that pass rusher and takes Barr
    #12 – Giants need to protect Manning – Lewan cards is rushed up.
    #13 Rams take Calvin Pryor- just makes too much sense
    #14 Bears take Clinton-Dix
    #15 Steelers jump on Justin Gilbert
    #16 Cowboys need all kinds of help on defense. they were the worst. Donald and Barr are gone. So Dallas trades with KC. At 16, KC takes CJ Mosely.
    #17 Ravens lost out on Mosley and Ebron, so the go BPA and take Kyle Fuller
    #18 – Tampa after the trade, can add Martin or a WR like Brandin Cooks. Cooks can run those bubble screens and underneath or blow the top off – Tampa goes Cooks
    #19 – Miami jumps for joy and picks Zack Martin

    Leaving the cards at 20 the opportunity to take the best CB or OLB available. If I am the cards, Demarcus Lawrence is the pick

  22. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply


    Maybe I am wrong about Bucannon but I am not going to flip flop now.

    Love Shazier. I like big Defensive lineman who eat blocks and fast LBs behind them. I would be banging the drum for Shazier if we didnt take Minter last year. Shazier is a better player who can play all 3 downs. I see him going to GB at 21.
    I feel , like Bowman in 2010, Shazier can play that other ILB spot despite his size. Bowman at 6′ and 240 and speed has become one of the best LBs in football. I dont know if Minter is a mistake or not. He sure was a solid prospect coming out.

    Shazier is a Great blitzer, attacks the football, can cover, amazing speed, everything you look for out of a LB except less than ideal size. Keep him clean and he is a pro bowler.

    I could see the Ravens in my mock above taking him at 17 also.

  23. By ak24 on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    There must be two players with the name Ed Reynolds in this draft, because there is no possible way you are referring to the Ed Reynolds of Stanford with those comments.

    “Bucannon reminds me a lot of like ADub”

    how many ppl here would love to have ADub in his prime at SS right now? 99% of us? Ok, that’s settled.

  24. By Big Ken on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    I think Shazier is too small. Ealy is now starting to slip on some boards. Back to Pryor?

  25. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply


    ADub / Bucannon ;

    ADub was awesome when we had no one to rush the passer and he had 8 sacks. ADub was awesome when you could knock out receivers, but that has been taken out of the game. ADub was solid against the run and playing near the LOS.
    ADub was horrible at the angles he took in coverage and space. ADub was terrible running with a player and his back to the QB. ADub was terrible playing the ball in the air.

    Here is one scouts opinion of Bucannon that reminds me of a young ADub coming out; This is exactly what I saw from him.
    Deone Bucannon – Safety – Washington State

    Size – 6010 – 211 – 4.49
    Strong Points – Very good size, interception production, run support, can try to be physical, zone coverage, plays on special teams’ coverage units
    Weak Points – Misses a lot of tackles (seven in first three games viewed), doesn’t consistently take good angles, has some tightness in his hips, not playing to timed speed
    2013 Stats – 114 total tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, six interceptions for 110 return yards
    Summation – Bucannon has been a starter since midway through his freshman year at Washington State. He has excellent size at 6010 – 207 to go along with very good timed speed (4.49 at combine). While he tests out very well, he doesn’t play that way. He looks more like a 4.55 guy on tape and has some tightness in his hips that hurts his ability to turn quickly in man coverage.
    Bucannon has good, not great instincts. He will misdiagnose some things, and at times, can be a little late to read. Still, he is often around the ball and makes plays.
    He is usually a good run support player who will come up and try and make plays in the box. He can get out of control and is not a top tackler. While he makes a lot of tackles, he also misses a lot. He doesn’t wrap up and often lowers his head and loses sight of his target.
    When in coverage, he is best in zone. He gets depth and usually does a good job keeping plays in front of him. He has range and awareness. I saw a couple of interceptions where a teammate was beaten, yet he got over to make the play. He has good hands and can adjust to the ball.
    He is inconsistent in man. He doesn’t have the hips or suddenness needed to mirror with any consistency. He is best versus shorter routes. He can struggle with a speedy, athletic receiver, and his transition is just average.
    Bucannon is an interesting guy. He makes plays and is aggressive but he also gives up or misses too many plays. He has to settle down and concentrate more. I see him as a strong safety at the next level with a solid chance to be an eventual starter. He should go somewhere in the third or fourth round.

    I think the that sums up my ADub comparison. Some teams will love Bucannon because they have the personnel to let him do his thing. But with Minter, I just cant see how we could have two huge liabilities in coverage on the field. If I am SF, I line up two TEs, playaction and have Gore on a Wheel route and Vernon Davis down the seem and we wont stop it with this personnel.

  26. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    Big Ken

    Shazier – 6’1″ and 237
    Bowman – 6′ and 240

    Bowman is a pro bowler playing the same spot Shazier would be playing. I am not saying take Shazier, but if Minter was not there, he would be the guy #2 on my list behind Mosley.

  27. By Coach K on May 7, 2014 | Reply


    If it comes down to BAP between a corner and outside backer, I’m taking Kyle Fuller over an outside backer. Only because Fuller plays in a style that fits perfectly into Todd’s system. Also, because there is great depth at end rushing outside backers that we can get one in round two. Best Available Athlete, I have to take Fuller. Also, bear in mind Cro is a one year deal and is near the end of is career, and Patrick will need a new deal soon. So a corner of Fullers talent makes more sense right now.

    Also, I really think we need to grab an offensive tackle in round two or three. I think the picture of Sowell running with the first unit the other day speaks volumes on the status of Massie in the eyes of coaches. We NEED to get another right tackle.

  28. By Dr. G. on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    What happened to “Mr. Nothing Personal” who hates any mock but his own with the guarantee that Bortels will go #1 over all to the Texans? Many of these mocks are thoughtful and entertaining – some of you will fair well in the money Fantasy Leagues… Good luck…

    Keim, et al, will not surprise with the Cards’ picks. These guys have proven competence from last year’s performance. I have always had individual players in mind, but it’s futile to try to predict exacting choices. In Keim I trust… all other may but out and fall in line later…. Be well and be patient until Thursday….

  29. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    Coach K,

    I could live with that except the ravens took Fuller in my mock. Dennard was available though.

    I like D Law, but if they grabbed Dennard, I would be ok.

  30. By Dr. G. on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    Not sure I like the Mike Glennon rumors to the Cards for a late round pick… PP’s 2 int’s ate him up last year. Just dunno….

  31. By Dr. G. on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    Just remembered… GM Jason Licht has Glennon in Tampa. Somehow, I’m thinking he has contacted Keim to dangle this trade. The Bucs are set at QB and may draft another one…. Uhhhhh! Mr. Keim…be careful… This has good and not-so-good threads…. possibility thinking… Later

  32. By John The Draft Guy on May 7, 2014 | Reply

    Dr G

    I always said I would take Bortles if I was the Texans. Trading down with the falcons still nets the same player. But I dont think I guaranteed Bortles. But if I was the GM, I take Bortles.

    I also think people make mocks to get others opinions. I think debating players is half the fun. Dont be so sensitive.

  33. By Big Ken on May 8, 2014 | Reply

    I wouldn’t offer more than a sixth rounder for Glennon. Glennon to the Cardinals could all be just smoke.

  34. By Dr. G. on May 8, 2014 | Reply

    jtdg – Not too sensitive at all…just believe that the word “hate” you use to describe others’ opinions is a little strong. Respectful banter is all good, but their opinion is equally important. A Cards’ fan is a Cards’ fan…. A good day to move on to give some anxious rookies a tremendous opportunity…to play for the Cards… Be well….

  35. By Big Ken on May 8, 2014 | Reply

    I like your thinking Coach K. Fuller is a big time sleeper in this draft. I’m also enjoying these heated exchanges between John and Dr.G. All water under the bridge in a few hours/days fellas. I’d love to buy you guys a beer one of these days.

  36. By Joe on May 10, 2014 | Reply

    This has to be the worst draft I can remember by the cardinals. Everyone they drafted was a reach and not the best player available at the time.

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