So, when Cards draft a running back early …

Posted by Darren Urban on April 16, 2015 – 12:51 pm

It is a deep draft for running backs. And the Cardinals are expected to take one at some point. It seems a favorite thing for mock drafters to do, putting a running back next to the Cardinals at their No. 24 first-round pick. I still don’t see this as likely, not with Andre Ellington around, the depth of the available prospects and the question about the top back in the draft (Todd Gurley’s ACL injury.) Another potential part of this equation? What the Cardinals have gotten, or haven’t gotten, out of the backs they have drafted early.

Since the team moved to Arizona in 1988, the Cardinals have drafted a running back in the first or second round nine times:

1988 Tony Jeffery (8 yards in one year in Arizona)
1990 Anthony Thompson (774 yards in three years)
1993 Garrison Hearst (1,503 yards in three years)
1994 Chuck Levy (15 yards in one year)
1996 Leeland McElroy (729 yards in two years)
2000 Thomas Jones (1,264 yards in three years)
2005 J.J. Arrington (654 yards in four years)
2009 Beanie Wells (2,471 yards in four years)
2011 Ryan Williams (164 yards in three years)

Obviously, it’s not a list with spectacular results. Hearst and Jones both had solid NFL careers, but only after they left Arizona. And while only three of those picks have come in the last decade, Arrington and Wells and Williams never made a big enough impact. Wells did have a 1,000-yard season in 2011, but injuries doomed him as they did Williams.

In two seasons, Ellington has already made more of an impact, as a sixth-round pick, than most of the guys on that list — and Ellington produced some in 2014 even though he was never healthy. Given the health concerns of Ellington, and the past issues of Wells and Williams, it’s hard to imagine the Cards taking a flyer on Gurley unless they were completely convinced he was a) not have any lingering effects and b) a special talent. Some believe both those to be the case. But there would be a certain leap of faith. I could see a second-round running back, but again, in this day and age of finding backs later — and with a team that is still going to use Ellington a lot — I think Steve Keim will carefully consider his options.


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57 Responses to “So, when Cards draft a running back early …”

  1. By Whitey on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    They would have been better off having a 6 year old put their running back draft board together – wow what a pathetic list.

    Thank you Darren for throwing some cold water on the Gurley to AZ talk. Great Article.

    It’s much harder to find elite talents at other positions like pass rusher, OL, DL, and CB so we should draft them in the first and wait till later to find a complementary back to fit with a healthy Ellington. Arians said as much a couple weeks ago when he stated that he thought they would draft a running back in the 4th or 5th rounds. However, Arians has been known to blow some smoke on occasion so they probably will take Gurley. See Logan Thomas last year after he said there’s no way they draft a quarterback.

  2. By Patrick Hoog aka Don't Take Losses on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Yep, Darren has it right, too deep a draft at RB to take one early, thats old school Cards.

  3. By kauaicardsfan on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Aloha Darren,
    On all those running backs that we picked only 1 prior to that was worth the early pick was OJ Anderson ( St Louis). Also I dont want to beat a dead horse but we did pass up AP when we could have gotten him.
    But also if we had to go back, our O-lines were never as good as it probably is right now. I think the only time the Cards O-line was feared with when Jim Hart was QB?
    Kiem and his staff is doing a great job, its tough to play all these scenarios in your head before the draft, it actually burns you out,
    Just wish the draft would get here already!!!!

  4. By D on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren-your last few posts have narrowed down the logical pick for AZ in the first round to I would guess taking a CB.

    If none of the top pass rushers fall out of the top 20
    Cards don’t take Gordon (who maybe off the board by 24 and won’t take
    a chance on Gurley with more rehab needed)
    I don’t see AZ taking a ILB or OT since both are needed for this
    year as depth only.
    I don’t believe they take a DE in the first round with the large amount of players at that spot currently on the roster.
    Doubtful they draft a true NT in first round since these days only play 35% of the snaps at the most in a 3-4.
    They need a kick/punt returner, but doubtful drafting one in the first round.

    That would leave the best CB at 24.

  5. By Eric G on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    If Gordon is somehow there, I’m not going to lie that I’d be extremely upset if they don’t take him. Gordon looks like a pro back and is a big value pick at #24. I know we need LBs, but there won’t be a first round LB left on the board by then. Carson needs help, a good RB and ground game will give that to him. Draft Gordon if he is there. Not sold on Gurley, not with that knee injury.

    Also, with the point of all those backs and the rushing yards, remember those are the BK (before Keim) years when this organization just didn’t care about having an offensive line. We have that line now. Time to get a solid RB that can shoulder the load. Gordon fits that mold and won’t be there in Round 2.

  6. By Raxan on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    I agree completely with Darren’s article. The first round pick is someone you want to have a long term impact on your team – normally you only get one shot each year for this. Generally running backs don’t last productively much past 30 if that long. AP type runners are rare (or a Walter Payton). Drafting a runner in the first round who has had a serious injury is a real gamble.

  7. By Whitey on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    The position that makes the most sense to draft in round 1 is pass rusher or CB.

    All of the good pass rushers will be gone except maybe Eli Harold, but Jalen Collins, Byron Jones, or Kevin Johnson should be there. Either one fits the mold of what Arians wants, a young, tall, long, and fast corner that can play press man in their scheme.

    I say draft Collins or Jones in Round 1 and hopefully Kikaha at OLB in round 2 (20 sacks last year in PAC 12 – but injury risk).

  8. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Really?? Come on now.

    How did they do drafting early Olineman?
    Cooper has started 2 games in two years
    Levi Brown was an average RT and a bad LT
    Duece Lutui ate himself right out of league
    Leonard Davis was a bust for AZ, did well for Dallas
    LJ Shelton was nothing to write home about
    Earnest Dye and Ben Coleman were not good

    So lets not take any more OLineman in the first two rounds.

    How about Linebackers?
    Kevin Minter is a year away from being a career backup
    DWash is good, but drugs have kept him off the field
    Cody Brown – bust
    Buster Davis – bust
    levar Fisher – bust

    Dont draft a LB.
    What about QBs or DLineman, it could go on and on.

    I mean, we could do this all day. The reason the cards have been bad for so many years is the draft.

    My point is, it is not the position that is a bad pick, it is the player.

    In 2011, if the cards took Demarco Murrey instead of Ryan Williams,
    In 2009 took Shady McCoy instead of Beanie Wells
    and in 2005, took Frank Gore instead of JJ Arrington, its a different story. (each were the next RB after our pick)

    Heck, how do the cards take Cooper over Kyle Long? (a HOFers Son who was a smart, hard working player who has gone to the Pro Bowl his first two years, while Cooper has started two games in two years)

    It is the front office, scouts and coaches evaluating talent incorrectly. Do your job correctly and take the right player. Don’t be afraid to draft a RB because the past front offices couldn’t evaluate talent.

    If a RB is there who can make a difference, why not take him?

  9. By Darren Urban on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: RB

    First, you can find a successful pick at a position following a bust for every bust there every was.

    I thought the list was interesting. Does that mean they will pass on an RB because of Thomas Jones or Ryan Williams? In the end, no. They’ll pass on one because they’ll feel it’s harder to find another position than running back.

  10. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply


    OK, I get your point but let me play Devil’s Advocate.

    The Front office claims to go Best Player Available. So, just because the board is deep at RB, why would you change your philosophy?

    Regardless if the RB spot is deep, a BPA philosophy takes the best player, which may be a RB at 24.

    If you pass on that RB who is BPA and draft someone else because you can get a RB later, aren’t you flirting with making mistakes and passing on good players?

  11. By Darren Urban on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: BPA

    I do not disagree with you. But as you know, BPA has built-in factors to it. It is not BPA in a vacuum. It would be BPA-for-the-Cardinals. No team selects without some factors from their own team in mind, including need. That said, I would never rule out an RB pick. But BPA also must take into account injuries like an ACL. Another example: If Gordon is there and ranked slightly higher than, say, Dupree (throwing names out), you take Dupree likely when you see there are three more running backs close to Gordon in grade that likely will be there in the second round.

    (Obviously, I am making up names and numbers here.)

    The Cards made a mistake in 07 with Peterson. No one denies that, although going back and looking at the coverage the next day, it was not nearly as clear cut as hindsight has allowed. The Cards did not get killed for passing on AP that day. I guess it will just depend on what’s there. Face it, if Gurley is the player you think he is, this is all a moot point because he won’t be on the board. If he’s still there at 24, then the Cards aren’t the only ones who could have doubts.

    Finally, when Keim talks about premium spots, it is QB, LT, pass rusher, CB. He talks about having a better OL, he talks about speed on defense. He has said he wants to boost the backfield, but he never talks about RB like he does other positions. Something to keep in mind.

  12. By Coach K on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    The SECRET is to take the best available athlete, and NOT draft for position. The teams with the highest winning percentage over the years always take BEST AVAILABLE ATHLETE regardless of position.

    In this draft, unless someone drops who is graded higher, I think you have to look at Cameron Erving, C, FSU, or Jalen Collins, CB, LSU, or Marcus Peters, CB, Wash. and Arik Armstead, DE, Oregon.

    Those four are rated in the lower portion of round one and also the best available athletes around pick #24. I would be thrilled with any of these four top athletes.

  13. By Coach K on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Excellent running backs available in rounds three thru five:

    T.J. Yeldon
    Jeremy Langford
    Javorius Allen
    Mike Davis
    David Cobb

    Two small school studs will also be there:

    John Crockett
    Zach Zenner (Zenner is my favorite late round steal)


  14. By Johndiddo on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    So here it is, John the Draft Guy, you are completely right, right, and right. Though you could do this with a few positions…Tom Knight (Corner), Andre Wadsworth (Defensive End), Wendell Bryant (Defensive Tackle), Bryant Johnson (Wide Receiver), Matt Leinart (Quarterback)… Then their were guys who weren’t 1st rounders, Jamell Fleming (Corner), Rob Housler (Tight End), Leonard Pope (Tight End), Eric Green (Corner), and Levar Fisher (Linebacker)… Just saying some terrible picks. It’s terrible choices, yet decisions that shouldn’t be mirroring the current coaching staff (Previous staffs were Whisenhunt and Denny Green), current coaching staff has hit more then missed, Tyrann Mathieu (Safety), Alex Okafor (Linebacker), Andre Ellington (Running Back), Deone Bucannon (Safety), John Brown (Wide Receiver)…Let’s just say, tides of change.

  15. By D on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    We also have to take in account BA’s play calling when guessing at draft picks.
    His strength is the passing game. The strength of the Offense is the WR group. BA has stated he wants to give A Ellington plenty of touches in the offense. There wouldn’t be enough touches for a first round draft pick RB if we are throwing 65% of the time and using Ellington 30% of the time.

    Yes, you need a balance offense to keep defenses honest, but a 2nd or 3rd round RB who get’s 15 attempts per game is more reasonable than a first round drafted RB getting 15 touches complaining all of the time.

  16. By Darren Urban on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    D —

    RE: Playcalling

    I do think, based on what both Keim and BA have said, they do not want to have 65 percent passes. Easy to say, yes. But I think that’s where their heads are at here in April.

  17. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Darren and D,
    65% passes;

    Cause and effect. You need to move the ball and score and you can’t run it, of course you will throw it.

    If you could run like the cowboys did last year, you might see that 65% drop.

  18. By georgiebird on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Funny having you go historical with the running backs- sounds like me talking about LBs.
    No one is asking the Cards to take a RB in the 1st Round if he’s not deemed physically sound. Same thing goes for AE-is he sound?
    Even though the Cards’ LBs are average at best, the biggest chance to improve the team is to get a big time RB. And all things being equal, an RB in the 1st Round should be better than a RB drafted # 2-6.
    RBs are a gamble, no doubt. I remember back in 1971, The Cards drafted Larry Stegent #1- he got injured in pre-season the 1st time he touched the ball- he never managed a single carry with the StL Cardinals. It happens.

  19. By CardinalChris on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    JTDG – nicely put, totally agree.

    Darren – your point about the Cards not taking a RB due to Ellington on the team is a good one, but I would argue that Ellington has not proven he can stay on the field. Two seasons should be enough to see he’s too frageeelay!! BA wants to base his offense – at least 20 to 25 plays a game – on a kid that will NEVER stay healthy. I don’t get it.

    I have heard Keim talk about “BPA that has best chance of improving the team”. The lowest hanging fruit to improve the team in round 1 is RB – provided Gordon is still there. Gurley does not equal Gordon in round 1. Unless a miracle happens and Shane Ray or Gregory fall enough to trade up and get them – we are not going to smell a pass rusher with pass rush ability. Not sure what tape people are watching on Dupree that makes anyone think he’s a first round talent. He can’t rush the passer – athletic, yes, pash rusher – no, no, not at all. Potential 3rd round pick Orchard is much better pass rusher.

    I could also see the Cards taking CB at 24. Noone left in free agency or not in the top 3 on the CARDS roster that has round 1 talent.

    So, I see likely pick coming from: Cameron Erving, Byron Jones, Kevin Johnson, DGB, Breshad Perriman. WR gives year or two to develop when Cards don’t re-sign M Floyd cause he keeps dropping passes.

  20. By jwoodaz on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    I feel the Cardinals will draft four backs. How many offensive, or defensive, who knows. The statement of speed in the draft will be hard to fulfill, not dozens to choose from yet probably numerous draftee possibilities not to many have scouted like the Cards have. In Kiem we believe, and his scouting department…maybe a trade down for an extra third rd pick? Bah, there’s still two weeks…

  21. By Whitey on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply

    Good posts Darren

    BPA – Keim has repeatedly said that when they build their top 120 draft board they look at the players overall grade and then if a few players are close in grade the position of need would be higher on the board.

    It’s impossible to draft BPA every pick. This year the deepest position is wide receiver, but the cards already have 4 that are locks to make the roster. They usually carry 5 WR, so they won’t draft more than one this year – mark it. In fact their roster is so deep alreAdy I’d be surprised if all 8 picks make the roster.

    You can’t draft 5 straight wide receivers in a draft even if they are BPA.

    as Darren said its best available player for the cards – especially when you feel like you have a legitimate chance to do some damage in the playoffs this year.

    Team needs:

    Corner to replace Cro
    DT to replace Darren Williams
    Big running back
    Kick returner/ wideout
    Tackle to replace massie next year
    Depth at ilb
    Tight end depth

    There’s your 8 draft picks

  22. By Coach K on Apr 16, 2015 | Reply


    It’s all about the offensive line. Without quality and depth with those five guys everything else we talk about on this blog regarding the draft is worthless verbal gymnastics.

    In my mind, first and foremost, I want superior starters on my O and D line. Second, I want quality backups shadowing and pushing those starters. It all begins with the big boys. Nothing else matters if those two groups are not solid and deep.

    We can spend the next two weeks talking about running backs, but it means nothing unless we are two deep on the offensive line. If we have the offensive line stacked two deep with studs, does it really matter how good the running back is? We could suit up Darren Urban and he’d be a thousand yard rusher behind that kind of offensive line.

    So all these skill people mean little to me unless the first priority of offensive and defensive line depth is complete. Right now, who is backing up our left and right tackles? Bradley Sowell? Is that quality depth?

    Who is backing up our nose tackle and defensive ends? These are the front line key positions that must be solid and deep. We have a nice rotation at the ends, but who is backing up Ta’amu? Peters? Is that quality depth?

    I think nose tackle and offensive tackle need to be addressed in this draft to bolster both lines. And it needs to be addressed in the middle rounds. So you take the best available athlete in round 1. Most likely a cornerback. You then think about best athlete on the board at pick #55. If it’s offensive tackle or Nose tackle graded higher than what you have now, you take him. You can address running back in round three and get a quality back.

    With Cro’s departure, Cornerback becomes a priority early because you have a chance to get a best athlete available at a position you need to bolster.

    I believe a quality edge rusher can be found in round two. If not, then I’m looking best athlete. First two rounds are best athletes, the rest of the rounds are for building depth and special teams.

    I also believe we need quarterback depth with Palmer’s age, and Stanton’s status next year in question. I’m not buying the Logan Thomas pitch line from B.A. I think if a quality QB is sitting there at pick 55 or 86, you take him and let him sit and learn.

    This is how I see it. Strong and deep offensive and defensive lines as priority one. Good scouting and selections round three through seven.

  23. By Scott H on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    OR…they could consider trading for Arian Peterson. Sorry, but ya knew I was gonna put that out there!

    And if the point of this article was to show the less than stellar results that have been achieved from DRAFTING RB’s over the years, then perhaps the idea of TRADING a draft pick for a running back that is ABSOLUTELY proven ( proven beyond ANY shadow of a doubt ) makes more sense than anything.

    And I maintain that with the way the Cardinals are set up right now – with Palmer and Fitz still quite capable but also with windows that are closing – it makes sense to go for it NOW. Trading for AP is a win NOW move. Drafting a RB assures you of nothing. And this article is all the proof you need of that.

    Look how this organization has achieved success in recent years – they have done it not by drafting a QB, but by finding veteran QB’s to provide the talent and leadership we needed. The only real success we have had during the past decade ( and then some ) has been with Kurt Warner and now Carson Palmer. Now, maybe the frightening part of that is the realization that this organization isn’t very good at drafting QB’s, either. OK. But they have achieved success, nonetheless by finding veteran guys at the right time.

    Well….maybe they need to go that route again now at the RB position. We caught lightening in a bottle with Warner and it almost brought us a SB win. It DID bring us the greatest level of success this organization has had during the Super Bowl era. That is not even up for debate, that is absolute fact.

    And I think Adrian Peterson is lightening waiting to happen right now. We can grab it and have a REAL shot, or…we can try another Beanie Wells or JJ Arrington and we can strike out again.

  24. By Big Ken on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    We already have some pretty good players on our team and that includes a stable of RB’s. After the solid FA signings in recent weeks, what’s left to acquire?

  25. By Marcelo on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Just seen at a draft do-over where it is mentioned Browns picking up Brady at 2000’s draft.

    Did all scouts fail to evaluate him?

    The intengibles can’t be mesuared and I believe the NFL’s learning curve can’t be either.

  26. By Scott H on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Big Ken –

    We have a stable of pretty good RB’s? Really? That would include Ellington and….who, exactly?

  27. By sbrown on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    I’m just throwing this out there for comments. I’m not banging the drum to get AP,

    but what if in the middle of the first round, it looks like the draft is not flowing how the Cards like. What could happen, if the Cards throw Floyd at Minnesota, and a lower pick to get AP ?

    Minnesota is looking for a WR, just about every mock has them taking one in the first or second round. The Cards , IMO will not pick up the fifth year option on Floyd,( due May 3rd ) so this season could be a lame duck year here.

    If that trade goes, then the Cards could look to draft a top WR to take the Floyd spot to learn under Fitz for a couple of seasons.

  28. By hminus on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Sounds about the same as our”draft a QB early”group…pathetic,(but no GM like Keim has been picking for us before,so that counts for a lot,)…don’t forget that the O_LINES of the past 20 seasons are PRIMARILY responsible for the RB failures & injuries…

  29. By hminus on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Our O-LINE looks better now than it has in ALL of our previous years in the desert,(most backs who were successful elsewhere would have FLAMED OUT here too…so don’t forget the o-lines contribution to RB success & failure…)

  30. By T. Stone on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    The worst was Leeland Manimslow. Dude couldn’t run through a wet paper bag.

  31. By Jerry V. on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Don’t overlook Jay Ajayi as a running back selection. I watched some highlight tapes of the guy, and he runs like M. Lynch. Definitely an “angry” runner, known as “train”! Should be available at rounds 4 or 5.’

  32. By SCarolinacard on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    I think that AP as the feature back and AE resuming the role he played in his rookie season sounds great!

  33. By atillathehans on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    The problem with this is it isn’t a value pick. Value comes when there isn’t comparable talent available later and their ability to stay available to the team. And there are running backs later who actually fit a role for the Cardinals, a between the tackle chain mover. Why not look at the history of Wisconsin running backs. Or the fact that he is only an average athlete. On top of that Melvin Gordon is limited in the passing game. This isn’t just catching the ball but also in pass protection and the reason we want a running back is to keep Carson Palmer off the ground. Analysts keep giving us that pick but it makes no sense. Bruce Arians’s offense is complex and thinking a young back is going to pick up the protection calls that quickly is unrealistic. On top of that he too often takes his runs to the outside. We have a valuable back in Ellington who we already know can do this effectively and be a factor in the passing game. Fingers crossed we can trade back or Dupree is there. Bettcher just got 8 sacks out of Okafor why not give him a new piece of clay to mold? Or add a top player across from Campbell let’s take advantage of the porous line over in Seattle, or a three sigma athlete in Byron Jones across from Peterson, or whichever Tackle is on the board.

  34. By CORMAC on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Melivin Gordon is a top 15 talent. Even on the cardinals draft grade for the team, he would grade out better than the others by far. IF Gordon is on the board. Steve with pounce on it in a heartbeat. THATS A FACT.

  35. By Coach K on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Big Ken

    What’s left to acquire?

    How about the next Peyton Manning by taking Sean Mannion in round three.

    Forget about all the hype the top guys are getting. Sean Mannion is the QB that is going to shock everyone when he leads a team to a superbowl in the next 36 months.

    I know I’ve been on Mannion’s band wagon for months now, but I’m telling you guys to remember my posts on him a few years from now when the name Sean Mannion is all you hear in the media.

    I just hope Keim and company make it the Arizona news media and not some other town.

    If by some miracle Sean Mannion is sitting on the board when the Cardinals are on the clock in round three, I hope a lightening bolt of wisdom hits B.A. and Steve and they pick Mannion.

    I have never been more sure about a quarterback in all my years of coaching and watching football.

    Pick #86 Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon State. That’s all I’m asking B.A. and Steve to deliver.

    Fingers and toes will be crossed.

  36. By Dobie on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    I with coach K on those late round running back the one that impress me was T.J. Yeldon and Byron Jones caught my eye too he be good to handle big tight ends

  37. By Andy Kw on Apr 17, 2015 | Reply

    Taking a look at the visits with Randy Gregory and Shane Ray. I’m assuming if they fall just enough to where the Cardinals want, the Cards are willing to trade up to nab one of them. But I like Eli Harold, he has the potential just like any other 1st Rd prospect to be a game changer.

  38. By jwoodaz on Apr 18, 2015 | Reply

    Ease up on the backfield abuse, we have capable depth, just not the big, fast strong back, you know 235ish 4.4 , 40, etc. an improved offensive line will help all of them. A la jonathon dwyer, who the Cards let go, and so why would they bring in A.P.?Smart money gets him through the draft and hardly ever in the first round.Those once in a decade backs. I agree with the Trenches improvement. Keep it up with the first and second round, depth, talented young athletes with size win championships, and drive the competition for the bigger contract in year four of there careers. There is Top Talent available in both rnd 1 and 2. Curious to know Betcher’s scheme for the coming seasons, stick with best athlete football player on the board and draft him. The team we have right now could win with less key position injuries this season than last. Again, even a trade down for an extra second and third rnd pick would be awesome. Bah, there’s still two weeks…

  39. By cards62 on Apr 18, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H great post especially with the QB comparison.
    Peterson for a second rounder I will go for. My only concern is all the cash we will have tied up in a few players not leaving enough to fill out the rest of the squad unless we really nail the next couple of drafts. I am a Big Ten Guy so have watched Melvin Gordon a lot and I just do not think he will have a stellar pro career. Gurley I like and would draft in the first round if available.
    Gurley is my first choice and trading for Peterson is my second choice if I am GM for a day.

    Coach K you are right about strong lines winning championships, but you also have to have play makers. Coach K how strong would you say our oline was when we went to the Super Bowl? How good was our dline and how high was our defense ranked that year. If you remember it was a smart QB, stud WR, and an old running back with a little tread on his tires named E. James that got us there.
    With free agents and salary cap iI think its too hard to be strong and deep every where. Just have to have a strong QB some players both sides of the ball and get some luck and be hot at the right time.

    Go Cards

  40. By Andy Kw on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    Eli Harold in the 1st, Stephone Anthony in the 2nd, David Johnson in the 3rd. Our future is pretty much set and looking good.

  41. By Jerry on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    I really like Eli Harold, but if not available at 24, I’d consider Lorenzo Mauldin, Louisvile, in a later round. He’s 6′ 4″, and has a fast motor and “attitude”, but lacks great speed. Overcame much adversity as a child, and really wants to play.

  42. By Coach K on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    Cards 62

    In answer to your question, we had an average o-line, but an above average quarterback with above average receivers. We had little or no running game. Warner and the receivers made it work. The average o-line also ended Warner’s career.

    I think Keim and company are dedicated to building a strong and deep offensive line two deep at every position. The same for the defensive line. I expect an offensive tackle and defensive tackle to be secured in this draft.

    I expect two great athletes to be chosen in the first two rounds. Both players should be immediate starters if we choose correctly. In the later rounds, I am hoping our scouting department can land at least two players who will see the field.

    Last but not least, I hope we have a shot at Sean Mannion in the middle rounds, and Zach Zenner in the late rounds. I think Zenner is going to be a star in this league. He’s a cross between Rocky Blier and Ron Wolfley, with speed.

    Can’t wait until April 30th.

  43. By Dr. G. on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    Oh! Seems my 20-20 hind sight can critique previous drafts as well. I can offer many, but only two for now to create a bit of draft drama… 2011…

    Would it make anyone look brilliant to pass on Patrick Peterson at #5 and take a total savage like JJ Watt. You get the real deal instead of excuses and arrogance.

    How about PP’s nightmare Julio Jones…he was there too…?

    BPA? I think that works only for the 1st round, maybe 2nd if you don’t have specific needs…. The draft will always possess surprises… rear view regrets …we all have it…later Cards Fans

  44. By tyman on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    Trading up this year dosnt seem like a bad idea. We have lots of talent already, just need some depth.
    I wouldnt move up for a back though. Our backups did great last year.

  45. By clssylssy on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    I see where the Vikings are wanting a 1st round pick AND a player AND to have Peterson’s contract picked up by someone else. I’m not seeing Keim going for that realistically but could be surprised I guess. I’m not even seeing Jerry and the Boys going for that trade…be too bad to see a great talent end up with the Raiders! Wonder is Scott’s “Spidey senses” are fried yet? With the Eagles picking up Tebow they have three QBs now, the Redskins have three, and it seems most teams are loading up for a tough fought season. I have to wonder if BA is planning on doing the play calling on both sides of the ball or what since the Master plan with LeBeau fell through…
    I sure hope we learned some very important lessons last season and we are better off than we appear to the experts who have some real issues with our durability at the QB position (still)

  46. By Coach K on Apr 19, 2015 | Reply

    Nobody is giving up a first round pick for AP. The Vikes also want more than just a first rounder. Then, add AP’s salary and this is now a DEAD ISSUE. AP is staying in Minnesota most likely. Unless Jerry Jones trades away his future.

  47. By Scott H on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    Yup, just about fried. Good lord, I just want whatever is going to happen to actually happen so we know what is what and we can move on. Seriously, they need to move the draft up on the calender by at least a month!

    If the Vikes are asking for all that you describe….yeah, that is kinda ridiculous. But just because they are asking for that doesn’t mean they are gonna get it. They have to deal with reality, too. And if the reality becomes that AP is not gonna play for them and will sit home….then it doesn’t behoove them to let that happen.

    So….we’ll see.

  48. By Darren Urban on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: AP/not play

    As I mentioned to someone on Twitter, do you really believe AP would, after missing virtually one whole season, then sit out yet another? And forfeit $12M in doing so? Everyone has to deal in reality here.

  49. By Big Ken on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    @ Coach K, Exactly I think you are for an RB this year but rounds 3-7. I like Mannion too but not sure if BA and staff feel the same. There are very good QB prospects in next years draft. Gurley/Gordon at 24? I’d like to see a trade back.

  50. By EvanM on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    Talk on NFL Radio has the Cardinals in the mix for AP from the Vikes, behind the Cowgirls and Raaaaiders. If a dominant back like Adrian would make huge difference to our offense in a positive way, we should pull the trigger to win now. Palmer’s timeline (productive years left) would be similar too. Spend the dough, get AP and put years of unproductive, to mediocre, performance at the position behind us while drafting an RB with upside in the 4th or 5th round to learn from THE BEST. Well, on the field anyway.

  51. By John The Draft Guy on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply



    Do you remember Brandon Marshall in Denver, when he kicked footballs and batted the balls down thrown to him. It got him shipped out.

    Sitting out, no. But there are other ways to force trades.
    But then,Maybe they suspend him without pay like TO got.

    AP could complain about a nagging injury. That way he gets his check and sits.

    It will be interesting to see how far this thing goes. Does AP just swallow his pride and take his 12 million and play. Or maybe he gets a case of the fumbles. You never know what a disgruntled employee might do.

    But from the Vikings stand point, I just don’t get it. You get rid of a 30 year old RB who is scheduled to make a but load of money and in exchange, you get draft picks to help rebuild your team.

    There is only one AP and yes it will hurt them to lose him. Norv Turner needs to run the ball in order to take his shots and work the TE. I’m sure he feels with AP, he can make things go this year.

    If I was in charge of the Vikings, I would trade him. I think they could get a 2 and maybe a second pick.
    With your first round pick, take Trae Waynes to sure up your CBs since you play GB. Then trade up from round two, using a 3, to go get Jaelen Strong to go with Patterson and Wallace.
    Then in round 2, (the one you traded), Grab Tevin Coleman.

    The Vikes sure up their biggest needs while freeing up money to make that big jump next year.

  52. By clssylssy on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    We are on the same page with wanting Peterson to come to Arizona but, enough is enough, and this prolonging of the draft has me completely disinterested in “what if’s” and armchair GMs. The fact is, it will be what it will be, and we all will swallow whatever we get as it will provide food for discussion in the down times of the season…some fans will even delude themselves into thinking that decisions were actually influenced by fan opinions…lol!
    I personally think the Vikings will regret it if they try to force Peterson into a situation that is not going to find some middle ground, as an unhappy employee is never good for a healthy work place and there are numerous ways he could undermine the team’s success without really doing anything extreme. Football is a team sport and success comes when players all have a “team first” attitude and are in pursuit of a common goal.
    The fact remains that age is a big factor for a number of key players and the window for some of them to put it all together is beginning to close…tick tock..tick tock…also a number of our coaching staff are getting up there in years and so the urgency to get into the dance may be worth the inflated price of admission. There is a lot of exciting talent out there but they all come with no
    guarantees of not being lost in translation to the pros, followed by a serious learning curve to the Cards scheme, etc., so it would seem that, if any time, this might be the year the Cards decide to go “off script” and do something bold. We can continue to hope!

  53. By Annette F Richters on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    I like the number three running back. He fights like he has something to prove. The top two will be too full of themselves. I can’t remember the kids name now. Getting old isn’t for sissies.

  54. By Scott H on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    The REALITY here is that neither you or I know what Adrian Peterson would or would not do. If I’m being honest, NO, I don’t think AP would sit out. But it IS within the realm of possibility, is it not?

    There may not be a ton of precedent for this but there IS some, isn’t there? Our very own Carson Palmer dug in, refused to play again for the Bengals, and ultimately “forced” his way out of there to continue his career elsewhere. That was pretty bold. And part of that had to be the Bengals realizing it was better to give in and get SOMETHING for Palmer instead of seeing him sitting home while they got NOTHING.

    Emmitt Smith also dug in and held out for two games back in the day and when the Cowboys went 0-2, they came crawling to him. But he stayed with the same team, so…not the same situation. But it WAS a situation where a player did what you would not expect.

    Again, no, I don’t believe AP WANTS to sit out another year. But if he has his heart set on being DONE with the Vikings, then he may have no choice. It may not seem wise, it may not seem in his best interests. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.

    I wouldn’t have believed that the Eagles would release Desean Jackson last year, either. Until they did. Bold move.

  55. By Darren Urban on Apr 20, 2015 | Reply

    Scott H —

    RE: Sitting out

    Sorry. You are not the only one to make these arguments, but they all seem to be from fans wishing and hoping it means Peterson will come to their team. Anything can happen. But I think big key is he personally hasn’t gone public burning bridges. That tells me he knows an option is staying.

  56. By Scott H on Apr 21, 2015 | Reply

    Darren –

    Well, look, can ya blame for me having that wish? 🙂

    Yes, I have been hoping all along there would be a way that AP would land here, so my thinking is wishful.

    BUT I have also been well aware that he has remained very quiet and has NOT publicly burned any bridges. Give him credit for that. Unless he were an idiot, he HAS to keep the door to staying with the Vikings open. Because until we hear or see SOMETHING with any credibility to it….that seems the most likely option.

    It is hard for me to believe there could be anything going on between another team and the Vikings without us hearing about it. Given what my wishes are, that has been dis-heartening as well.

    But you know me, bro, I always lead with the heart!

  57. By jeffy1951 on Apr 21, 2015 | Reply

    All this talk of getting an RB in the first round. Not one person has mentioned Kerwyn Williams and the job HE did with THAT line and under THOSE circumstances – the kid is good and I bet he makes some heads turn this year with the O-line we currently have.Sure we can use a bruiser between the tackles but O and D line depth is a higher priority. We MUST secure a starting lineman O or D and an above average pass rusher at the very least in this draft.
    Any one else notice how slowly time goes when you’re waiting for the draft?

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