#CardsDraft aftermath

Posted by Darren Urban on May 2, 2015 – 7:01 pm

The NFL draft, in reality, was the shortest time-wise as it has ever been. It didn’t seem that way when we were sitting around waiting after the second of the Cardinals’ two fifth-round picks all the way until the Cards’ next pick, which was the last of the whole thing. Now that it’s over, and there is little question Steve Keim had a plan that wasn’t chalk. But I’ll say this as I do after every draft — I have no idea how this will turn out. No one does.

The pick with which I’m most intrigued? Markus Golden. The Cards weren’t the only ones who talked about how he kept showing up on video when watching Missouri play. Is that enough to break through on the NFL level? And will he be the first second-rounder since Daryl Washington to make an immediate impact? But there are plenty of intriguing guys here. I thought it was telling when Keim said today that the tough part is projecting guys who can make the team in the Cards’ current state.

How these guys fit it this season, well, that’s what the offseason and training camp is all about.

A few more wrap-up thoughts:

— There were plenty scratching their heads after the Cards picked Delaware State DE Rodney Gunter in the fourth round, and that was more vigorous when adding in the trade up to do so. But Keim and Bruce Arians both said they had reliable intel that multiple teams were on the Gunter in the fourth round. When that happens, and when it’s a guy you want and you have draft pick ammo to do so, you trade up. Keim knows it was a surprise to most. He plans on it being a pleasant surprise.

— The personality of first-round pick D.J. Humphries is real. He drew laughs when he called himself an “awesome person” during his conference call, but during his press conference, he simply wins the room with his smile and demeanor. Easy guy to root for, especially when you read the story about him and his father, who was 15 when D.J. was born.

“My dad always told me when I was a kid, if you be yourself then people are going to love you,” Humphries said.

— Humphries has never been to an NFL game, interestingly.

— Gunter is cousins with the Cardinals’ seventh-round selection, TE D.C. Jefferson. Jefferson had a quick and bumpy tenure with the team, getting a tattoo during the preseason of a birdhead on his torso even though his place on the team was no sure thing. He made it, but was released a few weeks later after a DUI. Gunter said he and Jefferson are “very close but we lost contact for over a year because he has some personal issues going on. I wish him the best.”

— Fifth-round wide receiver J.J. Nelson is one of the last players to be drafted from the University of Alabama-Birmingham now that UAB has shuttered its football program. The school provided an in for Nelson during his visit to the Cardinals; the son of coach Bruce Arians, Jake Arians, played football at UAB.

“When I came to visit, I ran into Coach Arians,” Nelson said. “He said, ‘J.J., I already know you. You’re a Blazer. We love UAB.’ … I just felt like everything fell in my hands in the right direction.”

— It wasn’t all draft at the Tempe facility Saturday. Yes, it was the weekend, but there was quarterback Carson Palmer, working out in his quest to come back from a torn ACL. Significant nose to the grindstone.

— Time for football. The Cardinals are on the field Monday for the first time as Phase 2 of the offseason work begins. Rookie minicamp starts Friday.


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41 Responses to “#CardsDraft aftermath”

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

    Love two things about Keim_Arians: They’ve got the guts to make tough picks and they don’t shy away from explaining them to us, makes it so much more fun. Man I love this org and the great young men they go get. Bravo!!

  2. By Andy Kw on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I can’t believe we were able to sign Bowling Green LB Gabe Martin. He is probably the fastest ILB in the draft running a 4.51 40 on Pro Day bench pressing 23 reps of 225lbs at 6-2 234lbs
    This guy is a keeper. Very nice signing. This is a dream come true.

  3. By Andy Kw on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    OLB Alani Fua, BYU. He is a 6-5 238lbs linebacker that ran a 4.59 40 and bench presses 20. Wow, Steve Keim is the man. First it is ILB Gabe Martin, Bowling Green, at 6-2 234lbs running a 4.51 40 and bench pressed 23, who is exactly what the Cardinals need and now we get the BU OLB with size and combination of speed like Randy Gregory without the issues. KEEP BOTH PLEASE!!!! Upside is too much to handle. We get DE Rodney Gunter, Delaware state, a very fast and athletic guy for his position and a potential starter. We get a bull pass rusher and run stuffer in Markus Golden, Missouri, already improving our OLB situation. We get even more speed at LB in OLB Shaquille Riddick, WVU. To top it off, we added even more speed to our ascending OL with OT DJ Humphries, Florida State. When we thought having Andre Ellington was enough speed at RB, we added David Johnson, Northern Iowa, who is much stronger and even faster. Then when we thought we had the fastest guy on the team in John Smokey Brown, we draft JJ Nelson, UAB, who ran a 4.28 40 improving our KR/PR units. To end it, we got Gerald Christian, a guy that has speed to go along with his 28 bench reps. Balanced TE that matches Arians style. Well done, A++++

  4. By shannon robinson on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Funny thing but a lot of my draft targets are still available now as UDFA’s. So he’s my list of the top dozen to add to get to 90 : 1) CB Nick Marshall, Auburn
    2) OC Rees Dismukes, Auburn
    3) RB/KR/PR Cory Grant, Auburn
    4) DT Bobby Richardson, Indiana
    5) DT Xavier Williams, Northern Iowa
    6) ILB Justin Shirk, Bloomsburg
    7) DT Louis Trinca-Pasat, Iowa
    8) WR Davante Davis, UNLV
    9) ILB Zach Vigil, Utah
    10) ILB Mike Hull, Penn State
    11) CB Kevin White, TCU
    12) TE Devin Mahina, BYU

  5. By Steve . on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Darren, great job as always covering the draft, thanks again!

  6. By Doug b on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Well good news Cardinal fans, up here in Washington, Seahawks fan are going bezerk cause of their draft, they’ve only heard of two of their guys…… In the whole draft. We should thank our stars we only got the Delaware state guy. Seahawks fan is losing it right now!! Go birdgang!

  7. By Areg on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I felt like Arians and Kiem outsmart themselves with some picks. Its as if theyre trying to prove a point by taking players that are projected to go elsewhere in the draft. Obviously this isnt true but its an observation

    Anyways thats why im not the GM or coach and they are hope the players are successful

    Go Birdgang!

  8. By Chuck 1 on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw,

    If I remember correctly, two days ago and yesterday you were upset about the draft picks.

  9. By Dynosoar on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Andy KW,

    I think you put an exclamation on remarks over the last several months by both BA and SK.

    What do they want – we want speed!

    Nice summary.

  10. By Wayne on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw
    Agree 100% on the LB’s, Fua from BYU was talked about earlier in the year as being a 3-4 round draft pick but dropped to the 5th round prospect, don’t know why because he looks incredibly good on film, big, strong and quick.
    Don’t know much about Bowling Green LB Martin but scouts had him rated as a 5th round selection before the draft, very hard to believe they didn’t get drafted but since the draft has gone to 7 rounds there are quite a few undrafted free agents making the 53 man roster and I have a feeling we just found one in Fua because he is a force and maybe two which is what we needed and even if Washington gets to play.

  11. By NJAzCardsFan on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Darren- When teams try to work out a trade in the draft, do the teams trading reveal who they want , so the team trading down don’t lose the pick the want? Or is that the risk in trading?

    My head scratch’er of the draft is no CB drafted…. Maybe the Cards will pick up a released FA.

    I can’t wait to see Smokey and Nelson on a deep fly pattern in a game…..

  12. By Darren Urban on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    NJAz —

    RE: Trade

    I think most of time, yes, you get an idea who they are targeting. But I do not know for sure.

  13. By Dave Chaney on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    As an always cynical “older” fan of the Big Red, I wholeheartedly agree with Darren on the draft. I am now living back in St. Louis, so I saw all the Mizzou games and even though Shane Ray was always in the limelight, Markus Golden always seemed to be the guy creating havoc for opposing offenses. Bottom line…top 3 picks are great and I will accept all the others since Steve and Bruce have yet to prove they can’t build a winning football team. Congrats to all you draftees and FAs. Go CARDS!

  14. By Andy Kw on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Shannon Robinson,
    The only person I want on your list is Reese Dismukes. Really surprised that he wasn’t drafted.

  15. By azdesertrat1953 on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    I am not a Coach nor a GM, but I would like someone to show me the Down side, other than they are rookies, to any of these picks.

    Yes, a few may not make it as an AZ Cardinal, I hope they All make it, but on paper and on film they look good to Outstanding and you have a good feeling about all of them, Heck even pick 256 looks good!

    Plus the UDFA that are starting to get signed, WOW!

    I think they, Michael, Steve, BA and the rest of the AZ Cardinal Org., Did One Heck of a Job this year in the Draft.

    BA is right, you watch film on Shane Ray and you do start wondering, who the Heck is 33?!

    GO CARDS!!!

  16. By Mike on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    When does the process of signing undrafted free agents begin?

  17. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    Mike —

    RE: UDFAs

    That started as the seventh round was going, actually, at least the recruiting part. The list will be out Monday.

  18. By Rob on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Since we ignored drafting a center or a linebacker, I think Keim needs to consider bringing back Lyle Sendlein and Larry Foote for another year.

  19. By Noah on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Great draft! Really excited about how these guys are going to fit into the roster. David Johnson is going to be incredible. I believe DJ Humphries will win the job at RT and then they will have a chance to have two elite bookends on the OL. The UDFA I am the most excited about is CB Cariel Brooks. He can really play. I was surprised they didn’t draft a corner, but this is even better to get a guy like Brooks without even using a draft pick. I fully expect him to make the team, but I guess we’ll see. Job well done again by the Cards brass.

  20. By Andy Kw on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Chuck 1,
    You’re right. Just a couple days ago I was very disappointed because we didn’t get the players “I” wanted. But I have constantly expressed my sincere apologies for criticizing Steve Keim’s choices. I realized that you can run an impressive 4.5 or 4.6 40 as an OLB and be even more intrigued when NFL Analysts rate guys like Randy Gregory and Eli Harold with 6+ grades but all NFL LBs can’t sustain the same speed the entire game. Markus Golden is a guy with a relentless motor and I agree. Watched some film and he seems like the guy that can beat Marshawn Lynch and can generate a lot of pass rush. I was overly critical of the DJ Humphries selection because I thought Bobby Massie played well last season and it was not a dire need but even so, last year we had a terrible run offense and sustained injuries to both our starter and backup QBs. I was very happy with David Johnson because that was the RB I wanted the Cardinals to pick and I have constantly said that in my mock drafts since late March. Another reason why I was quite disappointed a couple days ago because we got guys that came from small schools that I didn’t know about. It was wrong for me to criticize the selected players and Keim’s choices. But after looking at who we got and truly seeing why the Cardinals selected the players they did, I can see that we got enormous potential. The Cardinals added that needed speed we have wanted at OLB & ILB (with Gabe Martin), big potential pass rushers and improved our ascending OL. I was unhappy before but now I am super excited.

  21. By BIGAL on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    By Andy Kw
    Andy, please help me out here…is this for real? Where are you getting this info?
    I love it if its true?

    And By Wayne
    By any chance are you my long lost friend Wayne Mann?

  22. By Dr. G. on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Areg, et al… You may have expressed it right on there. In poker, it is termed a hero-call when you think you can pull off a wizard move, or 4 of them..! In my mind, we have 2 or maybe 3 secure choices, while scratching the jewels, crossing the fingers and employing the Ouija board on the remainder…

    In conclusion, Arians says that we can make up the needed shortcomings with undrafted rookies… Oh, OK, that’s even better,huh? Now we can feel better.

    Now, given the exponential rise in media communications recently, I may give credence to nepotistic scouting tips coming from Tucumcari Jr. College. Nothing surprises lately, but there is no more loyal fan than I, so my fingers ((and toes)) are crossed as well..! Lots of work ahead…Go Cards…. later Fans…

  23. By Andy Kw on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    I have watched several highlights of Gabe Martin. This guy is a hard hitting safety. Very effective in pass rushing and should have easily gotten 10-15 sacks. Amazing. This guy will stick. I see him as our answer at ILB.

  24. By Andy Kw on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    I meant, hard hitting Inside Linebacker. (Could you change that for me Darren, didn’t mean to write Safety)

  25. By Scott H on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Doug B –

    Thanks for the report from the great north west. But I’m not buying this business about panic in Seattle. Maybe their fans are just idiots, who knows? But they have played in the last 2 SB’s, they won one, SHOULD have won them both, that same team will be returning very much intact in 2015 with one notable exception – they have added a TD-making machine in Jimmy Graham. So…..let’s not get too excited about how their fans are reacting to the draft.

    IF they end up having a bad draft, it will be the first time in a long time that they did. I’ll believe it when I see it. For now – and I REALLY hate to say it – there is no reason to believe the Seahawks will be anything less than what they have been the last few years – THE top dog in the NFC.

    It’s on the Cardinals, or anyone else, to catch them.

  26. By Coach K on May 3, 2015 | Reply


    I think the real talent of Keim is his ability to target quality free agents. Some of these FA linebackers have extremely strong upside. I’m just amazed how quickly Kim acted after the draft to secure those key inside backers. Impressive.

    Where can we find the complete FA signing list to date?

  27. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    Coach K —

    RE: List

    I am assuming you mean the rookie undrafteds. That list comes out Monday.

  28. By Andy Kw on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    OLB Shaquille Riddick is now at 260lbs which is perfect for him at 6-6. This guy is ready to compete. So excited to have him as a Cardinal.

    So hey Darren,
    Will Shaquille Riddick compete for a starting job with Markus Golden? Is there open competition on both starting OLB positions?

  29. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw —

    RE: Starters

    Let’s see them get out on the field first before we talk about starting.

    But Arians said Golden will likely be a strong side OLB and Riddick a weak side OLB.

  30. By Andy Kw on May 3, 2015 | Reply
    In this blog post, I replied about having TE Gerald Christian as our 7th RD pick. So I sort of got Mr.Irrelevant correct even though we didn’t know about our compensatory pick.
    In this mock, I got 2 of the players we drafted in David Johnson and JJ Nelson.
    Overall, I got 3/7 correct.

  31. By BigAl on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    I found an interesting nugget regarding Markus Golden and his relative value as a Pass Rushing Productivity from ProFootballFocus.., “Ray’s teammate, outside linebacker Markus Golden, was one of the few players to show up in the top 20 in PRP, third-down PRP and run-stop percentage. While Ray is a potential top-10 pick, some project Golden to slip to Day 3”

  32. By Canadian Redbird on May 4, 2015 | Reply


    I thought there was a huge need for some competition with our punters. Zasty has annual injury problems and Butler( based on the playoffs ) flat out can’t kick. Its a head scratcher why they didn’t draft a highly ranked punter.

  33. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    Canadian —

    RE: Punter

    They already have two. They weren’t going to add another. Obviously, since they have kept these two, they are satisfied one will work.

  34. By Richard L on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    I grade the Cards draft a D+ Passed up highest need and skill players for 3rd and 4th round prospects. Even SK said there are only 21 top prospects yet didn’t trade up to get in the mix. Before you start giving me thumbs down look at what the draft experts are saying.

  35. By BIGAL on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    Andy Kw
    Gabe Martin was a safety @ Bowling Green much in the manner of how we used
    DBuc last year so this should be interesting??? I’m wondering if that’s part of why we passed on the chance for some of the ILB’s? Are they toying/planning to move DBuc inside regular? I did see we added 2 LB’s, Georgia Southern linebacker Edwin Jackson, Florida Atlanta linebacker Andrae Kirk, Bowling Green safety Gabe Martin, Winston Salem State quarterback Phillip Sims, & Texas receiver Jaxon Shipley. Still don’t see a CB??? And is that NY Giants kid Phil Sims?

    Darren, I found this info on NFL,COM…however, it doesn’t specify if these players
    have merely agreed to terms, or if they have actually signed…Are you aware of a site that may be more up to date, more specific? Thanks Always!

  36. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    BigAl —

    RE: UDFAs

    I am now hearing the official list will be out Tuesday.

  37. By sbrown on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    hi Darren,
    first, thanks for all the info from Draft days…

    next, is all the draft picks able to come in to OTA’s, no issues with their school still in session and they have to set out until the class graduates ??

  38. By Darren Urban on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    sbrown —

    RE: Class issues

    I’d have to look. Not sure if any of the draftees are on the quarters system.

  39. By TucsonTim on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    Well, we will know in a coupe years how good this draft class will turn out. Yes, there are some head scratchers, but these guys know their system and hopefully, they know who fits the system.

    Bowles was a genius last year making a competitive defense out of back ups, rookies playing new positions and semi retired players. Usually you need a world class pass rush to win as many games as the Cards did last year, esp in our division. I really don’t see that getting better and we don’t have Bowles…so I’m more than a little worried.

  40. By ored on May 5, 2015 | Reply

    part of what keeps the draft exciting is the downer when your team misses on the “sure things” and after researching the “no names” and small school players the hope springs back up.happens every year and every year big names bust or are inured and unknowns become stars…awesome.

  41. By CORMAC on May 5, 2015 | Reply

    ON another note..

    a quote from yard barker max power….

    Cardinals sign 5 undrafted free agents

    One of the most underrated post draft activities is the chase for undrafted free agents. Teams can find diamonds in the rough by combing though their draft boards and finding out who is left. According to, in the everlasting quest for talent, the Cardinals have signed 5 rookie free agents. Georgia Southern linebacker Edwin Jackson Florida Atlanta linebacker Andrae…

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