Trading up to take DL Gunter in fourth round

Posted by Darren Urban on May 2, 2015 – 10:05 am

The Cardinals traded up in the fourth round, moving with the Browns to select Delaware State defensive lineman Rodney Gunter. At 6-5, 305 pounds, he fits the versatile frame the Cards have been seeking for their defensive lineman. Gunter had seven sacks and 13 tackles last season. He is the cousin of the Cards’ 2013 seventh-round draft D.C. Jefferson, a tight end who didn’t last long in Arizona despite his tattoo. GM Steve Keim said there was a good chance the Cards would trade up to get a player they wanted — they apparently wanted Gunter.

Gunter said he only played one year of high school football — ending up at Delaware State — because he had to work and help his single mother pay the bills and support he and his two brothers. He was clearly emotional on his conference call.

To move up the Cards swapped fourths and gave up their sixth-round pick and their original seventh-round pick. That leaves the Cards with three remaining picks today: Back-to-back choices in the fifth round and the final pick in the draft — Mr. Irrelevant — which is a compensatory pick they cannot trade.

It’s a big price but the reality is that nine draft picks weren’t going to make the roster. Now they will have seven picks.


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Posted in Blog | 48 Comments »

48 Responses to “Trading up to take DL Gunter in fourth round”

  1. By Dave Chaney on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Excuse me…did the Cards think their pick in the 4th round was actually the last pick in the draft…Mr. Irrelevant? Try to find a bio on any of the proven draft sites or publications about Rodney Gunter. He definitely fits the Mr. Irrelevant bio and we gave up our 6th and normal 7th round picks for him? I have a strong feeling Steve Keim may have eat crow over this pick.

  2. By dan watts on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Rodney has a YouTube of him dunking a basketball. He got started late playing football. He runs a 4.9. He’s a athletic, not fat at all. He says his worst setback in life was growing up without a father-figure. He’s a devout young man, and gives his mom the credit for all he’s accomplished.
    Physically, he reminds me of Eric Swann. My hopes and prayers are with you, Rodney.

  3. By Big Ken on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Head scratcher

  4. By Brent on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I see no reason why we had to trade up to get this guy! Do you really think someone ahead of us would take this guy before us? Makes no sense to me.

  5. By Black on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Great pick. Hey it’s easier to be negativate.

  6. By Laurie B on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Did Keim really think he could not get Gunter with the normal 4th round pick? This kid is so obscure Keim probably could have gotten him with the normal 6th or 7th round pick. If you are going to sacrifice picks, pick someone high on most teams boards with whom you are in competition with those other teams.

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

    Steve Keim did say before the draft that the Cardinals would not be afraid to draft small school players and this pick does help fill a need along our defense line. This is the kind of pick where you have to trust your scouts who obviously were high on this kid, I like the pick.

  8. By Daniel Thompson on May 2, 2015 | Reply


  9. By Steve Weston on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Sounds to me like Gunter might have been one of the very last favorite players that Keim and Arians had pegged in this draft – and they suspected one of the teams ahead of them were going to snap him up.

    The draft is all about taking chances, and if the Cards were as sold on this kid as they appear to be, I for one am willing to trust their judgment and see what Gunter has to offer.

  10. By SteveG on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    How many times has Keim and BA said..”We have to trust our board”? If this is the move that the board said was right, then they had to pull the trigger…and for all the “We just KNOW he would have been there in round 7” crowd..How do you know?

    When did you set YOUR board?

  11. By Fitzfan on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    It’s starting to seem that Keim is starting to get overzealous depending on instincts. This is starting to feel like Draft Day the movie.

  12. By Sage Tarantino on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I dont see why we had to trade up to take this guy. Im not saying he wont be producitve but really??? He is the only player drafted in the 4th without an NFL grade from any scout. 7 sacks and 13 tackles last season at a small school is suspect. I beleive in our GM but what the hell.

  13. By Whitey on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Looks like another Justin Bethel pick. He has similar measurables and athleticism to Arik Armstead who went in the first round.

    Steve Keim has been the executive of the year for a reason.

  14. By Brookelynn Ni'Asia on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I go to school with Rodney Gunter at Delaware State University. He is a great guy. He works hard to get where he needs to be. I don’t think that the cardinals made a bad pick. They chose the underdog with potential and work ethic. That’s a game changer right there. The top players on the board aren’t always the best players. It’s all about the transition into the next level. Rodney only played one year of football in high school and received a full scholarship to a D1 university. On top of that, he did well and adapted to that transition resulting in him being in the draft today. It’s gonna be tough but he will do fine with his next stage of his career transitioning to the NFL with the Cardinals.

  15. By Dynosoar on May 2, 2015 | Reply


    it would be interesting to have an article that runs through the ins and outs of draft day trades (up and back).

    Perhaps following an interview with Steve Keim and any insights he’d like to share, an article on this subject would be both fun and informative.

  16. By Darren Urban on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Dyno —

    RE: Ins and outs

    I’d love to do that story. I do not think I would be allowed that kind of access. I don’t think they want all those details out there.

  17. By horsepedlr on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    nobody seems to care about who we draft. both networks didn’t even show the pick., barely even mentionerd been this way the whole draft. seems lke we are mr and mrs, irrelevant.

  18. By Victor on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Everyone was mad with Keim last year when he drafted John Brown, we all know the rest of the story. I am at a point that if Keim says that this guy will be a pro bowler I will believe him. After all, from last year’s draft only one player is not currently on the roster.

  19. By William Barry on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    The Cards must have liked this guy greatly….Is he a senior….he must have great upside…..can you please give us more info on this pick…it definitely fills the need for more DL …at 6-4 and 298, I think he will fit the bill just fine….playing DE on 1 and 2nd, then playing inside on 3rd down…..

  20. By Jcont on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    In Keim we trust!! I’d much rather trust his draft board from any other NFL analyst’s! Looking at the very little tape (close to none) this kid has he looks like a wrecker, relentless, aggresive and strong…lots of potential and upside and a lot to loose, expecting big things from him and so far the cardinal’s draft is looking amazing! Pretty sure people would be critizicing John Brown’s pick if we had given up that much for him as well. GO BIRDGANG!!

  21. By Cdubbb on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Oh wow, all of you people barking about “wasted pick” and “he would have been there later,” just go back to your day job. You guys haven’t the first clue of what your talking about. So what, now your experts because you have spent the last 3 weeks religiously visiting your favorite draft sites which are also ran by amateurs? Just chill out. Kiem and his crew of professional scouts know more about football than all of you and your favorite mock drafters put together.

  22. By Dobie on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    To all you critics just let it work out let see where all this goes in game time then make your judgment

  23. By eric on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    love guys from no name schools…like his size….raw and hopefully teachable.Keim and B A deserve benefit of doubt.

  24. By Dynosoar on May 2, 2015 | Reply


    I would think it would contain more general information rather than the specifics, but at some level, wouldn’t much of the information be known to all other NFL GMs and Scouts?

    It’s good to hear I have a suggestion you’d love to follow up on, even if you can’t. I hope your enjoying the draft.

    Lastly, it was interesting to hear Steve asked D.J. his opinion and thoughts on Golden. Talk about a boost of confidence to our first round pick. To first be asked his opinion and then see that same player drafted. An empowered player will have more impact than simply a talented player.

  25. By Dynosoar on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I find it interesting that two of Seattle’s four picks so far have been OG. And back to back at that. Maybe they’re more impressed with our drafting Markus Golden than some of our posters.

    With the addition of Gunter, let’s get after Wilson and beat them Hawks.

  26. By Dave Chaney on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I’m not questioning this guy’s talent or dissing him for being from a small school, etc., etc….what I’m questioning is giving up 2 more players (6th and 7th rounders) to get him when every reliable draft site or pubs listed him as a 6th or 7th pick or an UDFA. It’s already been said but one has to wonder if he wouldn’t have been available with their normal 4th round pick or later. And for all you positive thinkers who say we fans can’t be negative, check out the history of the Card drafts and tell me I don’t have reason to doubt their judgement just a tad.

  27. By kiedis98 on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    From my understanding, the cards traded up because the 49ers wanted to draft him. I really like this pick. Sounds like he has great character, work ethic, and head on his shoulders. Plus we really gave up a 6th and 7th for this guy, the 4th pick was just a swap. We still have two 5th and 7th adding up to 7 picks. Good trade and I love that we are sticking with hard working character guys that produced no matter the school they went too. Welcome to the cards Gunter!

  28. By azdesertrat1953 on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    The extra money possibly saved on dropping two picks this late in the draft, is for the un-drafted rookies and FA’s, but we do have to pick that last one.

    GO CARDS!!!

  29. By Laurie B on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I have watched a lot of the Card’s drafts and haven’t always agreed with them but I at least understood most of the logic. This draft I, other than the RB Johnson (which I had also picked) I am struggling to understand. Today, rounds 4+ appears to be the most mysterious and incomprehensible of all the drafts I have watched. This is one time I hope I am seriously wrong because I think Keim could have still gotten all of these players as undrafted players. My ratings for the Cards Draft are Day 1 “C”, Day 2 “B” and Day 3 “F.”

  30. By Giorgio on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    The Draft is just what it says, a draft. There are no guarantees folks. One tweak of the wrong muscle and bingo any of these guys, even the best of the best picks on Day 1 careers can be over. What I like most about what appears the Cards are doing and that is bucking the over-played NFL media circus entertainment hype by focusing on Character over simply pure Talent. A novel approach in today’s sports and society if that’s the case. To have a roster loaded with dopes and dopers = major babysitting, headaches, and legal liabilities.Character is there for you in life, while Talent can poof erode quickly. So kudos to the Cards ownership and senior management if that’s part of their business model. Go 2015-16 Cards!!!!!!!!

  31. By CardinalChris on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Here are some Gunter highlights. Dominates at his College level. Looks very athletic. Love his bull rush. Looks like he has some natural rush ability as well as aggressive against the run. Maybe we could have got him later, but I’m not complaining. I love that Keim finally moved UP for someone. Show some conviction! That’s what I love from a front office – CONFIDENCE!!!

    Good Luck Mr. Gunter!! Can’t wait to see you and Frostee meet the QB on 3rd Down!!

  32. By CardinalChris on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Sorry, forgot link:

  33. By Cactus jeff on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Keim was GM of year for moves in free agency not the draft…

  34. By Darren Urban on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Cactus —

    RE: Keim

    Keim was GM of the year because the Cardinals won.

  35. By JoeC on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    I can appreciate the uncertainty some are having regarding the pick – I had it as well when the typical websites had low grades on him (,, etc.). But, in the end, we (the fans) and the website content writers do not have the same combination of expertise and access to information as do the actual NFL scouts. Even those content writers who were once scouts are spreading their attention thin across all prospects, while an NFL scouting department has multiple experts focusing more closely on a narrower pool of prospects (i.e., those that fit their scheme/needs). Certainly any of these picks could be a bust – even the best personnel people might get it right 2/3rds of the time. But I’ll trust Keim and his team ahead of all of the armchair GMs who are taking pot-shots at the pick. On a related note, another source reported that the Cards suspected that KC was going to draft him if they didn’t. So between that report, and the report that SF wanted him (as kiedis98 noted), it sounds like multiple teams had him rated higher than the miscellaneous draft websites.

  36. By Byron on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Seriously what the hell? Watching the tape, this dude has stiff hips and no moves. He simply just overpowers competition to get to the ball. How the hell are you going to do that in the NFL? I can get behind our first round and third round pick but that’s about it. Why does Bruce always talk about how it’s impossible to find guys that can get to the quarterback because all teams want them and then pass on Randy Gregory? I know hes a risk, but the reward far outweighs it. We pick Golden? That dude has a motor but his ceiling is as low as can be. It seems that all Bruce and Steve care about is “good character.” I’m sorry but character can only get you so far. Matthieu was probably the best pick they have made relative to the round. They need to have more faith in how players will develop in the program they’ve created. I’m going to get hated on but this draft has been BS.

  37. By Richard S on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    The network I was watching at the time said they made the trade to move up because they heard the Niner’s were going to take him. Wow, teams have spies, and teams potentially throw out misleading information to trick other teams into wasting draft picks. A lot more interesting than that Kevin Costner GM movie. My favorite Costner movie of course was the one where I was the President of the United States with my office in the Metrodome in Minnesota, where “things are getting better every day.” Things are getting better every day for the Arizona Cardinals.

  38. By justin on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Let coaches be coaches, let gm!s be gm’s, be a fan and stay a fan, I laugh at people who think there smart, while sitting on the couch! Like the pick. Go bird gang!!!!!!!

  39. By rod (Eddie Goldman RD1) on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Yay, we finally have a Rodney on the team.

  40. By Big Ken on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    Ok I’m not scratching my head anymore. We might have to crown Steve Keim as king of the sleeper gold mine. wow

  41. By jeffy1951 on May 2, 2015 | Reply

    @ Byron – you are so full of hot air I’m getting blisters! How in the name of Sam Hill can you so vehemently criticize the picks made by the Executive of the Year and Coach of the Year (2x!) after not having seen them at the NFL level? The coaching these guys are going to get is BOUND to improve them and they are all good character guys who won’t contaminate the locker room while continuing the recent Cardinal tradition of winning under some pretty adverse conditions. DON’T under- estimate the power of chemistry a la our BIRDGANG! – – – -We got a job to do! SB50 !!

  42. By Jamar on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    I practiced against him his freshman year in College. The thing about him is he has incredible get off with power to penetrate through lineman, not just speed to split double teams. His broad jump directly correlates with my insight, such that his broad jump bested the average. If he plays with proper leverage and technique, learns from the veterans, and gets into the weight room he will be just fine. GUCCI!

    Exercise science grad 2013

  43. By Kevin S Mesa on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    We should have a place where all draft picks are graded by all the posters on an A-F scale and then we could go back and look at it a few years later… Problem is, we have too many fair weather posters who talk about what a horrible pick so-and-so was, and then we never hear from them again. I think a lot of people were down on the John Brown pick last year.

  44. By BIGAL on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Whitey & Giorgio

    Love both of your takes! Altho Whitey, I see it more as a John Brown selection! None of us had a clue last year on him until some video became available…& then we got to see him show his stuff in OTA’s, Mini Camp,Training Camp, Pre Season, & so on to the regular season! I list all this because after seeing video, &
    seeing his speed & quickness, which was soo impressive! Hearing BA & others compare him to Marvin Harrison! OK, but still I wondered, he is slight of frame? If the DB’s come up & press him at the line??? Can he break free quickly? I believe he answered all those questions last season & blew us all away!

    And to Giorgio’s point…w/ all the negative player issues in the NFL last year…
    With the on going DWash saga…& J Dwyer, this front office has been burned & hurt! I believe, I hope, I see it as our Cards Brass has made a commitment to good character players & not individuals that are characters! Just in reading up on these picks all have great work ethics…positive, motivated to prove thru hard
    work! Even going back to last years draft…you learn that DBuc came from military
    parents & was a 3 time Captain of WSU! I for one love the direction!

    And just for all the naysayers that wanted SRay or Gregory…Would the Cards have taken SRay if Denver didn’t leap frog us? I don’t think soo. And how is that gonna workout for Denver in a state that legalizes Pot? The NFL currently does not! And I don’t see that changing anytime soon! With Gregory I say we’ll see?
    JJones has dealt with these type of issues many times & has a lot of money & experience to provide what might make this work…Rod Marinelli is also good in helping out his players…so the environment they provide has the potential to succeed! But as Michael Irvin can tell ya …there is also a target rich environment of ill repute available in abundance! Again, we shall see? I just know I don’t want
    the risk. Sorry I got soo long…should have broken things up. Thanks!

  45. By BIGAL on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Brookelynn Ni’Asia & Jamar

    Thanks soo much for the insight! Been hard to find good intell on him!

  46. By Big Ken on May 3, 2015 | Reply

    Keim hinted there were two teams that would have drafted Gunter had he not moved up. One was the 49ers and I’d bet the other was the Ravens who had three picks in the third round alone after the Cardinals. We partnered with the Browns in the trade up. Ravens would have been all over Gunter.

  47. By William Barry on May 4, 2015 | Reply

    When I saw the tape of Rodney Gunter, (from blogger CardinalChris), I was extremely impressed with is power, strength, and up the field bull rush.(along with running down ball carriers.) He will fit in just perfect in our defense, and its great that neither SF, Ravens, or KC got to him first. Go Cards!!!!!!!!!!

  48. By Big Ken on May 5, 2015 | Reply

    We’re playing the Raven the end of October, before Halloween, at home. Go Cards!

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