Cardinals nearly drafted Abdullah, not Johnson

Posted by Darren Urban on June 30, 2016 – 9:31 pm

There will be some interesting parts to the Cardinals’ 2015 season revealed now that “All or Nothing” is now available to stream on Amazon video. One is there right at the outset of the first episode. The cameras take you into the Cardinals’ draft room when they are on the clock in the second round, all set to select Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah — VP of player personnel Terry McDonough is literally on the phone with Abdullah — when the Lions end up taking Abdullah the pick before Arizona. (The disappointment is palpable. It’s a scene you have to watch play out.)

How much would’ve changed last season had the Abdullah pick been made? Without the ability to draft Abdullah, the Cardinals took outside linebacker Markus Golden in the second round. And then they went with running back David Johnson in the third round. Golden has already played his way into a probable starting job following a solid rookie season, while Johnson had 13 touchdowns as a rookie and is going to be the anchor for the Cards’ running game in 2016.

Johnson, in fact, is a guy who the Cards’ decision-makers feel can be a star in the NFL. Abdullah had a solid rookie year for the Lions too, but I’d guess the Cards would have no desire to flip Johnson for Abdullah right now. Johnson showed he can run the ball and his ability to catch is fantastic (Johnson made a grab on a wheel route during OTAs that had teammates marveling. In the offseason.)

Feels like this turned out pretty well for the Cardinals.

Ameer Abdullah, Tyrann Mathieu, Deone Bucannon

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Posted in Blog | 21 Comments »

21 Responses to “Cardinals nearly drafted Abdullah, not Johnson”

  1. By Eric G on Jul 1, 2016 | Reply

    Thank you Detroit for taking Abdullah. I wouldn’t trade Golden and Johnson for anything.

  2. By Dominik on Jul 1, 2016 | Reply

    Darren, is it possible to watch ‘all or nothing’ outside of USA?

  3. By Darren Urban on Jul 1, 2016 | Reply

    Dominik —

    RE: Outside the U.S.

    This includes the international info Amazon has given me.

  4. By Scott H on Jul 1, 2016 | Reply

    Myself as well – NO INTEREST in flipping DJ for anyone right now. I love this kid. LOVE the way he runs and he is so dynamic catching passes either out of the back-field OR lined up as a receiver. He ALREADY does it all.

  5. By NYCardinals on Jul 1, 2016 | Reply

    . . . it’s Friday, I ain’t got no job, and I ain’t got sh*t to do . . .

    Yep, I just binge-watched 8 episodes of All Or Nothing. Now what the hell am I going to do?

  6. By Richard S on Jul 2, 2016 | Reply

    I watched episode #1. My favorite part was actually seeing Soldier Field from the sidelines. I’ve never got to see what a pro football field looks like from the field in the preps for a game. My son got to as he was earning money for his junior college baseball program when Garrison Hearst had the longest run in Niner history against the Jets. Every few years when the Niner’s play the Jets they show the replay over and I can see my son kneeling behind the end zone in his gold jacket. His supposed job at the time was to keep the media off the field, but they already understood that. He dressed up well for the job so he could get an inside job rather than standing outside in the parking lot.

  7. By rod on Jul 3, 2016 | Reply

    After watching him care for his rescue dog Riley my favorite Cardinal is now Michael Bidwill. Obviously a great owner AND a good person.

  8. By Jacob Hewitt on Jul 3, 2016 | Reply

    i saw alll of all or nothing and i did not see u
    where were you in all of that
    your a big part of the Cards i meen you keep me up to date on the cards
    how coulfi live with out your blogs..

  9. By Darren Urban on Jul 3, 2016 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: All or Nothing

    If you’re looking carefully enough, I’m here and there. Plus, you missed my big speaking part in Episode 5 after the Rams game. I was larger than life.

  10. By clssylssy on Jul 3, 2016 | Reply

    Although I still have all the gamesl on the DVR, I watched ALL OR NOTHING through the middle of the last episode that was just too tough to relive. I found it entertaining and well done but came away a little concerned that perhaps we have lost a big part of what made that team so strong, i.e., the enormous amount of knowledge and on field teachers we had in our veteran core. I loved seeing Dwight Freeney “feeding his boys” (would love his recipe for Jamacan chicken & brown rice) & Cory Redding’s cookies–these guys were imparting knowledge through a medium the guys were eager to swallow!
    Sure was our good fortune to get David, who together w Chris will make our run game even more high octane this season. Am a little worried our defense isnt going to be as strong w/o the guidance of the veterans we lost.

  11. By Jacob Hewitt on Jul 3, 2016 | Reply

    Oh well I guess I did not notice you in it I will have to watch that episode again
    I will watch out for you in it btw if u know Pat P tell him he needs to learn how to get his kid dressed and ready to go faster becouse I am only 13 and I can get a baby ready like bath fed and dressed all in 20 mins.

  12. By clssylssy on Jul 4, 2016 | Reply

    As great as last year’s team was, I don’t see us showing up on any of those “lists” the NFL puts out with our D-line not even cracking the top 12 while the Rams have moved into #1 and Seattle is like #8! Sure hope everybody’s not too high on themselves after watching ALL OR NOTHING for a month, and realize they have a lot of work to be back to the level of last year’s squad. It’s funny that while some have the Cards favored to get to the SB (changes from day-to-day) few, if any, have our defense ranked high on anybody’s list. The Rams have even added Mike Singletary as a consultant and everybody knows Defense wins Championships. If you watched ALL OR NOTHING, we see our defense die in crunch time (for the second year) so I would think perhaps the Tyrann and Patrick show could use a little help…just say’n, SK is a lineman so should know the importance these guys are to the success of a team, even one as loaded with talent as ours.
    While I can appreciate the efforts of the organization to put more into our “Brand” recognition, nothing sells like a good product which sells itself…kinda like Larry Legend whose humility and play still draws more than over exposure. Sure hope this doesn’t come back to bite us in such a critical year!

  13. By Scott H on Jul 4, 2016 | Reply


    Well, let’s keep in mind that the Rams have HAD one of the best defenses and MAYBE even THE best front 7 in the NFL for the last few seasons. But where have they been? Nowhere. Because they have not had the single most important ingredient there is in the NFL – anything even REMOTELY resembling a great QB. Heck, forget great – how ’bout even remotely decent, where the Rams are concerned.

    Let’s be careful about the mantra that defenses win championships. Because I think that statement is in-complete, at best. Yes, a great defense seems necessary. But when you look at the last 15 SB’s or so….I think great QB’s are more prevalent than great defenses.

    Last year? No doubt, Denver’s D was what won that game. But, really – how often has that been the case?

    The year before that, you could say the Pats D made the play that saved the game. OR, you could just as easily say that the Seahawks made an in-comprehensibly stupid call by throwing the ball on that play instead of running it with Marshawn Lynch.

    The year the Seahawks battered the Broncos? Yeah, their D was amazing in that game. Then again, how GOOD was Seattle’s offense that day? AND how BAD was Denver’s D? It looked like the Broncos were just a total no-show from top to bottom.

    Last year in Carolina? Well, our defense and our QB BOTH collapsed, so…how do you call that one?

    I’m rambling here. I think my point was that great defenses rarely win SB’s all by themselves. How many years has it been since a truly marginal QB won a SB? 2000 with the Ravens? That was 16 years ago….every SB winner since then had had at least a VERY GOOD QB as well.

    Really, you need both. But I think the mantra that defense wins championships is too simple.

  14. By Cardinal's Chick on Jul 5, 2016 | Reply

    Darren…I saw you. Both times.

    I did the same thing NYCardinals…Friday night I watched all 8 episodes. I didn’t think I could manage the 8th because it still stings. But…you have to take the good with the bad. And, they really did play bad all the way around in that game…which makes absolutely no sense to me.

    Anyway, the series was very well done. So much better than Hard Knocks. But then, I probably feel that way because I was watching my team. I am missing football so much right now I will likely watch all 8 episodes again.

    While it is very logical that this team should make it back to the NFC Championship again, I am trying to temper my enthusiasm. This is truly an any given Sunday sport. No matter how the 2016 season goes, I’m a ride or die Cardinal’s Chick!

  15. By TheLoyalTen fka DTL on Jul 5, 2016 | Reply

    All or Nothing: Wow.

    Episode 8, hard to watch.


  16. By Scott H on Jul 5, 2016 | Reply

    Geez….anyone else feeling like 2016 is either gonna be THE year we have been dreaming about ( in other words, a SB win. Period ) or heartbreak and disappointment the likes of which we have never known? As it draws closer, it feels to me like those are really the only two outcomes.

    The 2008 season took us right to the brink of winning it all….and then it was gone. Ugh. And I feel like Fitz and me have been waiting for that chance to get back to that moment so we can get it right this time. And it feels like this is it.

    Speaking just for me, I think the intensity of this season is going to be un-like anything we have ever known. All or nothing, indeed.

  17. By clssylssy on Jul 6, 2016 | Reply

    Scott…As usual I agree with you, for the most part however,I still think the old addage that “offenses win games but defenses win Championships” is true now more than ever and since the 2013 Ravens,teams have focusing more on building killer defenses and we need to keep up. If all it took was an elite QB, the Saints would be a contender every year! Our defense has come up short for the past two years in crunch time, which is when we need them most! We’ve all seen what happens when our players start reading their own press,believing they are bullett proof and I worry that w/o the veterans to ground them, all the that hype from being movie stars will cause their swagger to mess up their footwork causing is to fall. Historically we have done better under the radar–I don’t want to be that team that cant finish and is just mediocre!
    On a different note…Darren, do you know if the Honey Badger has to play the entire season to be eligible for Comeback Playet of the Yesr? I think he does, which is another reason to hope he is back to form for the Patriots game😉

  18. By Darren Urban on Jul 6, 2016 | Reply

    Clssy —

    RE: CPOY

    I don’t think there is any rule in that regard. Obviously, if he missed a chunk of the season, voters would take that into account.

  19. By Scott H on Jul 6, 2016 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    I hear ya about not wanting to be that team that can’t finish. As a fan, that has to be hard. Palmer is the key to this whole thing. Yes, the defense has to play on a different level when we get to the big games. But I don’t think our defense can CARRY the team. If we are going to get to the promised land, Palmer has to play his best on the big stage. And the harsh reality is….he has not done that. Fact is, only ONE playoff win separates him from Andy Dalton. And we all know his performance in that ONE win was pretty shaky.

    I really think the defense is going to hold up its end of the bargain this year. I’m not worried about that. I am less sure about Palmer. He can play as well as any QB playing the game right now. But his last 3 performances of 2015 were shaky AT BEST. Two of them were flat out horrible. We are not winning a SB without Palmer playing his best or close to it. That means he has to show he can do what he has not been able to do in his career to this point. We have to hope he has it in him.

    Being out here just outside Philly, I watched the Eagles go to all those NFC title games under Andy Reid, only to lose 4 of the 5 they played in. The one time they made it to the big game, they – like us – played their hearts out and lost a very close game. As a fan, that must have been really hard.

  20. By Scott H on Jul 6, 2016 | Reply

    clssylssy –

    Responding to another point that I actually agree with….yes, if ALL it took was an elite QB, the Saints would be in the NFC title game every year. Obviously, that is not ALL it takes. But let’s not forget that the Saints DID win a SB recently and it WAS because of Drew Brees above all else. Can’t say I remember how the Saints D was that year but I know it wasn’t their D that drove that team – it was an elite QB, a historically good QB, a HOF QB that drove that bus. Would that team have won a SB with Joe Flacco or Trent Dilfer? I say no.

    Then again, could the 2015 Broncos have won a SB without that defense? Definitely not. Peyton Manning couldn’t have led that team to the playoffs on his own. let alone winning a SB.

    This is a classic debate that could go on forever ( great QB vs great defense, which is more important ) and one that either side could make a very impressive case for. At the end of the day, I don’t even know if you could declare a clear winner.

    But I appreciate the back and forth at a time of the year when so many of our “regulars” on the blog appear to have gone on extended vacation! Guess everyone will be back in force when training camp starts.

  21. By Kevin S Mesa on Jul 11, 2016 | Reply

    “Defense wins championships,” except when it doesn’t.

    The evidence across the history of the Super Bowl is pretty underwhelming. You have some teams, like this past year’s Broncos, the ’85 Bears, etc. where the defense figured prominently. Then you have other teams where the offense was the better part of the team.

    You have years like last year where a great defense won, and three years ago, Seattle’s top defense beat Denver’s top offense. But then in between, you had Super Bowl XLIX, which was won by the Patriots (13th in league in total defense, but 4th in total offense) over the Seahawks (#1 in total defense by a wide margin, 10th in offense). The Ravens won in 2013 with both a middling offense and defense over a team, the 49ers, with a middling offense and great defense (3rd in league). In 2011, the Packers beat a Steelers team that was #2 in total defense.

    Some guys have run studies of this all the way back to the beginning of the Super Bowl and basically concluded that there’s no significant difference between the relative importance of offense and defense to winning the championship. Which makes intuitive sense — you can win a game 3-0, or 51-48, and it counts the same either way.

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