The draft, prep, luck and David Johnson

Posted by Darren Urban on April 27, 2017 – 11:46 am

Steve Keim was asked about the draft being about luck.

“There is always some luck involved,” the Cardinals’ general manager said. “But through preparation you can get a little luckier.”

That’s how the Cards ended up with David Johnson, of course. It’s a story everyone knows well now, thanks to the “All of Nothing” series. The Cardinals were set to draft running back Ameer Abdullah in the second round in 2015. The Lions traded up, one spot in front of the Cardinals, to get Abdullah — who would have been the running back they were looking for.

The Cards were disappointed. But they traded down a couple of spots (to get an extra pick) and went after pass rusher Markus Golden in the second round. That’s where the prep came in — they liked Golden a lot, even though many wondered if Golden could be productive in the NFL as he had at Missouri. Lo and behold, Golden has been, leading the Cardinals in sacks last season. Then the Cardinals went after the next running back on the board, a relative unknown from Northern Iowa who has just happened to turn into one of the best running backs in the league.

The grades were right for the Cardinals. In both cases, some wondered why the Cards took both those guys as early as they did. It worked out — although luck was involved too. It’s a scene that still echoes around the franchise, given the two players who were picked.

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57 Responses to “The draft, prep, luck and David Johnson”

  1. By Jacob Hewitt on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Darren who do u predicated the Arizona Cardinals with Draft no .1 overall u have to have done a Mock Draft since your an NFL Dude

  2. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Jacob —

    RE: First pick

    Too much undetermined because 12 picks in front of them. Still think they go defense.

  3. By D on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Finally, it’s here- meaning it will be over with soon, Thank you!!!

    After months of discussions, thousands of hours of talk/web stories and more mock drafts than needed, the Draft will result with over 800 kids drafted by end of the weekend and maybe a total of 30 will have a sustain impact in the NFL…

    MOCK, the 4 letter word that should be Banned.

  4. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    With the draft starting tonight, here is who I would like picked;

    First round:
    Mike Williams – WR -, strong and can go get the ball
    Tredavious White – CB – Great cover CB
    Adore Jackson – CB – just scratching the surface on how good he can be.
    Marlon Humphrey – CB – solid tough CB who has issues with deep ball

    Second round;
    JuJu Smith Schuster – WR – Dez ? Q ? Plays his game like them.
    Marcus Williams – FS – great centerfielder
    Budda Baker – FS – Another great centerfielder, who can also cover in the slot.
    Sidney Jones – CB – Top CB who got injured at pro day.
    Zay Jones – WR – Most catches in CFB history. Senior Bowl stud.

    Third round;
    Pat Elflein – C/G – this guy is a beast and great leader
    Alex Anzalone – ILB – Athletic, fast and big. Great Senior Bowl.
    Dorian Johnson – G – will be a starter day one.

    As for the QBs;

    I think Deshawn Watson is a leader. I compare him to Russell Wilson as a guy, who if he has talent around him and a run game, he could be a decent starter.

    DeShone Kizer has talent but is a project.

    I do not like Mahomes at all. It will be a mistake to take him.

    Same goes for Trubisky. He will be the next Browns QB bust.

    Overall, Watson in round 2 or Kizer in round 3 could be possible picks, but no way should any QB be picked at 13.

    Isn’t it funny that the experts said there were no franchise QBs in this draft a couple of months ago after watching the games, but along the way, they are pushing guys up the draft board.

    FYI, McCarrens, Garappalo, Bortes, Cousins, and Teddy Bridgewater are all FAs or could be in 2018 . You also have a great QB draft in 2018.
    You also do have Carson Palmer in 2017. Don’t panic, skip the QB pick.

  5. By Big Ken on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    I’m liking Issac Asiata in the third round. Dorian Johnson will be long gone.

  6. By Adam Smith b1723 fka DTL on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG –

    Recent comments from pundits, other notes:
    “Kizer in love with status of QB, not in love or serious about being the best QB he can be”,
    ” Mahomes was able to chalk a lot more play diagnosis than any of the others and explain”, attributable to Cards front office…
    Noted numerous hubris quotes attributed to Watson last 2-3 days,
    “Trubisky most innacurate long passer and sideline passer”,
    Saw Kaaya on nflnetwork last night, very impressive, smart,modest guy.

    Guessing Mahomes if available at 13, then, if not, Kaaya in 2nd or 3rd… fwiw, fyi, what do I know? lol

  7. By Joe C. on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG, Safe to say in your scenario you only take Sidney Jones if you don’t pick a corner in round 1? I notice you have 3/4 picks as corners.

  8. By CardinalChris on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Love the latest mock by Charlie Casserly – Cards end up with Corey Davis at 13 and Mahomes at 32!! Plenty of corners and safeties for later.

    Mahomes is a lot of fun to watch. Could be awesome as a Card!

  9. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Joe C ,

    Yes, obviously I wouldn’t take CBs in every round.

    What I am saying is at 13, I would take Mike Williams if he is there.
    If that is the case, then I come back and take Sidney Jones.

    But if Mike isn’t there, then go CB and hope ( or maybe even trade up) in round 2 for JuJu.

    Got to go oline somewhere though. I think round 3 hopefully will still have some studs.

  10. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Funny, I know the mocks are saying cards take Mahomes late in round 1, but remember this, Casserly also said there are no franchise QBs in this draft and he would not draft one in round one.

  11. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Franchise QBs

    There may be no franchise QBs. But multiple QBs always are drafted in the first round. We all know that. It is inevitable.

  12. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG and others
    re: pundits saying Mahommes is not a franchise QB

    Here’s the thing, pundits have notoriously gotten it wrong. So have NFL experts and GMs/coaches. Want proof? Just look at Brady, Romo, Warner, Hasselbeck, Bulger, Rodgers and even Favre. (BTW, the Cards had the pick just ahead of the Falcons who took Favre and dammit the Cards took Mike Jones). Pundits and experts had it dead wrong on all these guys. .

    Point is, just because so and so said something, it doesn’t make it true. We need a future QB, we aren’t getting one next year. We aren’t in desperate need of a WR and the draft is deep in CBs so we can get one in round 2. Mahommes won’t make it past KC or NYG in round 1, so they have to take him.

    My worst case pick is Reddick. I live in Philly and no matter what, Temple is not a football school and I wouldn’t bet anything on a player from there. He is undersized and I will be pissed if they draft him. I don’t think he will do that well for a #1 pick. Second round? Absolutely, but not first. I will also be upset if they draft Corey Davis, but because of the repaired ankle. I just see him always having a problem with the ankle. Cards are reaching if they draft him.

    I want Mahommes at 13. Don’t risk it.

  13. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply


    There is a sucker born every day. lol

    OK, I get Watson going. Can’t understand anyone else.

  14. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Mike Mayock stat;

    2007-14, 21 QBs picked in round 1.

    Only 4 are franchise QBs

    His words “buyer beware”

  15. By creditcard on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    On the really bright spot, the Cards will get two extra rookie type players this year that might be seeing decent playing time. That is Nkemdiche and Williams.

    Asv for this year’s draft picks — I’m hoping they they healthy players. I look forward to see the back-end draft picks coming from small schools.

  16. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    So much for John Lynch not having experience to be a GM.

    Gets two 3’s and a 4 to move down one pick and then land Solomon Thomas to go with Deforest Buckner in last years draft.

    Brilliant !

    Cards better fortify that OLine.

  17. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Eric G,

    Sounds like one of us will be unhappy. We’ll see soon.

  18. By CARDS62 on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Interesting in that the Cardinals find themselves in the same position as they were several years ago with Warner. We actually felt better at the time with Matt L as backup verses Drew the dancing machine Stanton and a QB, Palmer at the end of his career. Steve Keim has to nail the next QB if he wants to be a great GM. Take a QB with lot of questions verses a talent with very few questions in round 1?

    We fans just have to trust that our front office has done their homework and nail their picks. We have to draft a QB either this year or next year or maybe even both years. Not saying in the first round but going to have to be early round or rounds.

    Go Cards

  19. By CARDS62 on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Interesting these teams are thinking much deeper defensive draft so I better take an offensive player with my first pick. Both the WR I wanted are gone! Carolina just took McCaffrey RB from Stanford. Can not argue with any teams draft choice so far except for the Da Bears.

    Go Cards!

  20. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Welp, the pool keeps getting smaller. It’ll be Reddick. I just have that feeling and I hope I’m wrong about his talent if he is drafted.

  21. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Don’t think it’ll be Mahommes now. Think KC just traded to get him over AZ.

  22. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Could Marshawn Lattimore drop to the cards? That cant be possible!

    Did not put him on the list cuz I thought it would be impossible for him to drop.

    Just needs to get past Saints and Cleveland.

  23. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Andy Reed got Favre under control (somewhat), now he is going to take his shot at Mahomes.

    Glad he is not a cardinal.

  24. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    dang saints

  25. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    OMG tell me we get Reuben Foster. Never thought he was within the realm of possibility.

  26. By Dan on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Chicken crap

  27. By CARDS62 on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Wow teams moving up in front of us to get a QB.
    I wonder if any teams talked with us about moving back?
    Okay we are on the clock now and I never thought DL from Alabama Jonathan Allen. This guy is a beast and has a motor. This is my pick. Stop the run and sack the QB.

    GO Cards!

  28. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply


    Why him over Foster? Why?

  29. By Dan on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Wow! Disappointing.

  30. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Eric G,

    No Mahomes and they took Riddick. don’t kick your TV

  31. By Jacob Hewitt on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Well your were right they got a LineBacker not really happy with their pick but I give it a b+
    #stillmad they did not get WATSON WAAAH AGAIN a QB GOES right before they cardinals get him ahhhhhhhhhh ugh Hmmmmmmmmm.
    I still can’t believe you were right Darren lol!

  32. By Christian on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Great pick. Let’s see what happens to our $B and D-Wash now.

  33. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply


    Not kicking it, other teams gave a lot to pick QBs before us. If Mahommes is sitting there, fine. But don’t trade up for him. I’m fine not getting him. I wouldn’t have wanted to give up more to pick him at #13.

    But, seriously, why are Alabama guys dropping? Can you explain Reddick over Foster? I am legit asking that.

    Reddick sounds like a great kid, don’t get me wrong, I hope I’m wrong about him being a great player. I just don’t see it. God I really really hope I’m wrong.

    However, there was one name I didn’t want to hear last year, and then I heard Robert Nkemdiche and was pissed. This year the one name I didn’t want to hear was Reddick, and I heard his name.

    Welp, tune into next year for my prediction I’ll tell you the one name I don’t want to hear and that’ll be the Cards #1 pick.

    For the record, I absolutely positively don’t want to hear the Cards pick is Sam Darnold in 2018.. 😉

  34. By georgiebird on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Cards drafting a LB #1 is a major blunder. Can’t believe the Cards drafted into their kiss of death position with the 13th pick.

  35. By Darren Urban on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Georgie —

    RE: LB

    I keep forgetting that in your eyes every linebacker who wears the Cardinals’ uniform plain stinks.

  36. By Eric G on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    So now I’m thinking Deshone Kizer in round 2 if not taken tonight or by Cleveland tomorrow. If not, best CB available.

  37. By CardsNation on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    I think Reddick is clearly a better player than Foster. There are too many concerns about Foster, medical and I see a lot of immaturities. That’s why other teams haven’t picked him too. Reddick is probably the best pick her. All the WRs and QBs are gone. CB in the first round is kind of a waste because there are so many CB talents, there are many left too.

  38. By creditcard on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Reddick makes sense. Be tutored by Dansby, Buchanan, Golden, and Jones. Add some experience — will be hard for defenses to figure what position(s) Reddick is playing.

    Cards have needed an athletic guy to cover TE’s, stop the run, and get a handful of sacks during the season. Dansby will be able to mold this youngman.

    Also, as for QB of the future — look for FA’s next week. I like the concept of getting an established QB that is considered “on the downhill side”, much like the pundits said about Palmer. I think a good candidate is Cutler, 33-yrs old, good arm, semi-mobile, and has not had a balanced team around him or a QB expert asa coach. Cutler would keep the Cards competitive, and play-off potential, while buying time for the proverbial QB of the future.

  39. By Jacob Hewitt on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Will say not the best pick they could have got 🤔
    I say they need to get a qb in second round they need Notre Dame QB! Need a back up for Palmer we don’t wanna be stuck in a position like what we had with Kurt Warner!

  40. By CardsNation on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Kizer is a bust, don’t do it.

  41. By georgiebird on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    I sent that post in to keep you awake and get the blood flowing.
    Once Watson was picked, the rest of the draft flattened out so no one was going to bowl the Cards over with a trade up.
    Hope the draft choices work out-we need a home run here.

  42. By Kevin S Mesa on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Wow, the Bears made the 49ers a lot better tonight.

  43. By Mike in Gilbert on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Hey Darren,

    You say “The grades were right for the Cardinals” — are we sure about that?

    They graded Ameer Abdullah higher than David Johnson…. but I think we’re happy they got that “wrong”, actually.

    Dak Prescott or Robert Nkemdiche? I know, hindsight makes it easier — just not sure I’d say they “got it right”. Perhaps an overstatement the other way.

  44. By CardsNation on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    There is a possibility to get Forrest Lamp in the second round.

  45. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Yes, so all those who said Lynch as GM for the niners was a mistake. He needs to learn how to be a GM by going through the ranks like Keim;

    Solomon Thomas
    Rueban Foster

    And picked up two extra 3’s and a 4. Then using their 4, jump up and get Foster.

    All those who argued with me, tell me how he is in over his head?

    Meanwhile Keim takes a ILB who will play behind Dansby for a year. I hear he will also be used as a passrusher. OK….. your making Jones jump inside?

    Want a pass rush, Johnathan Allen was sitting there? Or all 3 CBs (Humphrey, White, and Johnson) were there. and went in round one.

    Still thinking to grab JuJu with 45, but need that CB. Sidney Jones at 45. If you do that, the 2018 cards with Riddick inside and Jones joining Peterson will be looking good.

  46. By JTDG on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Eric G,

    Riddick vs Foster;

    Rumor is Foster has bad shoulder. Then Riddick also may be a better cover guy.

    I think Foster is the better ILB also. But man, Allen sitting there could have filled the Campbell spot. all 3 CBs sitting there. Dang.

  47. By Christian on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply


    I think there is enough CB talent left to go around. My eyes are now on Awuzie, as he seeks to be good at the tight-man coverage this team plays. I would be happy with him, Lamp, JuJu, or Feeney (preferably in that order). Kizer needs to drop another round before he would be worth dropping a pick on. I also like Sidney Jones if you can take the risk, but that would still leave us with Williams or Bethel week 1.
    I still like and root for Bethel, but I would rather see him prove he can beat out Awuzie than hand him the job while Jones is healing.

  48. By CARDS62 on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    I watch a lot of college football, but never watch Temple so I do not know about Reddick’s game. What can you guys tell me?

    Would you have taken him over my pick of Allen, Alabama or even Barnett, Tennessee both DL?

    Go Cards!

  49. By Jo ball on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    The jury is still out on Lynch. He had a good draft but basically got a hand delivered gift by the QB desperate bears.

    I have to admit, I’m not crazy about the Reddick pick. I think he can develop into a great player but we had bigger needs and the board was full of players who could address those needs. Plus it sounds like Keim won’t be giving Dwash a chance… everything he has said indicates that(plus the pick). I don’t think you depend on Dwash long term but this year is probably our last serious run at a championship for a while. You get help wherever you can get it. Hoping for a better day 2.

  50. By CardinalChris on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    Watched USF and Cincinnati games ( of Reddick and makes me disappointed in the pick because of other players available. I get it, Reddick can run and has some size but he doesn’t tackle well in these games – misses several tackles including a for sure safety against USF Has to transition to a position he hasn’t played. I keep hearing he can rush the passer, but didn’t see it on the films I watched – not even a pressure. Didn’t show anything but a pathetic attempt to rush around the end. Maybe he was playing run every down? Give me Foster and his bad shoulder – at least he tackles the guy when he gets there.

    Why didn’t they just sign Sio Moore and draft another position like CB or take johnathan allen? Interior pass rush from J Allen would have been nice addition.

  51. By clssylssy on Apr 27, 2017 | Reply

    What happened to our Corner (AGAIN)? our WR?…not the absolute worst, at least he will likely be a starter but, really??? Was hoping to get Lattimore or Williams, and if we hadn’t bllown up what was taking shape as a good defense, perhaps Cory Davis, still don’t see this as a priority.
    Obviously, defense is what everybody is focusing on, and it seems that every team has gotten better by light years but we missed the starting gun by doing nothing in FA but selling the the assets that could have given a head start.
    I hate the draft bc it’s always such a disappointment. Should have moved up to get one of the LSU guys–Jamal Adams, way to go Coach Bowles!

  52. By jasonc on Apr 28, 2017 | Reply

    Reddick was a great pick

    Super versatile and will combo with Bucannon perfectly

    I get the thought that we signed Dansby and DWash is a hedge bet, but neither guy is a lock for the future of this franchise and Reddick can do so many things and is a fighter!!!! Foster was too light to pair with Buc and had too many red flags to take at 13.

    If it were me I would’ve taken Hooker, but Reddick is obviously a player they loved and I think he will be great for the Cards

  53. By Kevin S Mesa on Apr 28, 2017 | Reply

    clssylssy —

    Williams, Davis and Lattimore were all gone, so hoping we’d get them is just that … hope.

    You say we should’ve moved up… what were you willing to give up to do so? Look what the Bears had to give up to move up ONE spot, to take a guy that SF probably wasn’t going to take anyway.

    Easy to say “we should have moved up,” until we don’t get a 3rd round pick at all because that’s what we had to give up. Think of some of the guys we’ve drafted in the 3rd round… David Johnson, Mathieu, John Brown.

  54. By sbrown on Apr 28, 2017 | Reply

    Kevis S & clssylssy –

    with the 3 QB’s and the 3 WR’s taken before the Cards pick at 13, all the defensive players they wanted just fell into their lap.

    for once, the board had several players that the Cards could have selected.
    I like the pick of Reddick, and he should stand out in the Cards defense scheme.

    Now today, SK should focus on the best corner and safety in rounds 2 & 3.

  55. By JTDG on Apr 28, 2017 | Reply


    It is reported that the cards tried to trade back into round one but was turned down.

    Who were they after ? Are we going to see the cards go after a QB?

  56. By Darren Urban on Apr 28, 2017 | Reply

    JTDG —

    RE: Trade

    I have not heard anything. I would expect the trade was QB-related if they were trying for that, but that would be my speculation.

  57. By clssylssy on Apr 28, 2017 | Reply

    I don’t think this was a bad pick but all we’ve heard since the end of last season is our need for a corner and, of course, finding a replacement for Larry, possibly even a QB of the future. I agree with JTDG that next year’s draft is a more QB rich class and that if we could have gotten our Corner and WR, that would have been my priority that I would have been willing to give up a couple of later picks or one this year and one next, or whatever. I’m all for building a tough and physical defense (as everybody else is doing) and Riddick looks to be a good choice.
    It just seems that SK throws the word “aggressive” around a lot when we are anything but, such that I take what he says with a grain of salt, expect little so as not to be disappointed. Still, watching some of that talent flying off the board and watching other teams get AGGRESSIVE, can’t help but feel we’re a little behind in the catch up game. One commentator said that it had been a forgone conclusion that we would take Reddick and linked Arians being a coach at Temple to that which got me wondering what the big rush was to take a lineman (although they are a huge asset and money in the bank) when a top Corner or elite receiver was more pressing.
    Actually, I was relieved that we didn’t take Ross, which is what I personally expected BASK to do after KC took Mahomes. Riddick seems like a versatile player that I’m OK with. Oh well, we’ll make the best with the Cards we’re dealt!

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