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ARIZONA CARDINALS

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2010 draft

2009 draft     2008 draft     2007 draft     2006 draft
2005 draft
     2004 draft     2003 draft     2002 draft

 

2010 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 26 Dan Williams DT Tennessee # 3 DT Round 1

Senior Bowl Game

Williams played a terrific game.  He looked very good against the run.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Williams is a big kid who plays the run very well and will make a 3-4 team very happy as a solid nose tackle.
2 47 Daryl Washington OLB TCU #4 OLB Round 2

Senior Bowl Game

Washington had good moments, particularly against the pass.
3 88 Andre Roberts WR Citadel #21 WR Round 5
4 130 O'Brien Schofield OLB Wisconsin #10 OLB Round 4

East West Shrine Game

What a terrific adjustment to outside linebacker for this college defensive end.  He can get after the quarterback, and he held up very well in pass coverage.  He is a kid to keep your eye on as an outside linebacker for teams that play the 3-4 defense.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Prior to getting injured at the Senior Bowl, Schofield looked like he was transitioning to 3-4 OLB very well.  His injury will hurt his draft status, but if he heals well, he could be a player to watch in 2011.
5 155 John Skelton QB Fordham #4 QB Round 2

East West Shrine Game

Skelton impressed me the most of all the quarterbacks in the game.  He has an NFL arm and size, but McShay indicated that there are questions about his off-the-filed work habits.  Still, he is a good later round prospect with upside.

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Skelton has good size and a big-time arm.  He also moves well for a 240+ pound quarterback.  Coming out of a small school, he will need time to develop, but has a big upside.  Of the beyond the first two-rounds of the draft, Skelton has the best chance to be a top tier starter down the line.
6 201 Jorrick Calvin CB Troy NR FA
7 233 Jim Dray

TE

Stanford NR Late Round Value
FA   John Fletcher DE Wyoming NR 7th/FA
FA   Marshay Green CB/RET Mississippi NR 7th/FA
FA   Max Hall QB BYU NR Late Round Value
FA   A. J. Jefferson CB/RET Fresno State #14 CB Round 3/Round4
FA   Alphonso Smith RB/RET Kentucky NR Late Round Value
FA   Stephen Williams WR Toledo NR Late Round Value

 

C+

2010 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

DRAFT PICKS

I have to admit that by this point in time I thought Branch and/or Watson would have grabbed hold of Arizona's nose tackle position rendering the position to be addressed only for depth in later drafts.  That has not happened, so grabbing Williams to play the nose was an excellent pick at #26 in round one.  Williams is a big kid who has solid strength and athleticism and was my third ranked defensive tackle behind the "big two" (Suh and McCoy).  Williams will finally give the Cards a player who will tie up blockers and stuff and the run.

Hmmm, how to write this?  I like Washington as a player, but believe his best value is as a 4-3 WILL, not an 3-4 inside linebacker.  He has good speed and is terrific against the pass.   He is a bit undersized for a 3-4 inside linebacker.  As an inside linebacker in the 3-4 defense a kid like Phillip Dillard is a better fit and would have been available a round later (selected by the Giants in round four as a middle linebacker for a 4-3 defense, which is not a particularly good fit for him).  If Arizona waited to pick him in round three (or Chaney who was surprisingly not picked until round seven by the Eagles), they could have gone with any number of solid or high-potential offensive lineman such as tackle Charles Brown (solid), guard Jon Asamoah (solid), or tackle Jared Veldheer (potential).

This is the first detailed report card I am writing, and this will be the first of my many mentions of how the GMs missed on receiver Blair White of Michigan State.  He went undrafted, but, if he gets a chance, he will show that he was one of the better receivers in the draft.  That said, Arizona had Roberts rated more highly than I did.  In addition to White, as a receiver/returner I liked Mardy Gilyard much more than Roberts.  As a speed receiver I liked Emmanuel Sanders more than Roberts.  All were available at this spot.  However, I would have gone offensive line here.

Scofield was having an excellent post-season until he got injured.  I had a fourth round grade on him because of the injury.  If he displayed the athletic ability, strength and speed that he appeared to have on tape, he may have peaked at a late second round grade.  If not he could have ended up with a fifth or sixth round grade.  His workout numbers were even more important than most because he is transiting form defensive end to outside linebacker.  Assuming he comes back to 100%, I lean more towards late two than five or six.  This was a good risk/reward selection by Arizona.  He could be a double-digit sack guy with acceptable cover skills.

Skelton was my favorite developmental quarterback in the draft.  I liked his upside enough to give him a second round grade.  He is a big kid, with a big arm and a lot of confidence.  He also has better mobility than it may appear.  He is in the Big Ben, Joe Flacco mold, although he needs to improve his accuracy some to approach the success of those two.

Corrick Calvin was a player I expected to be grabbed as a free agent, not a player drafted in round 6.  We'll see how this selection plays out over time, but as a cornerback, I would have gone with A. J. Jefferson at this spot.  In an interesting twist, Arizona signed him as a free agent so we'll see which player the Cards like better.  Pender is another player I would have drafted over Calvin.

Dray is a tough kid who blocks well.  He is a third tight end type.  However, he'll need to get a little bigger and a little stronger to hang onto a third tight end roster spot.

FREE AGENTS

Fletcher has the body and short area quickness to develop into a rotation player at end in the Card's 3-4 defense.  He will need to bulk up to have a chance to stick.

Green is short, more quick than fast and a good punt returner.  He will need to show good special teams skills to have a chance to make the roster since he is too short and too slow to play on the outside as a cornerback.

Hall is a heady quarterback who I thought would be drafted, maybe as early as round six.  Unfortunately, he choose to sign with a team that drafted my top developmental quarterback in Skelton.  He should make Arizona's practice squad.

Jefferson has good size and speed, excellent quickness and is a top athlete.  I had a late third/early fourth round grade on him.  The knock on him is that he needs to show he can be physical, especially since he will start off on special teams.  All in all, I believe he is a better prospect than Calvin.

Smith is an interesting prospect.  He has size, speed and strength.  He is more straight line than wiggle and long term could be a solid backup running back.  On Arizona, he could stick on their practice squad.

Williams has good size, and nice speed and quickness for a 6'4" plus receiver. He also can catch.  With his tools, he could surprise in camp and push for a bottom of the roster spot.

 

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2010 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Williams Dan Tennessee 6'2.0" 327 M-L 27 5.17 1.75 2.96 4.87 - 7.88 32" 8'0"
Washington Daryl TCU 6'1.6" 230 XL-L 17 4.50 1.56 2.58 - - 7.07 31" 9'6"
Roberts Andre Citadel 5'10.7" 195 S-L 15 4.40 1.52 2.58 4.15 - 6.77 36" 10'0"
Schofield O'Brien Wisconsin 6'2.2" 221 L-L - - - - - - - - -
Skelton John Fordham 6'5.3" 243 L-L - 4.89 1.61 2.77 4.33 - 7.17 33.5" 9'0"
Calvin Jorrick Troy 5'10.1" 182 - - 4.46 1.62 2.71 4.54 - 7.21 33" 9'0"
Dray Jim Stanford 6'4.6" 246 L-L 19 4.82 1.75 2.84 4.29 - 7.11 34" 9'5"
Fletcher John Wyoming 6'5.1" 270 - 21 4.82 1.61 2.77 4.52 - 7.30 33" 9'10"
Green Marshay Mississippi 5'8.7" 180 M-XL - 4.64 1.62 2.64 4.11 - 6.66 35.5" 10'4"
Hall Max BYU 6'0.5" 209 S-M - 4.77 1.64 2.76 4.35 - 7.07 32" 8'6"
Jefferson A. J. Fresno St 6'0.1" 193 L-L 7 4.43 1.56 2.55 4.00 - 6.72 44" 10'6"
Smith Alphonso Kentucky 6'1.1" 211 - 19 4.38 1.47 2.53 4.31 - 7.21 36" 9'9"
Williams Stephen Toledo 6'4.4" 210 L-M 15 4.48 1.48 2.52 4.11 - 6.81 36.5" 10'5"

2010 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

   

QB With Warner retired, Leinart gets his chance.  An insurance policy is needed.
RB Wells will be a star.  Hightower is surprisingly effective.  Stephen-Howlings has skills as well.
WR It appears that Boldin will be traded.  Even without Boldin this team is deep and talented at receiver with Fitzgerald, Breaston and Doucet.  A receiver for depth may be added.
TE The Cardinal tight ends all look good at times and replaceable at times.  Patrick has the biggest upside, Bechte is the best blocker.  An upgrade is very possible.
OL Gandy was suppose to solidify left tackle, but he got hurt and is an UFA so the Cards need a left tackle.  In addition depth is needed, especially a center who can push Sendlein.
DL Deep and talented at end, the Cardinals are still waiting for Branch or Watson to become a force on the nose.  An upgrade at nose tackle is possible.
LB Dansby is an UFA and will need to be replaced if he leaves.  Hayes is solid.  Okeafor is an UFA but he is better as a DE in a 4-3 than an OLB in 3-4 anyway.  Haggans is okay outside but replaceable.  This unit could look very different next year with up to three new starters.
DB Rolle is an UFA and I'm not sold on Johnson as his replacement.  Wilson is a top strong safety.  Rodgers-Cromartie is a top starter, McFadden is okay, but better served as a nickel so an upgrade is possible.
ST The Cardinals kicking and punting games are fine.  Stephen-Howlings is a good kick returner.  Breaston had a disappointing year as a punt returner and a replacement makes sense if his responsibilities increase at receiver.

 

2009 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 31 Chris Wells RB Ohio State #1 RB Round 1
2 63 Cody Brown OLB Connecticut #11 OLB Round 3

Senior Bowl practice comment

Early in the week Brown was all over field making: sack, plays on run, play on draw in 11 on 11's.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

5 - 5 Loadbolt 1-3   Beatty 4-2

Player who will have a better NFL career than many drafted higher than him.

Brown is one of the many defensive ends projected to outside linebacker in the NFL.  However, based on his post-season performance and measureables, he is one of the safest players to project to linebacker.  In fact, Brown has shown the skills to play SAM in a 4-3 as well as outside in a 3-4.
3 95 Rashad Johnson FS Alabama #5 FS Round 4

Senior Bowl practice comment

Johnson was fair in one on one cover drills, but made a nice play in 11 on 11's.
4 131 Greg Toler CB St Pauls NR Late Round Value
5 167 Herman Johnson OG LSU #2 OG Round 2

Senior Bowl practice comment

Johnson was a bit hot and cold, but I was impressed that he handled speed okay and strength okay.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

4 - 5 Moore 1-1   Veikune 1-0   Jerry 0-2   Sidbury 1-1   Moala 1-1

Senior Bowl Game

Johnson is a big kid who looked good blocking on running plays, was solid in pass protection and cleared the way on a goal line run.
6 204 Will Davis DE Illinois NR Late Round Value

Senior Bowl practice comment

Davis struggled against the big tackle Loadholt.  He looked okay against others.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

6 - 8 Fulton 3-1   Loadholt 1-5   Levitre 2-2
7 240 LaRod Stephens-Howling RB Pittsburgh NR Off My Board
7 254 Trevor Canfield OG Cincinnati #13 OG Round 5

Senior Bowl practice comment

Canfield looked a bit overmatched during the one-on-one drills.

ONE ON ONE BLOCKING DRILLS SCORED BY JAY GOLDBERG

3- 8 Hood 1-3   Raji 0-2   King 2- 1   McGee 0-2
FA ---- Josh Brown WR Hampton NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Tony Davis CB/S Penn State NR Late Round Value
FA ---- Khalil El-Amin OT/OG Cinncinnati NR 7th/FA
FA ---- Michael Garvin CB/WR Florida State NR Late Round Value

 

C+

2009 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

Interestingly, the reason the Cards are getting a C+ over a C is because of the selection of Beanie Wells, a player they would have, most likely, passed on if Moreno or Brown were available.  While Arizona got very good value with Johnson, they reached a bit for Brown and Johnson, and a lot for Toler.  The college street free agent that will be most interesting to watch in camp is Michael Garvin who can flat out fly.

DRAFT PICKS

Wells was the top running back on my board and will be a top back in the NFL for a long time.  He is strong, he is fast, and he is athletic.  Wells filled a major need and was terrific value at the end of round one.

I understand why the Cards drafted Brown here, especially after they let LaBoy go.  Berry and Okeafor are not feared outside rushers and a 3-4 defense needs at least one of those.  At the bottom of round three, Brown was the last player left on the board who has a chance top develop into a solid outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense who can get pressure on opposing quarterbacks.  

The selection of Rashad Johnson in round three confuses me.  He's not a bad player, but with Rolle developing nicely at free safety and Nelson available at tight end at this spot in the draft, I wouldn't have hesitated bringing up the card for Nelson.

If Johnson confused me, Toler confounded me.  Obviously, Arizona has him much more highly rated than me.  With Macho Harris and Morgan Trent (among many others) better corners still on the board, I would have gone with one of them.  In addition, Mike Mickens and Ellis Lankster available late, the Cards would have been better off waiting for a corner until round six or seven to draft a corner than drafting Toler here.

Herman Johnson was a nice get in round five.  He is a big kid with a nice upside if he can keep his weight down and his strength up.  I believe he will and he'll turnj into a siolid long term starter in the NFL.

Arizona felt they had to draft a player like Davis since they have some doubt about Brown.  However, I do not believe Davis has the athletic ability to transition very well to outside linebacker in the Cards' 3-4 defense.  If I were taking a chance with a defensive end to transition to outside linebacker here, I would have drafted Nick Reed at this spot.

Stephens-Howlings was a reach.  He was off my board.  As a return man, which Arizona needs, I liked many better, including Michael Garvin.  However, if Arizona passed on Johnson in round three, free safety/return man Pegues could have been chosen here.  If they passed on Toler (and a corner) in round four, Lankster, who I have rated as a much better corner than Toler could have been drafted here as a return man.  If the Cards wanted a backup runner/return man, I would have selected Kory Sheets or even Jeremiah Johnson over Stephens-Howlings.  However, as a straight return man, I liked Jason Chery and I would have selected him and gone after Sheets or J. Johnson in free agency.

Arizona did finish the draft on a high note.  Canfield has good speed, strength and athleticism for a guard.  He does need work on his footwork, but could be a very reliable sub down the line.

 COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Justin Brown has good size and strength and had good production his senior year.  He is a candidate for the Cards' practice squad.

Tony Davis had a similar grade to Toler on my board.  He could sneak onto the Cards' active roster.

Arizona must have liked what they saw of Cincinnati's offensive line drafting Canfield and signing El-Amin.  El-Amin has size and strength and is a good candidate for Arizona's practice squad.

Garvin has exceptional straight line speed and will be a better kick returner than Stephens-Howling, although Stephens-Howling may be a better punt returner.  The battle between these two will be interesting to watch in camp.

For chart below: red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
ARM-HAND relative to position, for ranges see ranking pages for 2009 draft

LAST NAME
at Combine
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HGT WGT ARM-
HAND
BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Wells Chris Ohio State 6'1" 235 XL-XL 25 4.38 1.50 2.51 - - - 33.5" 10'8"
Brown Cody Connecticut 6'2.1" 244 XL-L 26 4.65 1.63 2.79 4.40 - 7.10 36.5" 10'0"
Johnson Rashad Alabama 5'11.2" 203 M-M 15 4.49 1.53 2.62 4.23  - 7.09 37" 10'0"
Toler Gregory St. Pauls 5'11.2" 191 - 13 4.45 1.55 2.60 4.18 - 6.95 33.5" 9'5"
Johnson Herman LSU 6'7.2" 356 XL-XL 24 5.49 1.88 3.21 5.01  - 8.58 26.5" 7'10"
Davis Will Illinois 6'2.1" 261 S-L 27 4.84 1.67 2.82 4.45 - 7.15 34" 9'10"
Stephens-Howling LaRod Pittsburgh 5'7" 180 - - 4.48

-

- - - - - -
Canfield Trevor Cincinnati 6'4" 307 S-M 32 5.28 1.75 2.92 4.83 - 7.78 32" 9'1"
Brown Justin Hampton 6'1.3" 203 - 19 4.49 1.52 2.62 4.22 - 7.01 37.5" 10'5"
Davis Tony Penn State 5'9.1" 191 - - 4.40 - - 4.18 - 6.65 - -
El-Amin Khalil Cincinnati 6'3.3" 317 - 29 5.38 1.81 3.04 4.77 - 7.56 29" 8'8"
Garvin Michael Florida State 5'7.6" 174 - - 4.24 1.42 2.41 4.34 - 6.97 36" 10'8"

2009 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY
Major need
     Need     Upgrade possible     Depth/possible need     Not a need

QB Warner is an UFA and has also uttered the "R" word (retirement).  Leinart i9s waiting in the wings.  Third QB, St. Pierre is also an UFA.
RB James has a big price tag and will, most likely, not be back.  Arrington is an UFA.  Despite what they might hope and think, Hightower is not a starting caliber NFL running back.  He is an excellent change-of-pace battering ram who can be used in short yardage and on the goal line.  The Cardinals will draft a starting running back.
WR Even if Boldin moves on, which is what he is saying he wants right now, receiver is a position of strength for Arizona.  Fitzgerald is one of the best players in the league and will be fine paired with Breaston if not Boldin.  Urban has also shown some good things and Doucet has potential.
TE Spach is an UFA.  Pope is a tall tight end who hasn't developed as quickly as the Cardinals had envisioned.  Of all the Cardinals tight end, however, I like the potential of Patrick.  Still, the team will look for possible upgrades at tight end.
OL This is a solid unit.  In a draft deep at center, the Cards could bring in competition for Sendlein.  They could also add depth.
DL Look for youngsters Watson and Campbell to move into the starting lineup next year improving an already solid unit.   Dockett is the other starter.  Branch and Iwebema are young players with talent who provide depth.
LB Dansby is an UFA who Arizona cannot afford to lose.  OLB/DE hybrid Berry is also an UFA, although LaBoy, if he can stay healthy is a better player in the Cardinals' scheme.  Hayes and Okeafor are solid starters.  If Dansby leaves, Arizona will need to find a replacement.  They also need an OLB/DE as a backup if Berry leaves because of LaBoy's history nof injuries.
DB Rodgers-Cromartie had a nice rokkie year and will get better.  Hood is okay opposite him, but the Cardinals' could be best served with him at nickel and Brown at dime.  Wilson is one of the best safeties in the league.  I like Rolle at free safety.  Francisco is a good backup safety.  A corner who could start might be added.
ST The Cardinals kicking and punting games are fine, but they could use a dynamic return man, especially of Breaston moves into the starting line-up.

 

2008 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 16 Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie CB/Ret 6'1.4" 184 Tenn St #2 CB Round 1
2 50 Calais Campbell

DE

6'7.6" 290 Miami #4 DE Round 1/Round 2
3 81 Early Doucet WR 6'0.1" 209 LSU #12 WR Round 3
4 116 Kenny Iwebema DE 6'4" 274 Iowa #21 DE Round 4/Round 5
5 149 Tim Hightower RB 5'11.7" 224 Richmond   Free agent
6 185 Chris Harrington DE 6'4.3" 264 Texas A&M #14 DE Round 3/Round 4
7 225 Brandon Keith OT/OG 6'5.1" 353 N Iowa   Late Round Value
FA   Thaddeus Coleman OT 6'7.6" 308 Miss Val St   Late Round Value/Free agent
FA   Keilen Dykes DT/DE 6'3.3" 306 W Virginia   Late Round Value
FA   Ali Highsmith LB 5'11.5" 230 LSU #10 ILB Round 4
FA   Anthony Morelli QB 6'3.5" 235 Penn State   Late Round Value/Free agent

top

B-

2008 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Cards did a good job of drafting for need and value, except at running back, where I believe Hightower was a reach at that point in the draft.  A speed back to compliment James made more sense than a power back, if his future replacement was not drafted.  There were some good quick, change-of-pace backs available as college street free agents, and as of this report, the Cards did not sign any.  Anthony Alridge or Dantrell Savage or Andre Callender or Chad Simpson would have been good gets for Arizona as free agents I know they have Arrington, but he has not lived up to expectations).  Harrington was good value in round six, however, he is a bit small for a 3-4 end and a bit slow for a 3-4 outside linebacker.

DRAFT PICKS

Rodgers-Cromartie is a very fast corner who showed at the Senior Bowl that he can force the run and isn't afraid to hit someone.    In fact, at the Senior Bowl he was the best defensive player on the field.  He was good in coverage, came up to hit receivers on short passes, and forced the run.  He is also a good return man.  However, in college he did not show as much toughness as he did at the Senior Bowl.  Still he was a great get for Arizona and should be a solid pro.  He is also a good return man.

Campbell was solid value in round two, especially as a 3-4 defensive end.  Campbell didn't show the consistency to be a reliable sacker as a 4-3 end, however, his size and skill set is very good for a 3-4 end.  He will need to hit the weight room.

Doucet started the process as a potential first round pick.  However, he had a bad Pro Day.  It wasn't so much his 4.56 forty that raised flags with me, it was his 4.55 short shuttle and 7.47 three-cone.  That showed a relative lack of both quickness and cutting ability.  To get a feel, compare those numbers to the defensive ends drafted ahead and after him in the table below.   So with Doucet, you have a player who was terrific on film, but workout numbers that indicate a high probability he will nor be abler to transfer those skills to the NFL at a high level.  Time will tell.  However, Lavelle Hawkins (definitely) or Arman Shields (another option) would have been my choice at this spot in the draft.

Iwebema is solid against the run.  He clearly is an end in the Cards' defensive system.  He does not have the athleticism to be an outside linebacker in a 3-4.  To play end for Arizona, he will have to add bulk, which shouldn't be a problem for him.  I thought he fit best as a two-down end in a 4-3, but he is a strong kid who could pay dividends for Arizona.

Let me be the first to contradict some of the recent comments regarding Hightower.  He is not the next coming of Marion Barber.  Barber is faster (4.48 forty), much quicker (4.18 short shuttle), makes sharper cuts (7.12 three-cone) and is a much better athlete (40" vertical, 10'7" long jump).   Sorry, Cardinal fans and Mel Kiper.  Hightower was a reach.  He is strong, but that's about it as far as being a difference-maker in the NFL.  Thomas Brown, drafted a round later would have been a better pick, and Chauncy Washington has strength and speed and would have been a better selection as a power compliment to James.

Harrington was excellent value in round six, but I'm not sure where he fits in a 3-4 defense.  I saw Harrington as a third end in a 4-3, who gives great effort that results in him making more plays that you'd think.  He is too small for a 3-4 end, and does not have the tool-set to be a 3-4 outside linebacker.  However, he gives good effort so I wouldn't count him out as a backup OLB, and he should be a reliable special teams guy.

Keith could be a late round steal.  He is big, strong, and very athletic for a kid his size.  He could play right tackle, or kick inside to guard.  The main knock on him was his record at Oklahoma, where he left the team on numerous occasions.  He is a player to watch in camp.

COLLEGE STREET FREE AGENTS

Thaddeus Coleman caught scouts eyes at the Texas vs the Nation All Star Game.  He is a big kid with a mean streak who plays out of control at times.  He needs work on his technique and could be a candidate for Arizona's practice squad.

Keilen Dykes was a nice get for Arizona.  He has the strength and athleticism to play all along the line in the Cards' 3-4 defense.  He was a high priority signing and may be one of the best free agent signings by any team.  Look for him to be active for some games this year. 

I like the signing of linebacker Ali Highsmith.  He looked great on film, but had a poor workout and fell out of the draft.  This case clearly shows how any draft expert (industry or media) who says workout numbers are not that important are nuts.  Highsmith is a bit short but has the strength and quickness to play inside in Arizona's 3-4 defense.  I wouldn't bet against him sticking with the club.

Anthony Morelli looks like a Pro quarterback, has the arm of a pro quarterback, but makes poor decisions and struggles with accuracy.  If he ever puts it all together, Arizona will have something.  But that is a big if.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft
(blue college name indicates workout #'s include Pro Day numbers)

COMBINE
YES
FIRST NAME SCHOOL HEIGHT WEIGHT BENCH 40 10 20 SHORT LONG 3 CONE VERT BROAD
Rodgers-
Cromartie
Dominique TENN ST 6'1.4" 184 17 4.28 1.49 2.51 4.14 NA 6.63 38.5" 10'11"
Campbell Calais MIAMI 6'7.6" 290 16 5.00 1.70 2.88 4.63 NA 7.19 34.5" 9'3"
Doucet Early LSU 6'0.1" 209 NA 4.56 NA NA 4.55 NA 7.47 34.5" 9'6"
Iwebema Kenny IOWA 6'4" 274 26 4.77 1.59 2.74 4.67 NA 7.53 35.5" 9'8"
Hightower Tim RICHMOND 5'11.7" 224 20 4.59 NA NA 4.46 NA 7.29 31.5" 9'7"
Harrington Chris TEXAS A&M 6'4.3" 264 21 4.84 1.62 2.78 NA NA NA 37.5" 9'9"
Keith Brandon N IOWA 6'5.1" 343 31 4.98 1.90 3.06 4.84 NA 7.91 32" 9'5"
Coleman Thaddeus MISS VAL ST 6'7.6" 308 NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
Dykes Keilen W VIRGINIA 6'3.3" 306 33 5.06 1.78 2.94 4.73 NA 7.65 29" 8'10"
Highsmith Ali LSU 5'11.5" 230 23 4.70 1.59 2.76 4.29 NA 7.40 29" 9'4"
Morelli Anthony PENN STATE 6'3.5" 235 18 5.00 1.73 2.92 4.34 NA 7.01 29.5" 9.0"

2008 NEEDS PRIOR TO DRAFT AND FREE AGENCY

ARZ          Major Need          Need          Upgrade         Depth Need         Not a Need

QB  Leinart and Warner give the Cards a good one-two punch.  With Rattay and Hasselbeck also on the roster, the team is deep at this position.
RB  Arizona needs an explosive back to share the load with James in the short run and tale over in the long run.  Arrington and Shipp are replaceable backups, so the team may add two running backs, not just one.  Baylark has good running skills, but lacks speed.
WR  Surprised by the rating?  Well Fitzgerald will cost the Cards a ton of money under the cap this year because of the incentives he's reached.  The team will have to redo his contract, and that may not sit well with Boldin if the team doesn't have enough money under the cap to spend on two expensive receivers.  Add to that that Johnson is a free agent and there isn't a sure-thing replacement on the roster; and this team needs to bring in a receiver who can help some next year, and big time the following year.
TE I like the young tandem of Pope and Patrick.  Competition for camp always helps push young players.
OL  The right side is young and will improve.  Upgrades at left guard and center could be considered, but Wells and Johnson can hold their own if upgrades are not found.
DL I like Dockett and the new young nose tackles, Watson and Branch, and Branch could beat out Watson as the starter next year.  Smith held his own opposite Dockett, but if an upgrade could be found, making Smith the third end, the team's defense would be upgraded.
LB Dansby and Hayes are a solid pair of inside linebackers, but Dansby is a free agent.  However, the Cards are unlikely to allow him to leave.  Pace has developed into a nice 3-4 outside linebacker.  Okeafor was doing okay in his transition to outside linebacker before his injury, Berry, not so much.  Blackstock has disappointed the Cards and me.  I thought he was going to be great in the 3-4.  Arizona needs a backup inside linebacker (a starter if Dansby leaves), and an outside linebacker to push Okeafor. 
DB Hood and Green are decent corners, but neither top drawer.  The Cards should add a starter and move Green to the nickel.  If White comes back healthy, he's as good as it gets at strong safety.  Holt will likely be gone, with former corner Rolle the best bet on the roster to replace him (although Franciso will try, but is more of a strong safety type).  Arizona should add a free safety who can push to start as well.
ST A kicker and a punter could be added in the offseason.  Hodel is a good long snapper.  Breaston is a promising return man.

2007 DRAFT PICKS
links go to NFL.com website

Arizona
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 5 Brown, Levi OT 6-4 328 Penn State #2 OT Round 1
2 33 Branch, Alan DT 6-6 331 Michigan #1 DT Round 1
3 69 Davis, Buster ILB 5-10 244 Florida State # 3 ILB Round 2
5 142 Breaston, Steve WR 6-0 178 Michigan #16 WR Round 4
7 215 Patrick, Ben TE 6-4 270 Delaware #3 TE Round 2
FA Adams, Mike FS 5-11 192 Delaware Late Round Value
FA Bain, Travarous CB 6-0 178 Hampton #19 CB Round 4
FA Baylark, Steve RB 6-2 232 Maryland Late Round Value
FA Holloway, David ILB 6-2 229 Maryland Late Round Value
FA Johnson, Brian OG 6-4 315 LSU Late Round Value
FA Sendlein, Lyle C 6-3 299 Texas Late Round Value
FA Togafau, Pago ILB 5-11 238 Idaho State Late Round Value
FA Trannon, Matt WR 6-6 214 MIchigan St #22 WR Round 4
FA Vallejo, Elliot OT 6-7 327 Cal-Davis Late Round Value
FA Vercher, Roshon FB 5-10 245 Fresno State Off My Board

 

A

2007 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Cards did a great job both on draft day and in signing undrafted college street free agents.  They got very good value with Branch in round two, and unbelievably great value with Patrick in round seven.  They also did not reach for a player at any point on the draft and signed Bain and Trannon as free agents, both on whom I had a fourth round grade.

Brown is a player I loved after watching him at Senior Bowl practices.  My comment at that time was that he solidified a top ten draft status.  However, at the Combine, his workout was not as good as some had hoped.  Brown started to fall on many draft lists, but not mine.  To reflect this, I dropped him in my mock draft, but placed him on my list of players who will have a better NFL career than many taken higher than him in the draft.  As it turned out, he started gaining momentum as the draft approached and went at #5.  Now his placement on my list looks a bit foolish, however, if Arizona got Joe Thomas as I forecasted, Brown could have fallen because he is not a great fit for zone blocking teams.  The good news for Arizona, is that Brown will be a stud tackle for them for years.  On the other hand, Branch did slide.  He is another player who many draft analysts had falling leading up to the draft.  Once again, I did not.  This kid was such a physical specimen that he relied on his natural athletic ability more than technique and and training, and therefore, tired some in games.  There are two factors that will happen in the NFL to help this; first he will see better athletes so know he has to learn better technique and be in better condition to succeed; and second the gap between his talent and others on his team will be less so he can be rotated out more to keep him fresh.  Perhaps the most ludicrous knock I heard on him was that his tackle stats in college were low.  No kidding.  The goal of a player the size and strength of Branch is to occupy blockers so linebackers can make plays.  In the real world this is the difference between number jockeys and econometricians. Number jockeys just look at the numbers and make conclusions.  Econometricians look for causation in the real world to explain the numbers.  For number jockeys, if a statistical model says you can predict the stock market by sunspot activity, then if the model rules.  Econometricians would discount the model because there is no justification in the real world.  Now, back to football.  Even though Breaston was good value in round five, if the Cards were drafting him as a receiver, I would have said I liked Allison and Clowney better at that spot.  However, Arizona needed an upgrade in the return game, and Breaston gives them that.  Patrick may be the steal of the draft.  I had a second round value on him, and he was my #3 rated tight end.  As far as fitting in with who Arizona has at tight end, Patrick has more upside than Pope as a blocker so, worst case, he should be a good #2 tight end.  However, it wouldn't surprise me if Patrick becomes the starting tight end, with Pope being used in certain passing packages.

As far as street free agents, the two signings I like best are cornerback Bain, and wide receiver Trannon.  Bain has good cover skills, dominated the MEAC, and is fast.  He will need to get stronger to be a major contributor.  In fact he may need to get stronger to be an asset on special teams which is often the ticket to the NFL for college street free agents.  However, Bain has intriguing skills and, worst case, should stick on the Card's practice squad.  Trannon is another interesting player.  At 6'6" with good hands and better speed at the position that Jarrett, he has the potential to turn heads in camp.  With Breaston, Trannon, and Watkins (from last year), the Cards may be able to move Bryant Johnson for a draft pick if a team loses a wide receiver late in camp.  Of the late round value players signed, the one I like best is Togafau.  This kid is a tackling machine with good speed and toughness.  Other free agent signings of note include Adams, Patrick's teammate at Delaware who is a fast safety with cover skills who could stick as an extra defensive back and special teams player; Baylark, a running back who performs better on the field than in workouts;  Holloway, a strong kid who will be a terror on special teams and is the type of player who makes it very difficult for a coach to cut; Johnson an athletic lineman who is the type teams like to develop on their practice squads; Sendlein, a good character kid with the versatility to play guard or center;  Vallejo, an offensive tackle with the one thing that can't be coached - size; and Vercher a one-dimensional blocking fullback.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

COMBINE
YES

 

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BROWN LEVI PENN ST OT 6'5.4" 323 31 5.39 1.89 3.09 4.89   7.87 25.5" 8'1"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

There are various opinions on Brown.  He played great in drills at the Senior Bowl, but didn't workout as expected.  He also showed some inconsistency on tape.  As a result Brown has seen his value fluctuate up and down leading up to the draft.  As the draft approaches he is on an upswing.  That is good because I believe he will be a stud left tackle.  However, some teams may look towards Staley and Ugoh over Brown because of his lack of speed and quickness.

COMBINE
YES

 

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BRANCH ALAN MICHIGAN DT/NT 6'5.6" 324

    33

5.04 1.68 2.92 4.79   7.56 27.5" 8'11"

PLAYER WHO COULD HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN PLAYERS SELECTED AHEAD OF HIM in the DRAFT

When a team can draft a player with the size, strength, and speed of Branch, to be a dominate player at nose in a 3-4, I do not understand how that player can fall on draft boards.  I don't care if he did have some inconsistent effort in college.  When you're young, have a dominate presence, and are as big as this kid is, inconsistent effort comes with the territory in college.  It is up to his NFL staff to get him in better shape so he doesn't tire and, therefore, can play more consistently.  This kid is another rare physical specimen who should (but may not) go to the first team that plays a 3-4 and doesn't have a stud in the middle of their line.

COMBINE
YES

 

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DAVIS JAMES (BUSTER) FLORIDA ST ILB 5'9.3" 239      24 4.64 1.62 2.72 4.37   7.28

      31"

8'8"
Davis is a fireplug who is strong and has better speed than one would think.  Despite his lack of height, Davis has the skills to make it in the NFL.  He reacts well and is a tackle hound.  He was a favorite of Mike Singletary during Senior Bowl practices and has the talent to be a good starter in the NFL.  

COMBINE
YES

 

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BREASTON STEVE MICHIGAN WR 6'0.3" 193   4.41  1.49 2.56  4.29 11.46 6.90 33" 10'4"
Breaston showed good hands catching the ball and solid punt return skills (despite muffing a punt) at the East West Shrine All Star Game.  He is more fast than quick, and will be both a return man in the NFL and #4 receiver.  

COMBINE
YES

 

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PATRICK BEN DELAWARE

TE

6'3.1" 252   4.74 1.60 2.71      4.31 11.86 7.21      34.5" 9'3"
Patrick had an excellent post-season which saw his draft stock rise.  He showed reliable hands, good speed and quickness, and good athleticism.  Of the top pas-receiving tight ends in the draft, Patrick may have the most potential as a blocker.  He will be a solid pick for the team that drafts him, and could be one of those quietly efficient (as opposed to flashy) tight ends.

COMBINE
NO

 

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ADAMS MIKE DELAWARE FS/CB 5'10.4" 192   4.38     3.99 11.90 6.85    
Adams is a quick, fast safety with above average cover skills.  He is also a punt returner.  He has a chance to be invited to a NFL camp and stick as an extra defensive back and special teams player.  Adams could surprise.

COMBINE
YES

 

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BAIN TRAVAROUS HAMPTON CB 6'0.2" 178 10 4.43 1.48 2.59          
Bain, a transfer from the University of Miami, has good height and speed, but needs to bulk up if he is going to have any impact of consequence in the NFL.  Bain, a first team all MEAC selection, has good man-to-man cover skills and is prospect some team will look to develop.

COMBINE
NO

 

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BAYLARK STEVE MASS RB 6'2" 232 13 4.81 1.61 2.78 4.40   6.97 35" 9'3"
Baylark showed good speed and cutting ability and that he can catch the ball at the East West Shrine All Star Game.  He was okay between the tackles.  Unfortunately, his workout showed he may have trouble transitioning his skills to the NFL.  Baylark is still worth a shot in camp as an undrafted free agent.

COMBINE
NO

 

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HOLLOWAY DAVID MARYLAND LB 6'1.5" 229     32 4.72 1.62 2.71     4.25   7.13       37" 9'9"
Holloway is an active linebacker who can play both inside and outside.  Holloway is a strong, tough kid, with more quickness and athleticism than many thought.  He his the type that will come to camp as a late round pick or free agent, work hard, and make it difficult for a coach to cut him.

COMBINE
NO

 

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JOHNSON BRIAN LSU OG/T 6'3.5" 315 28 5.28 1.81 3.08      

  28.5"

9'0"
Johnson is an athletic lineman with some potential.  He needs work on his technique but could develop into a versatile reserve.

COMBINE
NO

 

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SENDLEIN LYLE TEXAS C 6'3" 299   5.24 1.76 2.97       32"  
Started his career as a guard before moving to center.  His size is fine for a center but he will need to bulk up if he wants to play guard.  Sendlein is a good kid who was a team captain.

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NO

 

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TOGAFAU PAGO IDAHO ST ILB 5'11.2" 238     23 4.61 1.58 2.65     4.34   7.21        34" 9'2"
Togafau is a tackle-hound who was named to the Buchanan Watch List (Jared Allen won this award in 2003).  He will probably not be drafted but could be a pleasant surprise in some team's camp. The kid is, plain and simple, a football player.

COMBINE
YES

 

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TRANNON MATT MICH ST

WR

6'6" 214 13 4.56  1.50 2.63  4.34 11.78 6.82 36.5" 9'10"
Trannon has good size and showed good hands and the ability to go up and get the ball at the Inta Juice All Star Game.  He made some of the QBs look better than they were.  Trannon's workout was fine for a receiver his size and he could be nice sleeper for some team in the draft.

COMBINE
YES

 

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VALLEJO ELLIOT CAL-DAVIS OT 6'7" 327 24 5.34 1.84 3.11 5.14   7.95 26" 7'10"
Vallejo has something that can't be coached, size.  He needs work on his technique, and he needs to get stronger, but he has potential and would be a nice development prospect for a team.

COMBINE
NO

 

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VERCHER ROSHON FRESNO ST FB 5'10" 245                  
Vercher is a one dimensional blocking fullback, who led the way for some very productive college running backs.  He had some ankle problems his senior year.  He is worth a look in a camp for a team that uses their fullbacks as blockers only.  He is not a west coast offense fullback.

 

2007 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO THE DRAFT and FREE AGENCY
major need     need     depth/possible need     not a significant need

QB Leinart starting and Warner backing up is a good situation.
RB James showed flashes but a young back should be added.
WR Deep and talented unit.
TE Pope has some upside.  A backup should be added.
OL Davis, who hasn't lived up to his billing is an UFA.  The Cards only averaged 3.2 yards per rush.
DL Berry-insurance should be added.  I like the Cards tackles.
LB Huff is an UFA and needs to be replaced anyway.  Whatever happened to Blackstock?
DB A starting corner and a starting free safety need to be added.
ST Competition at punter and in the return game should be brought into camp.

 

2006 DRAFT PICKS
Links go to write-ups at NFL.com

Arizona
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Jay's ranking Jay's draft value
1 10 Leinart, Matt QB 6-5 224 Southern California #2 QB Round 1
2 41 Lutui, Taitusi 'Deuce' G 6-4 333 Southern California #4 OG Round 2
3 72 Pope, Leonard TE 6-8 257 Georgia #4 TE Round 2
4 107 Watson, Gabriel DT 6-3 340 Michigan #3 DT Round 1
5 142 Johnson, Brandon OLB 6-5 227 Louisville #14 OLB Round 4
6 177 Lewis, Jon DT 6-1 310 Virginia Tech #5 DT Round 2
7 218 Watkins, Todd WR 6-2 201 Brigham Young #10 WR Round 3
FA Lee, Greg WR 6-2 201 Pittsburgh #16 WR Round 4
FA Hunter, Darrell CB 6-0 206 Miami (Ohio) Late Round Value > Round 4
FA Harrell, Chris SS 6-0 209 Penn State Late Round Value > Round 4
FA Morris, Derek OT 6-5 332 N C State # 15 OT Round 4

 

A+

2006 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

by Jay Goldberg

The Cards drafted all their players at or above where I had them valued in the draft.  In fact, they only drafted one player that I had a second round grade on, and they grabbed that player a round below where I had him graded.  Obviously, a great job by Arizona.

The Cards drafted for need and value.  Forget the critics, Leinart was clearly one of the two best quarterbacks in the draft and will have a nice NFL career.  He was an excellent pick for a team that is currently being led by an injury-prone quarterback in decline.  Lutui is a mauler.  He will pass block very well and open up running lanes, but don't expect him to dominate when pulling.  I had a second round grade on Pope.  He is a gigantic target with good hands and speed.  His speed is straight-line speed; he is not particularly quick, and does not have great cutting ability.  He also needs to add bulk and strength if he will be counted on as a blocker.  That said, with the talent at wide receiver on the Cards, Pope should make some big plays his rookie year.  I love the football ability of Watson.  In fact, based on his talent, I had a first round grade on him.  The knock on Watson is that he doesn't have a consistent motor.  The best thing for Arizona could be that he slid to day two.  Maybe he will finally get it that not going all out all the time has financial consequences.  If I was a betting man, I would wager on Watson playing more like a first round pick than a fourth round pick.  Watson was a great choice and a steal in round four.  Johnson was also good value in round five.  I had a fourth round grade on this former defensive end.  Johnson is a good pass rusher but needs to work on his strength if he wants to be a regular contributor.  Perhaps his best value will come in practice where the coaching staff can use his presence to motivate the highly-talented, a bit disappointing, Blackstock to reach his potential.  Lewis was one of the biggest steals in the draft. The Cards may not have been looking for a second defensive tackle, but Lewis was too good to pass up in round six.  Lewis is the quick, athletic defensive tackle as opposed to the massive run-stuffing tackle employed by many teams.  Think Rod Coleman of the Falcons.  He could help the Cards right away in the nickel as an inside pass rusher and be a solid backup for Dockett.  As if getting great value with Pope, Watson, and Lewis was not enough, the Cards did it again in round seven and drafted Watkins, a player for whom I had a third round grade.  Watkins is fast, quick and a touch under 6'3".  He is one of the best home run hitters in the draft.  While he also has good hands, Watkins will need to bulk up if he ever wants to be more than a #3 or #4 receiver in the NFL.  However, with Boldin and Fitzgerald on hand, the Cards hope Watkins never has to be more than a #3.  Having Watkins around will protect the Cards when Bryant Johnson looks to find a starting job when he becomes an UFA.

I have not seen a complete list of college street free agents signed by the Cards.  Of the free agents that I have not seen signed by any team yet, I would like to see the Cards sign free safety Marcus Demps of San Diego State.  They need a young player to groom behind Griffith and Demps has a good chance at a NFL career.  I had a fourth round grade on Demps.  Of the five or six names I have seen associated with Arizona, two struck me as solid signings.  The first is WR Lee of Pittsburgh.  I had a fourth round grade on Lee.  While he has suspect speed, he was a big-play receiver in college.  The second free agent signing that caught my eye was CB Hunter from Miami (Ohio).  He has good size and excellent speed.  He needs work on technique and in the weight room, but if successful, could be a long term backup corner in the NFL.  Harrell is an in-the-box strong safety who hits like a truck, but sat out the 2004 college season with a hairline fracture in his neck.  If not for that injury he would have been drafted in the middle of day two.  While Harrell has played free safety, his speed and lack of range do not translate well for that position in the NFL.  The Cards made another excellent late move.  Tackle Derek Morris was waived by the Chiefs and claimed by the Cards.  Morris is a monster of a man with good strength and is the type of player coaching staffs love to get and coach up.  Morris has the potential to be a starter down the line.

red indicates workout number in top range at position in draft

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Leinart USC 6'4.7"                   35
QB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - From an ability standpoint, Leinart is more like Eli Manning than fellow USC alum Carson Palmer.  Leinart is a heady quarterback who wins.  Forget about the arm strength questions, he'll be able to make all the throws in the NFL.  However, just like in the Roethlisberger-Manning draft, where I had Big Ben rated ahead of Eli, I prefer Young over Leinart.
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Lutui USC 6'3.4", 330 5.33 1.86 3.15 4.81   7.95 26 28" 7'11"  
OG
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Lutui is a player on the rise after some very good sets at Senior Bowl practices.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Lutui is currently further ahead as a pass blocker than as a run blocker.  As a run blocker he is better moving the pile than pulling.  He has experience at right tackle as well as guard, and, for the right system, could be a very good starting guard.
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Pope Georgia 6'7.7", 256 4.62 1.63 2.76 4.67   7.48 22 37.5" 9'10"  
TE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Pope is the tallest of the top tier tight ends in the draft.  He is an excellent receiving tight end with good speed for his size.
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Watson Michigan 6'3.5", 336 5.29 1.79 3.07 4.82   8.28 39 26.5" 8'6"  
DT/NT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Watson is the best nose tackle prospect in the draft.  He is massive and skilled.  Most draft analysts won't have him rated as highly as I do because he has an inconsistent motor.  However, when motivated, he is a massive run-stuffer who can also get penetration against the pass.  He reminds me of an in-shape Grant Jackson.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Watson has a very good week of practice at the Senior Bowl.  He looked extremely strong.
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Johnson Louisville 6'4.7", 228 4.44 1.59 2.66 4.34   7.19 11 37" 9'10"  
OLB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Johnson is a converted defensive end.  Johnson has speed and is a good pass rusher.  He needs to improve his strength or his value will be limited to a situational pass rusher and special teams performer.
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Lewis Virginia Tech 6'1", 309 4.97 1.68 2.90 4.43   7.42 24 33.5" 9'3"  
DT
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Lewis is the quick, athletic defensive tackle employed by teams like the Falcons.  This may cause him to fall some in the draft but the team that drafts him is getting a solid all around football player.
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Watkins BYU 6'2.6", 202 4.40 1.53 2.60 4.06 11.06 6.74   37" 9'10"  
WR
J
ay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Watkins played a nice East West Shrine Game, in particular, he made a very good catch on a deep ball.
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Watkins has great speed and quickness to go with height, making him one of the better deep threats in the draft class.  At BYU Watkins averaged 20 yards a catch his junior year, and had 9 TD catches his senior season.  Watkins, however, will need to add bulk to take the pounding he'll get in the NFL if he ever wants to be more than a #3 or #4 wideout.
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Lee Pittsburgh 6'1.5", 201 4.60 1.58 2.70 4.11   6.80   35.5" 10'2"  
WR
J
ay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Lee has good size and plays physical.  He shows good hands, but is inconsistent.  While his speed is suspect, he has been a big-play receiver in college, averaging almost 20 yards a catch the last two season while hauling in 117 passes.
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Hunter Miami-OH 5'11.7", 206 4.36 1.58 2.63 4.14   6.99 8 36" 10'3  
CB
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - Has the raw tools to stick as a an extra corner in the NFL but needs work on technique and in the weight room.
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Harrell Penn State 6'0.3", 209 4.72 1.58 2.74 4.13   7.02 16 40.5" 9'11"  
SS/FS
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET -Harrell was a tacking demon his senior season racking up 88 tackles.  He is a big-time hitter but had a hairline fracture in his neck in 2004 that might cause concern for NFL teams. 
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Morris, D N C State 6'5.3", 332 5.58     4.83   8.33 26 34.5" 8'3"  
OT - NOT AT COMBINE
Jay Goldberg, 900FootballLinks.NET - A monster of a man with good strength, Morris can be force to be reckoned with on the football field.  Morris does run out of gas so needs to be better conditioned, and is a risk because he sometimes lets his weight get away from him.  However, Morris is the type of a player that a coaching staff can't wait to get their hands on, and through tough love turn into a rock solid NFL starter.

 

2006 TEAM NEEDS
prior to free agency

LEGEND:  MAJOR NEED     NEED     DEPTH/POSSIBLE NEED     NOT A NEED

ARZ
QB Warner and McCown are UFAs.  One, most likely, Warner, needs to be resigned.  Navarre has some upside.
RB Arrington didn't work out, and is more of a change-of-pace back than a starter anyway.  Shipp has trouble staying healthy and doesn't have the speed to be a threat to take it the distance.  He is an ideal backup.  The Cards need a franchise running back.
WR Boldin and Fitzgerald are an excellent one-two.  In three receiver sets, Johnson is also top notch.  McCoy has some upside.  Shelton could also develop.
TE Bergen and Edwards had nice rookie campaigns.  I particularly like Bergen's potential.  A blocking tight end would be a good get to help round out the position.
OL The interior is young and has had injuries, the tackles are not living up to their reputations.  The big question is, was the problem in the running game the backs fault, or the lines?  I say more the backs than the line.  However, if the Cards can get a left tackle, they can move Davis back inside to guard.  Ross is the other tackle and he will be given another year to show his stuff.  Depth is needed.  Wells is a RFA.
DL Berry, Davis, Dockett, and Okeafor are a very good starting four.  However, Davis is an UFA.  Depth also needs to be addressed.
LB Dansby, Hayes (RFA), Huff , Darling, Blackstock, and Mitchell are a solid and deep unit.  If Hayes leaves, a middle linebacker would have to be added for depth.
DB Rolle has a big future.  Macklin is better as a nickel than starter, however, Green may not be good enough to start.  Another corner is needed.  White is the best strong safety not named Harrison or Sanders.  Griffith has seen better days.  A new free safety is a priority.
ST The kickers are top notch, the returners are not. 

 

2005 COLLEGE DRAFT

Arizona - links below go to NFL.com reports Jaybird Jaybird
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School Ranking Value Board
1 8 Rolle, Antrel CB 6-0 202 Miami (Fla.) # 1 CB Round 1
2 44 Arrington, J.J. RB 5-9 214 California # 5 RB Round 2
3 75 Green, Eric CB 5-11 197 Virginia Tech # 14 CB Round 3
3 95 Blackstock, Darryl OLB 6-4 241 Virginia # 2 OLB Round 1
4 111 Brown, Elton G 6-5 329 Virginia # 4 OG Round 3
5 168 Mitchell, Lance ILB 6-2 247 Oklahoma #7 ILB Round 3
7 226 McCoy, LeRon WR 6-1 211 Indiana (Pa.) Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Bergen, Adam TE 6-4 265 Lehigh # 5 TE Round 4
FA   Shazor, Ernest SS 6-3 224 Michigan # 5 SS Round 3
FA   Sheldon, Dan WR 5-10 180 Northern Illinois Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Bulman, Tim DT 6-3 294 Boston College Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Hardy, Jermaine S/CB 5-11 212 Virginia Late Round Value > Round 4
FA   Chang, Timmy QB 6-1 211 Hawaii   > Round 4

 

The Cardinals had an excellent value draft, getting first round value with Blackstock in round three, and third round value with Brown and Mitchell on day two.

The Cardinals did an excellent job on draft day.  While not selecting Rodgers in round one could come back to haunt them, they did get the best corner in the draft in Antrel Rolle with the eight pick.  I wonder if Tennessee selected Rolle over Jones, if Green would have taken the quarterback, Jones or Rogers.  The Titans did the Cards a big favor.  Rolle can cover, is physical, and makes big plays.  He will start from day one.  I would have chastised (slightly) any team other than Arizona for not taking Marion Barber after the top three running backs were off the board.  However, Arrington is a Denny Green type of back.  He is not big, but fast and quick, and is an excellent receiver. He should emerge as their starter sooner, rather than later. Eric Green was a bit of a puzzle for me.  He went where I had him rated (others had him with a second round grade).  I dropped him because of his lack of speed.  Green likes speed on defense.  I thought Foxworth or Paymah (both drafted by Denver later in round three) were better fits for the Cardinals.  Green, however, is quick and a fairly good athlete so he could settle in as a nickel corner.  Blackstock was the steal of the ENTIRE draft.  He was one of the few difference-makers available on defense.  He was thought to be a on-dimensional pass-rusher, but the blew people away with his workout.  The problem is both he, and Karlos Dansby are best on the strong-side.  However, Blackstock, more than Dansby, has the athletic ability to move to the weak-side, or even, the middle.  In any case, Arizona has two excellent young linebackers in Blackstock and Dansby.  At one time Brown was considered one of the top two guards available in the draft, and at worst, a second rounder.  That was based on his on-field production,  Then he worked out.  It was terrible.  He fell to round four.  No one can tell me that workout numbers important when it comes to teams drafting players.  Don't believe the hype that on-field production matters the most.  However, Brown has excellent football skills with which to work.  At worst, he will be a quality backup.  Mitchell is in a similar situation to Brown.  At one time he was considered amongst the top inside linebackers in the draft.  However, prior injuries have robbed him of his speed and quickness.  He is, however, an excellent, instinctive, football player.  Since his injuries were to his knees, there is also hope he will regain his speed and quickness in time.  If that happens, a trio of Dansby-Mitchell-Blackstock could be deadly.  McCoy has a shot long term as a developmental receiver, and short term as a kick returner.  He is more fast than quick, and has an explosive first step.  

Not only did Arizona have a great draft, but they did an excellent job signing college street free agents.  Tight End Adam Bergen could be one of the best gets for any team.  After Miller and Smith, Bergen has more upside as a receiving tight end than any other player available in the draft.  Coming from Lehigh, he will need time to develop, but he has good size, speed, quickness, strength, and athletic ability.  Oh yeah, he also, reportedly looked very good catching the ball during workouts.  Shazor fits the mold of Brown and Mitchell.  He had a second-to-third round grade before his workout where he ran a 4.70 forty and only lifted the bar 19 times.  He was thought to be a strong man with good athletic ability.  He may be, but his workout didn't support that theory.  Sheldon is a bit of a sleeper.  If McCoy doesn't watch out he could beat him out as the Card's kick returner.  He is especially good returning punts.  Bulman is the opposite of Brown-Mitchell-Shazor.  He is a player who had better workouts than on-field production.  However, he has a real chance to stick as a rotation player at defensive tackle.  He is quick, very strong, and a good athlete.  Hardy is a versatile defensive back capable of playing safety and corner.  With his speed, strength, and athletic ability, he could be a special teams demon.  I like Hardy's chances of sticking.  Chang is on the list in deference to his college production.  Just the fact that his main target (Owens) dominated in his league with 4.6 speed, indicates that the system he played in, plus the level of competition he faced, contributed significantly to his success in college.  he also did not look particularly good in the college all star games.

RED NUMBERS BELOW - among best at position   
Long shuttle numbers (where available) in blue, top performers to be determined later

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Rolle CB 4.42   4.01 11.43 6.70 15 37" 10'3" 21
InsideTheLeague.com reports: Miami CB Antrel Rolle ran in the low 4.4 range (4.41 to 4.42) at the Hurricanes' pro day Thursday, March 3, in Coral Gables, Fla. Considering that his post-40 workout was equally as impressive, and he ran on a slow surface (damp grass), his performance has the potential to move him ahead of West Virginia's Adam Jones as the top cornerback in the draft.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
An excellent cover corner,  Rolle has the ability to play man-to-man in the NFL.  He has good size and will be a shut down corner.
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Arrington RB 4.41 1.58 4.08 11.07 6.81 18 35" 10'1" 14
NFLFans.com reports: Arrington had a huge senior year, consistently putting up good numbers. He has good speed and burst, good hands for a receiver out of the backfield, runs strong, and can break the long one at anytime or anywhere on the field.  However, he is a little undersized, needs to improve his blocking, and has to hold onto the rock better.  Durability is also a concern.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
In terms of workouts, Arrington proved to be faster than Morency, a player he was battling for draft position.  While he carries a second round grade, I had him downgraded to a high third because of my disappointment in his Senior Bowl game performance.  However, in the end, his career and workouts carry more weight so he will probably be drafted (and rightfully so) in round two.  I won't argue if he is, but that game still gives me some doubt.
Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News reports:
California's RB Arrington posted the fastest time for a running back at 4.46 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. (Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reported a time of 4.41).
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Arrington did not look good during the Senior Bowl game.  I was disappointed in his performance.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
A little smaller, a trifle slower version of Morency (needs workout verification).  However, a more polished receiver.  Could start off as a third down back before growing into a starter.
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Green CB 4.60 1.52 3.99 11.09 6.69   38" 10'2" 18
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Most draft analysts have Green higher rated than I do.  Most have him with a second round grade, however, I have a third round grade on him.  He lacks top-end speed, but is quick and a good athlete.  He will be a good extra back, but will, most likely, never be a solid NFL starter.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Virginia Tech CB Eric Green looked like something of an add-on invitee when the Senior Bowl rosters were announced, but looked like one of the few big corners to thrive in press coverage before he was forced to the sidelines with a strained hamstring.
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Blackstock OLB 4.60 1.62 4.29 11.50 7.05 25 39" 10'6" 16

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

Why the questions?  Blackstock is a legitimate first round pick in this draft.  In fact, after Merriman, he could be the most disruptive defensive player to come out of this draft.  Blackstock, who is acknowledged top pass-rusher, showed excellent speed and athleticism during his workouts proving he will be a good three-down linebacker in the NFL.

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: A prospect (OLB) with an interesting upside.  He has the tools, but may need some time to develop.  Could be a dominate blitzer in the NFL.
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Brown OG 5.79 1.84       19 26.5" 7'11" 13
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Brown had a horrible workout and it's going to cost him big time come draft day.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
The best guard in the draft, Brown has leaderships skills to go with talent.  The guard with a shot at being drafted in round one.
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Mitchell ILB 4.87 1.84 4.41   7.49 15 33.5"   14
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: At one time Mitchell was considered a lock to be a dominate NFL linebacker.  Then came the injuries.  He has still not returned to his prior playing speed, or athleticism.  Some team will take a shot with him, hoping he comes all the way back.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports: 
Lance Mitchell of Oklahoma continued to show the most  range and athleticism of the group of North linebackers Wednesday at Senior Bowl practice.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
The best player on the field this morning (Tuesday at Senior Bowl practice) was Oklahoma LB Lance Mitchell. Mitchell looked very fluid in space; indeed, even at 239 pounds, he moved better than some of the DBs. Mitchell also consistently read plays well, took the right fill angles and stuffed several plays in the backfield.
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McCoy WR 4.40 1.56 4.22   7.19   37" 10'0" 18
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: McCoy is a small school star with good size and speed.  He is a developmental project who will need to play well on special teams in order to be on a team's active roster.  Of he doesn't land on a roster, he will be an ideal candidate for the practice squad.
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Bergen TE 4.65 1.75 4.11   7.12 25 38" 10'1" 27

JAYBIRD PLAYER WHO WILL HAVE A BETTER NFL CAREER THAN MANY DRAFTED HIGHER THAN HIM

This is not a good draft for tight ends. After the top two (Miller, Smith) there are slim pickings. However, Bergen could surprise. He is a 6'5", 265 pound tight end with speed, athleticism and strength. He also, reportedly, looked good catching the ball during workouts. After the top two, this is the player I would take a chance on at tight end.

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Shazor SS 4.70         19 30" 10'1" 16
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Shazor did not come close to his expected 4.45 and it will cost him dearly in this draft.  He did not even have top speed for an outside linebacker.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
On my list of top players in the defensive backfield even though he may drop due to the position he plays.  However, at 6'4" and with 4.45 speed (needs to be verified during workouts), Shazor hits like a truck and is truly like having another linebacker on the field.
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Sheldon WR 4.46 1.58             28
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Sheldon's best chance to stick in the NFL is as a punt returner.
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Bulman DT 5.04 1.73 4.21   7.24 35 32.5" 9'7" 26
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Bulman had a great workout.  He showed quickness, tremendous strength and good athleticism.  He also scored well on his Wonderlic.  Bulman is a player I would love to get into camp and develop.  He could be a good rotation player.
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Hardy S/CB 4.45   4.16 11.37   25 37.5" 9'10"  
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Hardy has a nice mix of speed and strength, he should be, at a minimum, a good special teams player.
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Chang QB 5.08   4.21   7.26   29" 9'3" 26
Allen Trieu of NFLDraftShowcase.com reports: He's been ultra productive, but the statistics are a product of the system. His ability to throw the ball however, is not. Chang has good accuracy and a feel for the passing game that can't be taught. However, he has limited NFL potential and is more of a CFL/AFL style QB. But he'll get a chance to prove he can stay in the pros. Expect Chang to be a late round/FA type player.
NFLFans.com reports:
Has put up amazing stats, but against less than amazing competition. Would be a good developmental player for a backup role.
Colin Lindsay of GBNReport.com reports:
Hawaii senior quarterback Timmy Chang was 6012, 211 pounds at his weigh-in, and does intend to perform a full workout with his group over the weekend. He said he might have to adjust to playing in more of an NFL scheme offense after taking most of his college snaps out of the shotgun formation, which was evident in his post-season appearance, as he struggled with his footwork and taking the ball from center at the East-West Shrine game practices.
Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports:
Chang had a rough outing  at the Hula Bowl.  Based on that performance, I would pass on him.

2005 TEAM NEEDS PRIOR TO FREE AGENCY AND THE DRAFT

Jay Goldberg of 90FootballLinks.NET reports: 
major need         need position         possible need, depth needed    no real need
Key UFA: Zelner DE, Jones TE, McKinnon LB, Ohalete S, Wilson S, Shipp RB, Hill CB
Key RFA: Harris FS, McCown QB (3rd), Hodel LS, Poole WR, Vanden Bosch DE (2nd)
NOTE - RFA COMPENSATION AT MINIMUM TENDER

QB: McCown; who knows how good he will be?  King disappointed as a backup. Navarre is another player who could be good or out of the league in two years.  The cards need to draft a young quaterback, and sign a veteran.
RB: Shipp, Smith and Hambrick are all UFAs.  They could all be gone and the Cards wouldn't miss them.  Another position in need of a veteran and a young player.
WR:
Fitzgerald, Johnson and Boldin are a fine young trio.  Karl Williams is also a useful old pro.  The Cards are set at receiver.
TE:  Jones needs to be resigned, or this becomes a position of need.  Jones has talent and could get even better stats if used more often.  A young backup to Jones or his replacement is needed.
OL: A unit that has better individual talent than on field performance.  Bringing in a couple of new players to push the starters is advised. 
DL: The two left DEs are free agents and the position could use an upgrade anyway.  Berry is top notch and Pace showed progress.  At tackle, the rookie Dockett will be a good one, but Bryant has still not developed and a starter to play with Dockett is needed.
LB: Dansby is another rookie with a big future in the league.  McKinnon is an UFA, but it may be time to give Hayes a shot.  If that is the case, a young player should be drafted to push him.  Darling was steady.  Thompson, if he gets his act together, can be a dominate player.  
DB: Starks has been a disappointment.  Macklin played okay, but is best as a nickel corner playing slot receivers.  Wilson is finally getting it, but he is an UFA.  Ohalete is steady but replaceable and is another UFA.  If Wilson isn't resigned, this unit could have four new starters.
ST: Rackers and Player are a decent pair of kickers, with Player a better punter than Rackers a kicker.  The Cards could also use a game-breaker in their return game.  Williams and Scobey are steady, but are not constant threats to take it to the house.

 

2004 COLLEGE DRAFT

Arizona
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 3 Fitzgerald, Larry WR 6-2 223 Pittsburgh
2 33 Dansby, Karlos OLB 6-3 251 Auburn
3 64 Dockett, Darnell DE 6-3 277 Florida State
4 100 Stepanovich, Alex C 6-3 301 Ohio State
5 135 Smith, Antonio DE 6-3 274 Oklahoma State
6 167 Leckey, Nick C 6-2 290 Kansas State
7 202 Navarre, John QB 6-6 246 Michigan

 

Dennis Green had a very good draft, and I am not surprised.  He had solid drafts with the Vikings.  Fitzgerald is the player the coach wanted, and he got him.  I like Roy Williams' explosiveness a little more than Fitzgerald's, but that's splitting hairs.  Fitzgerald will be a great pro.  In round two, Green showed me up.  In my initial comments after the pick my gut reaction was, "I can't argue but I would have selected DT Olshansky."  While Dansby will help the Cards' pass rush, I thought a defensive tackle was a bigger need at that time.  However, Green then steals Dockett in round three, thereby adding a quality defensive tackle along with the talented linebacker.  For the record, I had a late first, early second round grade on Dockett.  Stepanovich and Leckey were both excellent values where they were selected in the draft.  I had a third round grade on Stepanovich and a fourth round grade on Leckey.  While both played center in college, either could side over to guard and have success.  These two players add quality depth, and could become solid starters down-the-road.  Smith is an effort player who is great for a team, and can be a spot or rotational player. Navarre was also great value in round seven.  I had a late-fourth, early fifth round grade for him.  He could develop into a solid backup quarterback.  So with all the value picks, why the B+ instead of an A?  Well my only knock on the Cardinals' draft is: where is a corner?  This was a very deep draft for cornerbacks, a position the Cardinals need depth in; and they did not come away with one.  My bigger question, however, is: were the Cardinals on the phone with Roc Alexander or Randall Gay right after the draft trying to sign one of them?  If not, why not?  Either would have been a excellent player to add in free agency.  In fact, as of early May, I haven't seen much in the way of premium college street free agents signing with the Cards.

PLAYER/ TEAM NEWS PRIOR TO DRAFT

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Fitzgerald 6-3 1/8, 221 4.47 - 4.27 - 6.97 20 35" 10-1
Fitzgerald
Pittsburgh

#2 ranked WR  by Jaybird

Matt Gambill of AllProScouting reports: Larry Fitzgerald would be top WR prospect on my board, and POSSIBLY the #1 player overall. He is an amazing football player. Not the greatest natural athlete, but look at how he plays the game. He's incredible to watch. I have more details on Larry's current situation in the Premium Section in my Underclassmen News.
ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports: University of Pittsburgh WR Larry Fitzgerald is eligible for the 2004 NFL Draft.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: The two players for whom several teams are considering moving up into the top five to select are Pitt wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Miami free safety Sean Taylor. 
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Let's get this one out of the way first because it involves an embarrassing error on our part in the Friday "around the combine" section. Because of confusion in the manner that wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald announced his official height, we interpreted that the Pitt star measured 6-feet-0 ¼. Actually, his height was 6-feet-2 7/8, which is in line with what the Panthers listed Fitzgerald at on their roster. The actual height is counter to what many scouts felt it would be.
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: I'm fortunate enough to have gotten to know Larry Fitzgerald. He's an outstanding football player, you probably knew that. But he's an even better person. I've been around many players in my years, and Larry rates in the top one percent of the players I've had the chance to interact with.
Vic Ketchman of  jaguars.com reports: Fitzgerald is coming out of Pitt as a true sophomore, yet, he is regarded as a fully polished receiver. At 6-3, 225, Fitzgerald is an outstanding route-runner who has soft hands and a great sense of timing. Jaguars.com draft analyst Tony Pauline says Fitzgerald “makes the important catch. He's deceptively fast; great body, very strong but also very fluid. He doesn't run like a 225-pound guy.”
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Dansby O 6-3 3/8, 247 4.60 4.49 - 7.53 15 34½" 10-0
Dansby
Auburn

#3 ranked OLB  by Jaybird

Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports: Dansby is an interesting case -- two years ago he weighed 215 and last year he weighed 230. Now he's 247 pounds -- he's gained 32 pounds in two years. Some people think it's a little too much too soon, but he'll be able to carry that weight eventually.
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Dockett DT 6-3 5/8, 295 4.97 1.75 4.66 - 27 31" 8-9
Dockett
Florida

#5 ranked DL  by Jaybird

Jay Goldberg of 900FootballLinks.NET reports: Florida DT Darnell Docket had an excellent Senior Bowl game performance, and looks like he will be a very good NFL player.
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports:
 
DT Darnell Dockett, Florida... Speaking of former Seminoles who can be as good as they want to be, Dockett was dominating when he went hard, exploding upfield and keeping his pads low; he just didn't go hard all the time. (at the Senior Bowl)
Drew Boylhart of www.thehuddlereport.com reports: DT/DE - Darnell Dockett - Florida St - Looking for some money. He is a 1 gap DT, but a very good one. He is smart. He wants to impact. That's good.
Brian DeLucia of SportingNews.com reports: Dockett can be a disruptive run defender who shoots gaps with his natural burst into the gap. But at the same time, he tends to be hit or miss in terms of making plays because he doesn't locate the ball that well. He could also generate interior pressure like John Randle did, but won't pick up many sacks unless his awareness improves. Dockett was a head case in the past, but some feel he's working past that stage now. You always must have doubts until proven he's mature because a leopard doesn't always change his spots. You also must show caution when deciding whether Dockett fits into a certain system. He can't play heads up on blockers nor can handle a lot of an assignments.
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Stepanovich C 6.03.3, 306 5.20 1.78 4.44 7.64 - 27½" 7-10
Stepanovich
Ohio State

#2 ranked C  by Jaybird

Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: One offensive lineman who seems to be growing on teams is Ohio State center Alex Stepanovich. A little undersized, Stepanovich possesses excellent functional strength and very good movement skills. Some teams feel he can play guard if he adds some weight. Stepanovich figures to be a middle-round choice.
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Smith DE 6.03.4, 264 4.97 - - - 24 - -
Smith
Oklahoma State

Jaybird: below 4th round

NFLFans.com reports: An intriguing prospect who is sort of a wild card, but because of his great attitude and love of the game should find a home on a roster, and if nothing , else be a special team player and a backup.  However, could also, in time, develop into a great player.
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Leckey C 6.02.7, 290 5.04 1.82 4.62 7.41 21 30½" 9-1
Leckey
Kansas State

#4 ranked C  by Jaybird

Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports:  OG/C Nick Leckey, Kansas State... Quick, aggressive offensive lineman who was solid whether he played at OG or C (comment from Senior Bowl).
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: C Nick Leckey (Kansas State): Despite being advertised at about 310 pounds, weighed in at the 290-pound range and was more than an inch shorter, at 6-feet-2, than listed on his college roster. Was able to do just 18 reps on the bench press (combine, improved number to 21) and, not surprisingly, the scouts are concerned about his in-line strength. Also didn't seem to have good footwork and wasn't very effective in change-of-directions skills that are sometimes an indicator of how well linemen can "slide" laterally to pick up blitzes.
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Navarre 6-6, 246 5.19 4.46 7.73 26½" 8-4
Navarre
Michigan

#8 ranked QB  by Jaybird

D. J. Boyer of Football.com reports: John Navarre started strong and has faded a bit but still looks like a good prospect (comment from Senior Bowl practices).
Jamie Moore of gbnreport.com (Great Blue North Report) reports: QB John Navarre, Michigan... Impressed as much with the intangibles including poise in the pocket, leadership and coach-ability, Navarre also had plenty of zip on the ball throwing short and intermediate routes; Navarre also had decent footwork in the pocket for a man his size, but won't win any foot races (comments from the Senior Bowl).
PLAYER HGT-WGHT FORTY 10 DASH SHORT
SHUTTLE
LONG
SHUTTLE
3 CONE BENCH VERTICAL
JUMP
LONG
JUMP
Bryant 6-1½ , 181 4.47 - - - - - 35½" 9-9

   

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT

Arizona
Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 17 Johnson, Bryant WR 6-2 214 Penn State
1 18 Pace, Calvin DE 6-4 269 Wake Forest
2 54 Boldin, Anquan WR 6-1 216 Florida State
3 70 Hayes, Gerald ILB 6-1 238 Pittsburgh
5 141 King, Kenny DT 6-3 281 Alabama
6 177 Wells, Reggie OT 6-3 300 Clarion
6 210 Gilbert, Tony ILB 6-0 251 Georgia

B+

2003 COLLEGE DRAFT REPORT CARD

I like Bryant Johnson a lot.  In the long run, it would not surprise me if he develops into the second best receiver taken in this draft.  Pace is an intriguing prospect.  He can certainly rush the passer.  But he is more of a rush end in a 3-4 defense, than an anchor end in a 4-3.  Boldin plays much better than he tests.  He should be excellent in the slot and become a dangerous third down option.  Hayes is a younger version of McKinnon.  He'll sit and wait for a year or two and then take over in the middle after McKinnon gets released for the ever-present salary cap savings.  King had a very good on-campus workout and could develop into a solid defensive tackle with pass-rush ability.  Wells is a small-school project but has excellent tools with which to work.  Gilbert has something Hayes and McKinnon don't, bulk.  He also has limited speed.  If I didn't know better I would say the Cards are considering a switch to a 3-4 defense down-the-line with Pace as one of the ends (or standup outside linebackers) and Gilbert becoming the small-area run stopping inside linebacker and McKinnon (and, eventually, Hayes) the more athletic pursuit inside linebacker.
B Johnson WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Bryant Johnson stood at 6-2 3/8 and weighed in at 211 pounds. He ran the 40 twice for times of 4.37 and 4.41 (ran on Tartan indoors -- a very fast track). He had a 36½-inch vertical jump and a 10-6 broad jump. He also ran the short shuttle in 4.14 and the three-cone drill in 7.18 seconds.
Pace AllProScouting.com reports Calvin Pace: ran a 4.77 forty and had a 33" Vertical
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports,  Observations from one AFC college scouting director: "You want a sleeper-type guy as a pass rusher? OK, take a look at Calvin Pace (Wake Forest) and tell me what you think. No, you couldn't line him up at defensive end on first or second down. He's too light in the ass. But he just looks the part of a situational pass-rush guy. He's quick. He has that little twitch you want in a third-down rush guy. Just use him for maybe 15 snaps a game, don't let him wear down physically, and I think you could get yourself a decent player there."
Matt Gambill of AllProScouting.com reports, Pace is an exceptional pass rusher and has shown that he can hold up against the run. Having said that, I would really like to see him add some mass and get up in the 270-275 range and be able to hold that weight. This kid has an enormous upside and will likely be a second round pick.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Pace measured 6-foot-4, 267 pounds and ran the 40 in 4.65 and 4.67 on a Tartan track. He had a 31-inch vertical jump and a 9-foot-7 long jump. He was timed at 4.62 in the short shuttle and 7.96 in the three-cone drill. He lifted 19 times. (Matt Gambill of AllProScouting had the forty times in the 4.60-4.63 range)
Boldin Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: Since you can't really teach speed, it's hard to suggest that Florida State wide receiver Anquan Boldin should have stayed in school and played his senior season in 2003, but it wouldn't have hurt him. There are a lot of big wide receivers in this draft who will run well, when they finally get to their campus workouts, but Boldin is a big wide receiver who is stiff and doesn't exhibit much quickness. He was clocked in the 4.75-4.83 range Sunday on at least on two scouts' watches, and that doesn't even register as pedestrian speed for the position. At 6-feet-1½ and about 218 pounds, he certainly has the size and physical nature teams covet, but Boldin is very raw in terms of route-running, a former high school quarterback who is still learning the nuances of the wide receiver position. He has good, not great hands and will drop some easy balls because he gets lazy. The size might be there but the speed definitely isn't at this point.
Len Pasquarelli of ESPN.com reports: WR Anquan Boldin (Florida State) hurt his draft status at the combine.  Clocked in the 4.75-4.83 range on Sunday, and that doesn't even register as pedestrian speed. At 6-feet-1½ and about 218 pounds, he has the size and physical nature teams covet, but is very raw in terms of route-running, a former high school quarterback still learning the nuances of the position.
WORKOUT NUMBERS  Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Boldin, who is 6-1, 211, ran the 40 in 4.54. Then they made him take the track spikes off and he ran 4.62. He ran and worked out, but didn't do other drills.
Hayes Len Pasquarelle of ESPN.com reports: Pittsburgh's Gerald Hayes is shorter than most teams prefer, is strictly a one-dimensional player (a run-stuffer), and isn't the player he was thought to be at mid-season.
Len Pasquarelle of ESPN.com reports: MLB Gerald Hayes (Pittsburgh) hurt his draft status at the combine.  A tackling machine during his career with the Panthers, but doesn't have the size, and maybe not the range to start at the next level. Measured in at under 6 feet and kept dodging questions about his height, with good reason. There's no doubt Hayes is a good player, but he might spent a career covering kicks.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, Hayes, who led Pittsburgh in tackles last season with 133, measured just over 6 feet and weighed 239 pounds. He ran 4.75 and 4.79 on an indoor track. He registered a 31-inch vertical jump, 4.41 in the short shuttle and 7.62 in three-cone drill. He didn't do the long jump.
King Gil Brandt, for NFL.com reports Kenny King from Alabama, who will do his workout in its entirety, measured  6-2¾, 281 at the combine.
WORKOUT NUMBERS
Gil Brandt of NFL.com reports, DT Kenny King is 6-foot-3, 280 pounds, ran the 40 in 5.03 and 4.93, had a 36-inch vertical jump, 9-foot-5 long jump, and benched 25 times. He looked very good in the drills outside.

 

 2002 COLLEGE DRAFT

GRADE : A-


Bryant fills a need and may become the best DT in this draft class.  Fisher is a very active OLB and could become a tackle hound in the NFL if he can stay healthy.  He could allow the Cards to get a bigger MLB to plug the middle since he could be the sideline-to-sideline pursuit linebacker that current MLB McKinnon is.  McCown is iffy but some scouts like him a lot.  Johnson was a steal at the end of round three, at worst he is a nickle pass-rushing DE.  Dwyer could also work out.  He coulsd be a load if motatvated to play every down.  Late round WRs usually do not turn into 1000-yard receivers.  Therefore, you want players that can add something to your team.  McAddley can be an effective outside WR in multiple-receiver sets since he has the speed to stretch the defense. Scobey ran 4.4 at the combime and with his small stature could get lost behind the Cards giant OL and make some big plays.  Good role player for the Cardinals.


Links below take you to NFL.com's report on player, position or college team. 

Rd Sel# Player Pos. Ht. Wt. School
1 12 Bryant, Wendell DT 6-4 308 Wisconsin
2 49 Fisher, Levar OLB 6-1 233 North Carolina State
3 81 McCown, Joshua QB 6-4 221 Sam Houston State
3 98 Johnson, Dennis DE 6-5 258 Kentucky
4 113 Dwyer, Nate DT 6-3 313 Kansas
5 149 McAddley, Jason WR 6-1 203 Alabama
6 185 Scobey, Josh RB 5-11 218 Kansas State
7 223 Banks, Mike TE 6-4 260 Iowa State

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