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2013 Draft
Draft Picks

1. (#7) Johnathan Cooper OG 6021 311 North Carolina
Big Board Rank: #4. Still on Board: Austin, Warmack, Milliner
Moved up the charts during the final month or two before the draft to narrow the gap and eventually surpass Warmack on several boards. Felt to be a better pass blocker than Warmack and very good blocking on the move and at the second level.  (Suspicion that Warmack's failure to work out recently might be to cover up injury problems might have been the tie breaker). Cooper is expected to start (& which could relegate the oft' injured Snyder to a multi-position utility role or possibly off the roster). Only knock we hear about Cooper is that he has short arms. Other than that, he's considered one of the cleanest, safest picks in the draft. At the very least, he should help stabilize the inside part of the pocket to protect Carson Palmer (& ladies, he can also play center). Love the pick.

2. (#45) Kevin Minter ILB 5116 246 LSU
Big Board Rank: #87. Still on Board: @38 - Te'o,G Smith, Carradine. @45 - Hunt, A. Brown, Swearinger

Cards continued to go "meat & potatoes, trading down from #38 (with the Chargers - who took Te'o) to #45 where they got themselves an ILB rated #1 by many draft services coming into preseason and who runs about 2/10 of a second faster than Te'o. (Note - His combine time was similar to Te'o's and a disappointing comparison to Kevin's pre-combine time of 4.68, but Minter ran a reassuring 4.67 at the LSU pro day).

PFW Audibles - "...Gets to the spot fast and has some pop. He is a tackling machine. His reads are a little off, but I'm not so sure it's the way they are coaching him. I think he's better than the kid from Cal (Mychal Kendricks) that went in the second (round) last year.".

3. (#69) Tyrann Mathieu CB 5086 186 LSU
Big Board Rank: #107. Still on Board: Armstead, Goodwin, D Moore, Jenkins

Controversial pick to say the least (an AP feature-articlepost-draft). Poster child for all "boom or bust" prospects. Unreal athletic and playmaking football ability, but his off-the-field behavior has been a train-wreck - from possessing large amounts of weed to only pushing out 4 bench-press reps at the combine. Apparently, the Cardinals talked to everyone - from former LSU teammate Patrick Peterson to all the LSU coaches and a one-on-one between Coach Ariens and Mathieu himself. The Cards apparently were convinced that, under a tight leash, and a clean environment, Mathieu can put his darker days behind him and become the explosive athlete he can eventually be. (Side Note - While logic suggests that Mathieu was the Cardinals' answer to explosive playmakers in their division -  like Percy Harvin and Tavon Austin - post-selection buzz coming out of the Valley is that the Cards plan to try him first at free safety.

4a. (#103) Alex Okafor DE/OLB 6050 264 Texas
Big Board Rank: #51. Still on Board: Schwenke, T Wilson

ASFN Cardinal fans made Okafor a "flavor of the month" early in the process. Many fans had him projected to be drafted at #38 as an "edge rusher", but his write-ups and body of work suggests that he's "more Acho and less Freeney" in his athleticism and skill set. (He didn't run at the combine and ran 4.88 on his pro day - compared to pre-offseason estimate of 4.78). However, there's nothing wrong with building a little depth behind Acho. A solid if unspectacular pick.

4b. (#116) Earl Watford OT 6033 300 James Madison
Big Board Rank: #84. K. Greene, Hopkins, Franklin

Talented but raw - definitely validates scouts's observation that this was an exceptionally deep year for offensive linemen. He ran a 5.06 forty and lifted 24 times at the combine. He seems to have all the tools we're looking for (including suitability in a zone blocking scheme and light feet. All that's missing is competition at a higher level.

5. (#140) Stepfan Taylor RB 5091 214 Stanford
Big Board Rank: #161. Still on Board: D Robinson, Stills, Edwards, Klein

Tough, Consistent, versatile player who can run between the tackles, catch out of the backfield and block. Plays better than he tested. Impressed the hell out me during college career, but his 4.76 combine forty time hurt his draft rating (It turned out he competed with a sprained ankle and turned out a 4.63 at his pro day - not exactly thrilling but let's not forget that Emmitt Smith ran in the 4.6 range. Another lunch-pail pick by Steve Keim.

6. (#174) Ryan Swope WR 6001 205 Texas A&M
Big Board Rank: #103. Still on Board: Murray, Barner

Came out of nowhere to run a 4.34 at the Combine (nearly 2/10ths of a second faster than his pre-combine time). You'd think he'd be a lanky straight-ahead speedster, but his write-ups suggests he's more football player (who - according to the scout who wrote it - "lacks elite speed to run away from defenders."). Cards needed a burner who can be #3 guy in the slot. If it turns out Cribbs can't cut it, Swope would be an intriguing potential answer.

6b. (#187) Andre Ellington RB 5092 199 Clemson
Big Board Rank: #115. Still on Board: Burkhead, Rambo

Surprise pick coming on the heels of Stepfan Taylor.  Ellington ran a disappointing 4.61 at the combine (compared to 4.44 pre-combine estimates. Note- he evidently pulled a hamstring at the combine). The ESPN talking heads projected him as a 3rd down value. The book on him is that he's got a bit of lateral burst and patience setting up blocks, but goes down too easily and has durability issues. A good value pick (although we're wondering why Ellington with Scott and C Washington - who went one pick later - still on the board).

7. (#219)  DC Jefferson TE 6060 255 Rutgers
Big Board Rank: Unranked. Still on Board: M Scott, Sorenson, Beauharnais, Dysert

Cardinals addressed the need for more TE depth with their final pick by drafting Jefferson. He came to Rutgers as a QB  but was switched to TE in his freshman year. Tremendous physical potential heading down the seam, but never lived up to expectations (Maybe it was the QB's/Maybe it was Jefferson). I'm guessing the Cardinal brass is hoping that a light-bulb will turn on, because his potential is sky high.

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Copyright 1996 Gollin & Associates. Last modified: 04/28/2013