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
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).
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
Tyrann Mathieu CB 5086 186 LSU
Board Rank: #107. Still on Board: Armstead, Goodwin, D Moore,
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
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.
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
6b. (#187) Andre Ellington RB 5092 199
Big Board Rank: #115. Still on
Board: Burkhead, Rambo
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
Board Rank: Unranked. Still on Board: M Scott, Sorenson,
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.