Roundtable chat on Cardinals and NFL Draft

GLENDALE, Ariz. – Four of the preeminent minds in and around the NFL – Darren Urban from azcardinals.com, Charles Robinson from Yahoo! Sports, Dan Shonka from Ourlads.com and Mike Wilkening of ProFootballTalk.com – are ready to see what the Arizona Cardinals do in the 2015 NFL Draft, starting with the 24th overall pick on Thursday night.

We’ll do a roundtable discussion with Urban, Robinson, Shonka and Wilkening, and get their thoughts on what they think Arizona will do in the draft.

Urban: will the Cardinals take a chance on DE’s Randy Gregory or Shane Ray, if they’re available at No. 24?

“It’s really hard to say, because I think they’re made it very clear that with any of these types of players, it’s all on a case-by-case basis. We just don’t know what information that they have, what kind of conversations they’ve had with those players [and] the chances they’ve had to talk to them. Could I see them taking a chance on one of them? Yeah I guess I could, it was just depend on how they feel. After everything that they’ve gone through in the Daryl Washington situation, I would think that they’d definitely be leery of taking on another player like that simply because, in a very business like way, you’re trying to build a football team. If a guy possibly could make one mistake, and be missing for a month or a year, because of a drug suspension, that doesn’t help your football team, and that’s not a very smart way to go usually.”

Urban: do you see a scenario where general manager Steve Keim decides to move down in the first round?

“I absolutely see that. There still might be guys that they like, and I still think that there’s a possibility that his [Keim] first choice would be to move down, depending on who’s sitting there by the time their pick comes up and who might still be around if you can trade down. I definitely think Steve Keim is a big fan of getting more picks.”

Robinson: is there any way the Cardinals could land running back Adrian Peterson, despite Vikings GM Rick Spielman saying they have “no interest” in dealing Peterson?

“The Vikings have to call number one. I think you gotta call Rick Spielman and they’ve gotta say, ‘We’re willing to give up the [No.] 24,’ because the [55th overall pick] is not good enough. So if they call and they say, ‘We’re willing to give up the 24; let’s talk,’ I think at that point, Minnesota says, ‘Okay, well let’s explore this.’ To me, I think it’s gonna take the 24 and potentially another pick for the 24 and a player Minnesota really could use to get Peterson at this point.”

Robinson: would the Cardinals even want to give up their 24th pick?

“No. I think the Cardinals feel like they’re pretty good right now. Let’s be fair: this is a strong draft for running backs in terms of that second plateau behind the first two guys, there’s probably six guys that really are very similar in terms of talent and potential production. Every year, we see teams get good, solid running backs in middle rounds, and this is one of those years where you’re gonna have a plethora of choices in those middle rounds where you don’t [have] to spend your first round pick to get a guy that can carry the ball 15-20 times a game.”

Shonka: will either Todd Gurley or Melvin Gordon be available to Arizona at No. 24?

“On the surface, it doesn’t look pretty right now. It all depends on how things go at the top of the draft. We already saw a couple of these outside rushers are probably gonna slip, which means people will go to an alternate position or do something else. It would be tough, it’d be really lucky if one of those two guys are there.”

Shonka: would any inside or outside linebackers [Gregory, Ray] be available for the Cardinals with the 24th pick?

“The Cardinals certainly may have their pick of either of those two guys real easily.”

Shonka: are there any other pass rushers that might be there at No. 24?

“A guy that we like, and that we have pegged going a little bit later in that 30 range [is] Eli Harold from Virginia, who’s an explosive edge guy that’s gonna be down in that neck of the woods. I don’t know what the Cardinals feelings are on Ray and Gregory, but either one of those guys could be there. If the two running backs [Gurley & Gordon] aren’t there, I’m sure that they’re gonna talk about Eli Harold. A lot of people nationally don’t know about him, the scouts know about him and he’s a really good outside linebacker that can rush the passer.”

Wilkening: do the Cardinals need an explosive player to replace Larry Fitzgerald in the future?

“From a receiver standpoint, they probably have a top 3 you can win with, with John Brown, the guy on the rise and [Michael] Floyd, a former first-rounder who has some big play ability and Fitzgerald, who’s Fitzgerald, so you’re pretty good there.”

“This is also a team that, defensively, they’ve been very good in recent years, but they could look to sure up a few things there front seven wise and things along those lines. They’re at a point in the draft, drafting as late as they are, where they can’t really afford to be too choosy. I’m gonna guess someone will slide to them that probably has a first-round grade. They could go either side of the ball and be okay. At some point in the first two days, I would think you’d be looking at somebody that could have the ball in their hands that could help them from a skill position standpoint.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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