Round 1 (5th overall)
Selection: Robert Quinn, DE, North Carolina
The ideal scenario here would involve trading down.
Several teams could have a vast interest in the fifth pick, with prospects such as Blaine Gabbert, Patrick Peterson among others still on the board. The Cardinals need to plug several holes, so adding more draft picks would be invaluable. For sake of this mock draft, Quinn gets the nod as a potential game-changing pass rusher. If Arizona does indeed trade down, look for Aldon Smith, Nick Fairley, Da’Quan Bowers or even Quinn himself to all to be prime targets.
Round 2 (38th overall)
Selection: Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
With the lack of elite offensive linemen in this year’s class, this appears to be a good spot to secure a guard or tackle while ensuring adequate value. Although there are only a handful of first-round prospects, multiple players will start coming off the board in Round 2 that should be able to contribute immediately. Sherrod is one of those prospects and could end up starting on the perimeter at tackle or inside at guard.
Round 3 (69th overall)
Selection: Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida
Although the Cardinals already took an offensive lineman in Round 2, this slot should present more value to be had in the trenches. Similar to Sherrod, Gilbert is a versatile prospect who can play multiple positions along the line and has been battle tested in the SEC conference. With the futures of Alan Faneca and Deuce Lutui in serious doubt, there’s a chance both Gilbert and Sherrod could be starting in 2011.
Round 4 (103rd overall)
Selection: Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
The Cardinals need a pass rusher, and based on how the draft board falls will probably address this issue with their first pick. However, rushing the passer is such a priority for new defensive coordinator Ray Horton, adding another blitzing weapon will be a focal point. Should Moch still be available here, he’d be very difficult to pass up. Moch is still developing but is an accomplished pass rusher who could contribute significantly as a rookie.
Round 5 (136th overall)
Selection: Greg Jones, ILB, Michigan State
Jones was regarded as one of the top defensive players in the Big 10 throughout his college career and would join O’Brien Schofield as another solid prospect from the power conference. Jones would help provide depth at inside linebacker but he also possess skills to rush the passer when needed. A jack-of-all-trades prospect such as Jones would be an excellent selection, particularly at this point in the draft.
Round 6 (171st overall)
Selection: Chykie Brown, CB, Texas
Arizona’s secondary has some nice pieces already in place, but the unit as a whole needs some new blood. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie will attempt to get back on track to become a true shut-down cornerback and Greg Toler’s ceiling remains high. After that, however, comes a large drop in talent. Brown could immediately develop into the team’s nickel back and would provide much needed depth.
Round 6 (184th overall)
Selection: Julius Thomas, TE, Portland State
The Cardinals have refrained from investing in a tight end and will take another stab on a sleeper late in the draft. Thomas could be the ultimate diamond in the rough as he only played just one season of college football and has plenty of room to grow. Thomas was a four-year letter winner in basketball and could be considered as a similar prospect to Antonio Gates, who also entered the NFL will limited football experience.
Round 7 (249th overall)
Selection: Henry Hynoski, FB, Pittsburgh
Fullback is another position that Arizona has struggled to fill in recent years and its Panthers connection might lead to Hynoski getting a shot. Hynowski is a decent blocker who can also contribute as a receiver in the passing game. He’d have a chance to become the team’s starting fullback and his high-energy, competitive nature would be worth taking a chance on in the final round of the draft.
Questions or comments? Contact Brad Wilbricht at email@example.com
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