Cards focus on taking best players in draft

Michael Floyd (US Presswire)

Filling immediate needs was obviously not the Cardinals' priority in the draft, instead the team went with value for the second consecutive year.

Filling immediate needs was obviously not the Cardinals' priority in this draft.

They chained themselves to their draft board, avoided temptation to trade up or down, and took the best player available, regardless of position.

Conventional wisdom had them taking an offensive lineman early, but they didn't select one until right tackle Bobby Massie in the fourth round.

Instead, Notre Dame receiver Michael Floyd was the first-round choice, with Oklahoma cornerback Jamell Fleming being selected in the third round.

The Cardinals sent their second-round pick to Philadelphia last summer as part of the trade for Kevin Kolb.

Cornerback was the least of the Cardinals' needs, yet they reasoned that it didn't make sense to pass on Fleming.

Taking talent over need worked for the Cardinals in the draft a year ago, coach Ken Whisenhunt said.

"A lot has been said about last year's draft and some of the players that performed for us," he said. "I think that was a good indication of not necessarily trying to fit a perceived need as far as taking players that were good fits for you."

BEST PICK

Tackle Bobby Massie: The Cardinals had to be tempted to take Massie in the third round but were rewarded for their patience when he was there in the fourth. Massie has a chance to start right away. The right tackle job is open, and the Cardinals think Massie has the ability to earn it.

COULD SURPRISE

Quarterback Ryan Lindley: The San Diego State quarterback has a strong arm and good size (6-3, 230 pounds). He's a project so he won't contribute for a couple of years. But he's smart and has ability. If Kevin Kolb and John Skelton falter over the next few years, Lindley could get a shot.

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