Sean Weatherspoon (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
The Cardinals enter the 2010 draft with more questions than answers. Can Coach Ken Whisenhunt regain the momentum with a stellar draft? Will there be enough talent late in the first round to help propel the Cardinals back to the top of the NFC West? Tyson Qualls has his predictions for all of the Arizona’s picks in the upcoming draft.
1. Sean Weatherspoon LB Missouri:
The Cardinals will need more than Joey Porter to replace the departed Karlos Dansby. Porter address a short-term need for an improved pass rush, but his career is reaching its’ finale. Weatherspoon would be a solid addition and restock the line-backing corps immediately. His mix of size, power, and speed make him an ideal candidate for the Cardinals defensive scheme. If he is still available at this point, expect the Cardinals to start their rebuilding with defense.
2. Patrick Robinson CB Florida State:
A potential steal in the second round, Robinson is a cornerback with first-round potential. The Cardinals could go a long way toward securing their cornerback position for years to come with the addition of Robinson. Having this rookie available to complement the electric Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would prove to be a deadly combination. Robinson’s performance of late, however, has boosted his stock. Hopefully, it won’t be enough to push him above the Cardinals current spot in the second round.
3a. Anthony McCoy TE USC:
The tight end position has been the Achilles heal of the Cardinals vaunted offense. Leonard Pope never panned out, Ben Patrick has struggled to reach his potential, and a slew of other TEs have entered and exited through the revolving door. McCoy is a consistent tight end, with the ability to catch the tough pass in traffic. He will not dazzle with his speed, but has the potential to be a consistent option for Matt Leinart (or Derek Anderson).
3b. Koa Misi OLB Utah:
The Cardinals may be looking for insurance, incase Cody Brown is unable to return to full speed following his injury. Misi is an impressive pass rusher with the ability to have an impact on passing downs. If Porter is unable to recapture his 2008 form, Misi could make his presence known quickly.
4. Jevan Snead QB Ole Miss:
In the back of Coach Whisenhunt’s mind, he has to be worried about Leinart’s ability to take over the squad. Snead struggled during his junior season, but has enormous potential. While Anderson and Leinart battle for the starting position, the Cardinals could snag Snead late and develop him while Leinart decides if he’s truly an NFL quarterback.
6. Shelley Smith OL Colorado State:
The Cardinals are looking for a long-term replacement for Mike Gandy on the offensive line. Smith is a project player who could turn into a serviceable lineman with proper coaching. The Cardinals will draft at least one line man and Smith fills the bill as a low-risk, high-reward player.
7a. Patrick Stoudamire CB Western Illinois:
Cardinals’ scouts are high on Stouudamire, especially with such a low price tag. He is a quick (4.5 40) corner with decent size (5’11, 206). Last season’s rather unimpressive performance by Bryant McFadden has the Cardinals looking to add depth at the corner position.
7b. John Conner FB Kentucky:
Without the passing skills of Kurt Warner, it will be interesting to see how Whisenhunt balances the offense. Undoubtedly the running game will become a major factor and having a fullback like Conner would benefit Beanie Wells and Tim Hightower.