The CARDS have made huge progress in recent years under the tag-team tandem of BRUCE ARIANS/HC & STEVE KEIM/GM. But like every team the annual infusion of Draft talent is key to continued success. How about we leave it for now that this group contains more surprise Picks than perhaps any other team in the league. IMO.
Round 1 ROBERT NKEMDICHE/DT/OLE MISS 6’4/295 4.87/40 10 3/4″H/33 7/8″A
Only questions about his dedication to full time football allowed him to drop this far on Draft Thursday. He’s a clear Top 10 talent, and is not the high risk player that others were in this year’s first round. If a full pay check or two, and a solid locker room around him can provide the support system needed this young man could become a perennial Pro Bowler. He’s not a problem kid, he’s just different and football is far from the only interest in his life. Marshawn Lynch type personality anyone?
Pick # 29 GBN Rank: 36 Ourlads Rank: 30 PP Rank: 16
Round 3 BRANDON WILLIAMS/CB/TEXAS A&M 5’11/197 4.37/40 8 5/8″H/32 1/2″A
This pick has a huge element of ALL DAVIS in it. Speed baby, speed! WILLIAMS began his college career as a RB at Oklahoma. He finished up as a CB for the Aggies and developed rapidly in his new position. The clincher for some teams, in the DAVIS tradition, was running the 6th fastest 40-time at the Combine. The CARDS are clearly taking a gamble on greatness, with the assumption being that his best is still ahead of him. I expect a heavy dose of Special Teams work, sprinkled with a bit of sub-package duty as a Rookie. But clearly the expectation is that he develops into a starter in short order. They certainly had him rated higher than any of us.
Pick # 92 GBN Rank: 209 Ourlads Rank: 300+ NR PP Rank: 277
Round 4 EVAN BOEHM/OC/MISSOURI 6’2/302 5.33/40 31 5’8″A/10 1/4″H
Fits into the recent mold of guys manning the OC slot in Arizona, like SENDLEIN & SHIPLEY. He has excellent functional strength, especially in the upper body, which makes sense for the former HS wrestler. Started a few games at OG, but OC is probably his lone position at the pro level. I would not be surprised if he ends up being their starter within a couple of years. He’s the gritty, dirty work guy that the NFL has seen plenty of at his position. Seems a bit high to me, but if he wins a job the pick number will be irrelevant.
Pick # 128 BGN Rank: 166 Ourlads Rank: 260 PP Rank: 214
Round 5 MARQUI CHRISTIAN/S/MIDWESTERN STATE 5’11/193 9 1/2″H/30 5/8″A
The CARDS are not afraid at all to select athletic smaller school guys and CHRISTIAN is an example of that practice. He’s an athletic player who will earn his keep on Special Teams initially. But once he learns how to channel his natural athleticism and aggression the hope is he will take over a S slot right next to Tyrann Mathieu. The onus will be on the coaching staff to refine him as a player. Maybe a round or two high for my taste.
Pick # 167 GBN Rank: NR Ourlads Rank: NR 300+ PP Rank: 300+ NR
Round 5 COLE TONER/OT/HARVARD 6’5/306 5.32/40 9 3/4″H/33 1/8″A
The Ivy Leaguer topped a solid small school career with an appearance in the Senior Bowl, where he held his own all week in practice. He looks like the kind of player/athlete who might earn some time in the League as a back-up all along the line of scrimmage. He was indeed a dominant force in college, which bodes well for a potential pro career. A solid choice here considering some OL losses from last year’s roster. Winner, winner chicken dinner! Colin ranked this guy at his exact selection slot.
Pick # 170 GBN Rank: 170 Ourlads Rank: 223 PP Rank: 265
Round 6 HARLAN MILLER/CB/SE LOUISIANA 60/182 4.65/40 9″H/31 3/8″A
This guy was an ascending prospect this past post-season, at least until the Combine. Is a tough player willing to cover and tackle. Reacts well to the ball and drives on receivers in front of him. But his Combine speed really put the breaks on his rise as a prospect. He could turn out to be a steal this late and with the CARDS he will be given the chance to develop over a couple of years. Don’t count him out, because his playing speed sure looked a lot better than his straight-line Combine number.
Pick # 205 GBN Rank: 112 Ourlads Rank: 256 PP Rank: 147
We’ll be gentle here because the proof is in the pudding not the recipe’, but I do have serious questions about some of these Picks and where they were made. Were I a big fan of this team I would have been doing a bit of head scratching during the 3 days of Picking.