Can the Arizona Cardinals Afford to Draft Michael Floyd?

Greg MaiolaSenior Analyst IIApril 24, 2012

Michael Floyd
Michael Floyd

There is no doubt about it. Larry Fitzgerald is the face of the Arizona Cardinals. So when he talks, not only should fans listen, but the organization should as well. They want to keep their only real stud happy in Arizona. And drafting Michael Floyd would make Fitzgerald happy.

But of course, we know things are much more complicated than that. The Cardinals have needs across the board. There are plenty of needs to address with the No. 13 pick, and Arizona needs to nail the pick.

Having said that, the Cardinals passing game has been mediocre at best since the departure of quarterback Kurt Warner and receiver Anquan Boldin. The Cardinals aren't showing signs of taking a quarterback in the first round. If anything, they seem primed to take a buff guy for their offensive line.

But when Fitzgerald talks, people listen. The star receiver said he wants the Cardinals to select Notre Dame product Michael Floyd to strengthen the receiving corps. While the idea of a proven Pro Bowl player having an explosive, fresh and talented rookie starting opposite him sounds intriguing, things are much more complicated than that.

Though some debate remains about Justin Blackmon or Michael Floyd being the draft's top wideout, it is very likely that Floyd will be gone before the No. 13 pick. Here's where things get messy.

If the Cardinals want to trade up to draft Floyd, chances are they will have to get above the No. 7 spot. Jacksonville could be in business to finally add a good receiver to their lineup. At pick No. 8, the Dolphins are probably going to take quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

The Panthers are up at No. 9 and adding another explosive player to their offense is something they could really be planning on. The Bills would be foolish to pass up on Floyd at No. 10 because another receiving threat could help their improving squad immensely.

So pretend the Cardinals do not trade up and stay content at No. 13. The Chiefs are likely to go linebacker at No. 11 and Seattle is probably going to go pass rusher at No. 12. That two-team gap between Buffalo and Arizona could allow for other teams to trade into the range and leapfrog the Cardinals to take Floyd.

Realistically, the Cardinals have no chance to snag Floyd by staying put in the draft. They are smart enough to not anticipate him dropping there. And if he does, great. But in reality, if Fitzgerald's dream came true, trading up would be necessary.

Kevin Kolb did not come cheap to Arizona. They gave up the talented Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and a second round pick in this year's draft. So depending how far up they want to trade, they can get Floyd and then not draft again until the fourth round. Or they give up a first or second rounder in 2013. But does Arizona really want to complicate their drafts with traded picks and a loss of early round picks?

If the Cardinals want to satisfy Fitzgerald and add an explosive playmaker to their offense, then they should go after Floyd. If they want to keep as many picks as possible, they can draft an offensive tackle and address a receiver later. It's a matter of giving and taking. At some point, Arizona has to make a decision.

So while the idea of Fitzgerald and Floyd sounds fantastic, actually seeing Floyd with a Cardinals jersey in hand on Thursday is complicated. And the Cardinals might not be willing to make that image a reality.