Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft 2012: Final 7-Round Predictions
There has been speculation that numerous teams may be interested in trading up with them to snag an array of different players, ranging from Alabama safety Mark Barron to Memphis defensive tackle Dontari Poe. If that happens, it would mean a trip back into the second round for Arizona, who lost its second pick in the Kevin Kolb trade, as you all know.
This is the final warm-up toss in preparation for the real deal, so all things will be considered when deciding on players, trades, etc.
Your Arizona Cardinals seven-round mock draft awaits. Let’s go.
Round 1: No. 15 overall
The Arizona Cardinals trade the No. 13 overall pick to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for the No. 15 and No. 51 overall picks.
Pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame
Other than Larry Fitzgerald, the wide receiver position has been somewhat of a blunder the past two seasons without Anquan Boldin.
Fitzgerald gets what he wants when he wants it, and this instance will be no different.
SI.com’s Peter King spoke with Fitz over the weekend. According to King, Fitzgerald "wants fellow Minnesotan Michael Floyd with that 13th pick. Badly."
Floyd is a physical clone of the man who so desperately wants him on his team, and in many ways their game is the same. There are faster receivers in the draft, but he may be the best pass-catcher and the one most able to go up and get a jump ball in the red zone.
The one-two combination of Fitzgerald and Floyd could help the offense in multiple ways, and Fitz knows that. That’s why he reportedly told King of his ideal first-round pick.
Round 2: No. 51 overall
Pick: Vinny Curry, OLB, Marshall
Curry may be the best largely unknown pass-rusher in this year’s draft. Unknown to the everyday fan, that is.
Not many people have mentioned Curry as an elite prospect, but I can guarantee defensive coordinator Ray Horton sees him as such.
He is a pure pass-rusher, and routinely made collegiate left tackles look like they were standing still on his way to their quarterbacks—including former Ohio State tackle and fellow draft prospect Mike Adams, in a game during the 2010 season.
Curry possesses a relentless motor in his pursuit of the quarterback, and that by itself makes this pick a win.
Round 3: No. 80 overall
Pick: Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
With Greg Toler set to return from the torn ACL he suffered last preseason, and the addition of veteran William Gay through free agency, there will be plenty of competition for the starting corner spot opposite Patrick Peterson.
Johnson is a future safety in my eyes, and at 6'2" and 204 pounds with ample room to add bulk, he is a perfect fit to replace All-Pro Adrian Wilson when the time comes.
While he prepares for the switch to safety, he has more than enough talent and the technique necessary to cover wide receivers at a high level.
NFL.com’s draft analysis of Johnson says he is good at reading the receiver’s hips and reacts quickly to their drop (the point in which the receiver begins to stop and make a cut to continue his route), making it easy for him to make a play on the ball.
No one has ever said a bad word about Johnson. He is a great young man, and he can grow into a leader on the defense if given the opportunity.
Round 4: No. 112 overall
Pick: Ryan Broyles, WR, Oklahoma
Lighting a fire under the hind parts of both Andre Roberts and Early Doucet is only half the meaning of this pick.
Beyond that, the simple fact of the matter is that Broyles is the NCAA’s all-time leading receiver, with 349 receptions.
Coming off a torn ACL, Broyles did not run at the combine in February. He did, however, impress scouts at his pro day in mid-April. The 5'10", 192-pound native of Norman, Oklahoma, ran a 4.57 40-yard dash and showed a 32.5-inch vertical leap. Those numbers are not eye-popping by any stretch of the imagination, but the man is, in fact, five months removed from ACL surgery.
He is a crisp route-runner and gets in and out of breaks quickly. He could be the next great slot receiver in the NFL—in the fourth round, he will be a steal.
Round 5: No. 151 Overall
Pick: Nate Potter, OT, Boise State
The Cardinals have not taken an offensive lineman early in the draft since taking Levi Brown No. 5 overall in 2007.
Potter will be a nice fit on the right side of the line despite being a bit undersized. With all-world strength and conditioning coach John Lott managing his lifting habits, the weight issue will be closer to a non-issue in no time.
He is said to lack dominance in run protection; however, the muscle and strength he would add throughout his rookie season could help solve that problem. Working with offensive line coach and run-game aficionado Russ Grimm would also help correct his deficiencies.
Potter could surprise some people by earning early playing time in Arizona. Offensive line woes aside, the competition would be good for Jeremy Bridges, who looks to be the starting right tackle as of now.
Round 6: No. 177
Pick: Emmanuel Acho, LB, Texas
If it’s any indication of the future, Sam Acho showed up to voluntary team workouts visibly bigger than he was as a rookie.
Sam dominated in 2011 after earning the full-time starting job when Joey Porter went down with a knee injury. He possesses the body structure to add even more bulk, and that could mean an even more dominant 2012 and beyond.
If Emmanuel is anything like his older brother, Arizona will have itself quite the linebacking corps in the near future.
The younger Acho is a middle linebacker, and though he would not get much—if any—playing time his first season, he has loads of potential and could produce either as a middle 'backer or on the outside as a pass-rusher.
Round 6: No. 185
Pick: Marquette King, Punter, Fort Valley State University
Arizona has drafted two punters in its history—John Bruno in 1987 and Chris Becker in 1989.
Since then, they have recycled veteran punters and scraped by with what they had to offer. Sometimes it was good, other times it was just plain awful.
The latest recycle-e (I'm making up words again), Dave Zastudil, was less than impressive in 2011.
King is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill punter. He’s 6'0", 192 pounds and runs a 4.67 40-yard dash. With not an ounce of fat on him, he clearly prides himself on being in shape—he is not like the average NFL punter.
I am going to change how people look at punters this year (style, athleticism), I can tackle and I will go all out to win and set up the team in the best position possible.
With 70-yard bombs that hang in the air for better than five seconds, he may not need to do much tackling in the NFL. But if a return-man gets loose, King will not only be able to bring him down, but he can catch him from behind if need be.
That might be an incredibly valuable asset to have at some point.
Round 7: No. 221
Pick: Levy Adcock, OT, Oklahoma State
Adcock played in the spread offense his entire college career. Although he shows promise both in run support and pass protection, he will need some work and is considered a project.
Expect this project to work out much more positively than the one just abandoned by the Cardinals, Brandon Keith.
Keith, also a seventh-round pick, could not stay healthy long enough to develop into what Arizona hoped would be a solid NFL starter. Overall, he was the weakest link on a shaky line in 2011, and though the Cardinals could still re-sign him (he’s an unrestricted free agent), he would likely be nothing more than depth on the roster.
Adcock displayed good footwork in pass-protection throughout his college career, and with Grimm’s help in the run game, he could be on his way to a more productive career in Arizona than that of Keith.