A common trend seen among consistently good NFL teams is drafting the best player available over players who fill immediate needs. After suffering from multiple draft-day blunders courtesy of ignoring said trend, the Cardinals front office seems to have finally given in and now stays true to their board on draft day.
Sure, the Cardinals could have reached for a quarterback or a pass rusher with the fifth pick in the 2011 NFL draft, but instead they picked up an electrifying corner by the name of Patrick Peterson. Corner wasn't considered a huge need for the Cardinals at the time, but Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves felt like Peterson was the best talent available and took a flyer on the talented star.
So far Peterson has proven he was the right choice, doing a solid job of covering other team's No. 1 receivers while becoming a household name for his jaw-dropping punt returns.
In the 2012 NFL draft, the Cardinals looked to follow the same game plan as last season, sticking to their draft board and taking the best player available. Some believed that their holes on the offensive line were too big to ignore, but the Cardinals thought otherwise, taking talented pass catcher Michael Floyd with the 13th pick.
While he isn't the offensive line help that some Cards fans were hoping for, he was the seventh-best player on Whiz and Graves' draft board, and will give the Cards passing game a one-two punch that they haven't had since Anquan Boldin was traded in 2010.
Drafting talent over need isn't the most popular decision, but more often than not it turns out to be the right choice. Instead of ending up with an average quarterback and offensive tackle because their team was trying to plug up holes, Cards fans will instead be treated to watching the tremendously talented duo of Peterson and Floyd showcase their abilities as they blossom into NFL stars.
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