Arizona Cardinals' Post-Draft Wish List
Overall, the Cardinals did a fantastic job of adding talent to the roster. They added eight players from Rounds 1 through 7, most of whom can produce in at least some capacity as rookies.
From their top selection, guard Jonathan Cooper, to the shocker of the draft, cornerback/safety Tyrann Mathieu, even to running back Andre Ellington, there was a lot of value added all throughout draft weekend.
A couple of picks look suspect early, as can be said of every team’s draft every year, so to counter that, there are players who somehow went undrafted and should be brought in to help fill remaining holes for camp—a few of them could potentially earn roster spots come September.
Here are some areas of need following the draft and a few players who can fill those roles.
Those who thought former Tennessee quarterback Tyler Bray would be a good choice on Day 2 thought wrong. On Day 3? Wrong.
We were all wrong in assuming he would be taken somewhere by someone willing to develop his skills.
Other than Bray, there really was not another signal-caller worth taking a look at in free agency. Plus, the list of UDFA quarterbacks dried up quickly. Looks like the Cardinals are stuck with what they have for now.
That could change, as some of these quarterbacks will be released at some point this offseason.
Tight End Depth
Of the few remaining tight ends left, the one who stands out is Jack Doyle, former Western Kentucky Hilltopper.
He was a three-time captain at WKU—a team leader who led by example on and off the field.
Doyle was not a touchdown machine like some other tight ends from this class, but he did notch five touchdown receptions as a senior. He caught 162 passes for 1,769 yards and eight touchdowns in four college seasons.
He has decent athleticism for his size. Doyle stands 6’5.25” and weighs 254 pounds. He did not receive a combine invite, nor did he run at his pro day. But on film, he shows good hands with the ability to go up and get a high pass.
He does not seem very fast, but he can shed a tackle when he needs to.
Doyle also brings a pretty good pop with him when blocking. He is willing to mix it up in the trenches for his running back, and that can help him in an NFL camp.
Mathieu was drafted as a free safety, and he could in all honesty earn a starting spot by Week 1.
Also brought in were former Oklahoma safeties Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris as undrafted free agents.
Another guy who may be a possibility is Orhian Johnson of Ohio State. He would be a practice squad candidate as a rookie, but he could be developed into a backup role at strong safety in the future.
Of those possibilities, Jefferson has a real chance to make the final 53-man roster. He was an underrated player for the Sooners. He may not become a full-time starter, but he can be a good role player for a team while playing a solid special teams.
May as well be in Arizona, right?
To help fill the roster, I would look at a guy like Wisconsin’s Marcus Cromartie. He did not produce eye-popping numbers, and because of that he did not receive an invite to the combine.
But Cromartie has flashed good ball skills throughout his career despite recording only one interception in four years. That came last December against Nebraska in the Big Ten Championship game, and he returned it 29 yards for a touchdown.
He stands 6’0” and weighs 195 pounds. He produced a 34-inch vertical jump at his pro day and also ran a 4.41 40-yard dash.
His likely landing spot would be the practice squad given the myriad of cornerbacks signed in recent months, but just in case he can develop into a playmaker, it would be a nice idea to give him a chance.
In a pinch, he can also serve as a free safety. This versatility could be useful in the future.