Arizona Cardinals' Day 3 2014 NFL Draft Primer
With three picks on Day 2, the Arizona Cardinals filled needs while drafting the best players available to them—until their final pick, that is. Wide receiver John Brown may turn out to be a great pick, but many were confused by Arizona pulling the trigger on him at 91.
Let’s be real, head coach Bruce Arians has a specific type of receiver he likes to use as his downfield threat. Typically, he's shorter than average, weighs less than 190 pounds and is lightning quick.
That is Brown to the T.
He stands just 5’10” tall, he weighs just 170 pounds and he ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the combine. He also produced as a true deep threat should at Pittsburg State—he hauled in 61 receptions for 1,198 yards (19.6 yards per catch) and 14 touchdowns in 2013.
With three picks on Day 3 (for now) and still good players to be had, Saturday should be eventful and entertaining. Let’s see what options the Cardinals have to round out the 2014 draft.
Day 2 Recap & Analysis
Friday started out with a bang, as general manager Steve Keim took tight end Troy Niklas at No. 52 overall. The former Notre Dame product is big and physical—just how he likes his players.
Niklas will start from Day 1 and provide solid in-line blocking along with sneaky receiving ability from multiple areas of the field. Despite his enormous frame, he can line up in the slot and run routes from there with success, and he creates a mismatch wherever he is on any given play.
Keim went with the best pass-rusher available at No. 84 overall, nabbing former North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin.
The tall, stoutly built defender is adept at stopping the run and is a developing pass-rusher. What that means is that Arizona’s top-ranked run defense won’t take a step back while Martin learns how to be a 3-4 outside linebacker, which he will play while the Cardinals are in base defense.
Martin will play OLB in base, and then can be on line and rush from inside or outside in sub-packages, Arians said. #CardsDraft— Darren Urban (@Cardschatter) May 10, 2014
And, as previously mentioned, Brown will serve as a slot receiver coming in as the 91st overall pick. He also returns kicks and may find himself taking punt returns away from Patrick Peterson.
Updated Needs for the Cardinals
Martin fills the need of depth at pass-rusher and 3-Tech defensive end, so this will be short and sweet.
It’s looking more and more like the Cardinals may not take a tackle in this year’s draft. A few solid players remain, like North Carolina’s James Hurst and Tennessee’s Tiny Richardson. It will be interesting to see if Keim addresses right tackle at all.
Guard could be another story altogether, however. Keim has to see value in one of the remaining players at the position. A guy like Stanford’s David Yankey, Baylor’s Cyril Richardson or Florida’s Jon Halapio (a personal favorite) should all be around when the Cardinals pick at 120, so it will be interesting to see what happens.
Top Day 3 Targets
The following players could be in play at any point on Day 3 for the Cardinals. Some have been mentioned already.
James Hurst, OT, North Carolina
Cameron Fleming, OT, Stanford
Tiny Richardson, OT, Tennessee
Pierre Desir, CB, Lindenwood
Jaylen Watkins, CB Florida
Jackson Jeffcoat, DE/OLB, Texas
Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado State
David Yankey, OG, Stanford
Jon Halapio, OG, Florida
Anthony Steen, OG, Alabama
Cyril Richardson, OG, Baylor
Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Brett Smith, QB, Wyoming
David Fales, QB, San Jose State
What Are the Experts Saying?
3 Predictions for Day 3
The Cardinals Add Another Pass-Rusher
In the passing league that is the NFL, you can never have too many receivers, and you can never have too many pass-rushers. Martin is a developmental guy and so, too, will be the guy they get on Day 3. But, with proper development, there are players available who could become solid defenders.
Keim Gets a Quarterback
Keeping with a Day 2 prediction, I still believe Keim will add a quarterback in this draft. Whether at one of the three picks the Cardinals have remaining, or by way of undrafted free agency immediately following the draft’s conclusion, Keim will nab himself a signal-caller.
A 3-Down Back Will End Up in Cardinal Red
A run on running backs happened on Day 2. Starting with the Tennessee Titans and Bishop Sankey at No. 54 overall and ending with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Dri Archer at No. 97, eight backs went in a short spurt.
Some good names are still out there, like Lache Seastrunk, Storm Johnson and James White. All three possess what it takes to be a three-down back on Sundays. Arizona will grab one.
Updated Cardinals Mock Draft
Round 4 (No. 120): Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Round 5 (No. 160): Shaquil Barrett, OLB, Colorado State
Round 6 (No. 196): James White, RB, Wisconsin