Nine games into the season and Arizona Cardinals fans are usually researching who they will pick in the top 10 of the draft.
Well, for the second consecutive year, the Cardinals and their fans are looking forward more to January than to April.
That being said, it is never too early to start looking at possible draft picks for the 2010 NFL season; especially when the future of the team does not hinge on the pick.
The Cardinals have shown great improvement in their drafting the last couple of years, and will look to continue that trend in 2010.
So here is an early look at some players that may fit into the Cardinals 2010 draft plans.
Hughes is a sack machine, and if you ask any Cards fan what this team is truly lacking, they would say someone that can get to the quarterback at will.
Hughes is a tweener in every sense of the word, and would look great as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
Will he fall to the Cardinals if they are in the 25-32 range? Probably.
Is he good enough to be taken earlier? I think so, but that is for the Cardinals to decide.
Mike Gandy has been solid, yet overly frustrating in his tenure with the Cardinals.
But he looks to be more ready for a spot on the bench as a veteran back-up, than a contender for starting LT.
Charles Brown has been moving up the draft charts much the same way the other TE turned left tackle Jason Smith did last year.
The difference? I don't see Brown getting up to the No. 2 overall pick.
I think Brown would look great in a Cards uniform, since his specialty right now is pass protection. But he also has the athleticism and strength to become a very good run blocker.
Brown needs to get stronger, as he still is under 300 lbs, but you cannot teach the quick feet and great balance that he naturally possesses.
Marvin Austin is a big, and at times dominant, DT for the North Carolina Tar Heels.
Then why is he not higher up on the draft board? Well he tends to get lazy, play too tall, and takes plays off a little too often.
But what he lacks in persistent effort, he makes up for with amazing potential.
He is big, strong, and agile. He can occupy space, get off blockers, and make tackles. But, for me, he needs to gain more consistency.
He has the potential to get into the top 15, but could fall out of the first two rounds if he does not improve his work habit.
Hardy came into the season as a potential top 10 pick. But since I am talking about him now, at this point he's a little lower down the draft board.
Much like Austin, Hardy has been plagued with inconsistent play, and more importantly, inconsistent effort.
He possesses the tools to be an elite player, but his effort has been questioned by some.
Add to that his lingering foot injury and he could potentially fall into the Cards lap.
Having a plethora of DB talent is never a bad thing, and adding a guy like Robinson is too good to pass up.
Robinson is an elite talent at CB, even though he is a bit undersized. But he has not had much of an opportunity to show that talent this year because teams refuse to throw to his side of the field.
While Robinson needs to get a little more fluid in his movements, he has the ability to blanket a receiver.
And while he may not have the same elite speed of a guy like Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, he has good enough closing speed.
He also is a willing tackler who is not afraid to stick his nose in and make a play.
So where would he fit in here?
Well, that is what developing a winning organization is all about, drafting for the future and not just the here and now.
The way the Cardinals have been playing and drafting, it's almost no fun anymore to do draft previews and reviews because there is not much excitement in picking lower in the draft, and there are no Wendell Bryant picks to ridicule.
So while this is just a sample size of players to look for after the season, it is nice to know that there is still a season to be excited about.