2011 NFL Draft: Is Patrick Peterson the New Favorite for the Arizona Cardinals?

Casey CrailCorrespondent IApril 26, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - MARCH 1: Defensive back Patrick Peterson #37 of LSU stretches before working out during the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 28, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

With only two days left to wait for the draft, it appears around the web that the Arizona Cardinals will not be taking a quarterback in Blaine Gabbert, but rather the best player available on their board.

Though no one can truly know who is in that spot, it can be assumed that either Von Miller or Patrick Peterson is in that spot.

Miller appears to be the favorite for the Buffalo Bills at third overall, but could be available for the Cardinals at fifth overall.

Peterson, however, will likely be available and is a logical pick based on value.

Another option would be a team trading up to fifth to get Peterson while the Cardinals would receive more picks to target more needs.

Division rival San Francisco 49ers, the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans and Detroit Lions are all teams with enough fire power that could be interested in a trade-up.

With the lockout ending and there still being many question marks, nobody knows at this point if player trades have resumed—and if so, a trade with the Philadelphia Eagles for Kevin Kolb could put Philly in the mix for Peterson.

However, say the Cardinals stay at No. 5 and draft Peterson: the pass defense would be instantly upgraded with Peterson, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Kerry Rhodes and Adrian Wilson.

Some analysts have their doubts on this pick because Rodgers-Cromartie is continuously improving, while Greg Toler has shown promise.

Two picks that could be made over Peterson include Robert Quinn and AJ Green.

Quinn represents the biggest defensive need as a rush-linebacker so if new defensive coordinator Ray Horton thinks he can coach Quinn to be as good as his potential says he can be, he could be the pick.

Green makes sense because Steve Breaston has battled injury all season and is a free agent, while Early Doucet has not lived up to expectations and also had injury concerns.

Larry Fitzgerald is not happy with the quarterback situation and ultimately, the face of the franchise could leave.

By drafting Green they would add an excellent receiver in the Calvin Johnson mold next to Fitz and could help persuade him to stay or replace him if his outlook on Arizona does not change.

Patrick Peterson would not represent need, but value at fifth overall. In 2010, the Cardinals spent their first round pick on need with Dan Williams, so this could be a clue to Thursday's selection.

Blaine Gabbert, Robert Quinn, or AJ Green could be alternate selections or trading down is also possible.