The NFL draft can change a team, and it has the potential to change the Cardinals.
Arizona drafted some impact players at guard, at safety, at middle linebacker, at running back and at other positions. The Cardinals had nine draft picks, and they used all of them wisely.
But which player will make the biggest impact? To answer that question, we went to our staff.
When I think about this question I think about Jonathan Cooper and also Tyrann Mathieu. After a bit of thinking I’m gonna have to go with Mathieu. I know I said the safety position is the unit I’m most worried about, and I still am with Mathieu being a year removed from the game and trying to adjust to the pros.
The reason I’m going with Tyrann is based off hope. With his talent and the chip he has to have on his shoulders, I can’t overlook him. Emotion mixed with his God-given athletic ability is one powerful combination that makes me have to pick him just on the hopes he can become a starter sometime in the beginning of the season if he doesn’t start Week 1.
Everyone who watched the Cardinals play last year knows their offensive line was horrendous. Jonathan Cooper will provide some much-needed stability to the line.
His impact will be measured by open running lanes that could not be opened last year and by pass attempts that could not be attempted last year.
Hopefully‚ he holds up as predicted and justifies the Cardinals’ wise draft pick. If the seventh overall pick holds up, he will make the biggest impact of any of the Cardinals picks in this draft.
The most dynamic player may be by Tyrann Mathieu or Stepfan Taylor as they will have the opportunity to have the ball in their hands, but the biggest impact will be felt by Jonathan Cooper. Cooper’s impact on the Cardinals’ offensive line will have a positive trickledown affect on the passing and running game.
His quickness and power inside will open up more running lanes for the new stable of running backs to choose from, and he will allow the tackles to concentrate on protecting our new quarterbacks’ blind side rather than blocking down to help the interior. Two of the Cardinals biggest stars, Carson Palmer and Larry Fitzgerald, should have significantly improved seasons due to Cooper’s addition to the offensive line.
So while Cooper won’t have the sexy impact some of the skill position draft picks might, he will be the biggest reason for their success.
Brenton wrote an article about this. Here’s an excerpt from his post.
“Without a doubt, there’s a huge reason why Cooper was picked seventh by the Cardinals. As all die-hard Cardinal fans already know, it is to fill a huge and glaring need up front on the offensive line.
It has been a constant problem the Cardinals have had for years now. It’s been a problem that the previous regime (former general manager Rod Graves and company) did not seem to place a big priority on, (high) in the draft for one reason or another. However, that is another argument for another time.”
I don’t know how it can’t be Jonathan Cooper. He dominated at North Carolina and at the NFL Combine, and he’s filling a huge position of need. Cooper will step in and make a huge impact on a needy offensive line from the get-go, and he’ll end up being one of the most valuable draft picks.
Expect Tyrann Mathieu and Ryan Swope to help as well, though. The Cardinals nailed it with this draft.
The Arizona Cardinals had a very good draft as far as I’m concerned. To ask who I believe will have the biggest impact is a hard question to answer in my opinion. If I had to choose one person, I would go with Kevin Minter. Minter is a rookie however he will have big shoes to fill on and off the field. He will have to step it up right from the start. He will be playing in place of Daryl Washington, who is out at least the first four games of the season, for now. Off the field, he will have to play support for another draftee Tyrann Matheiu, his teammate and troubled friend from LSU.