It’s a well-known fact that the biggest names that conduct these mock drafts are not experts at its original definition, as if they were- they would be hired by NFL franchises. At the same token they’re not really far off as they use the same principals as the teams do. The only two variables they can’t account for are trade offers and the human element which shows itself in this article as each person feels differently for what the team needs versus what’s available. In short, opinion with the power to choose.
This article will analyze each draft so far and I will give my input as another person who understands the process and systems utilized. The most popular draft board is always Mel Kiper’s so we will start there.
ESPN: Zach Martin OT/G Notre Dame. This pick is fine as it fits a need. Not just a need but the number one need for the Cardinals so it’s only rationale to select it in the first round. My issue is as follows. He played tackle in college and played it well. None the less he translates out to a guard in the NFL due to size and length. Players available in this draft that I would have taken instead of Martin are Jace Amaro the tight-end out of Texas Tech who has little downside and fills a top need at the position and he is known for his vaguely freakish receiving skills and not so much for his blocking ability, which is noted by most scouts as being above average. Two skills, one player.
Yahoo: Cyrus Kouandjio OT Alabama. Just like above it fits the top need but he has deficiencies that concern me for a first round pick and the stigma for his poor performance in the national championship game. Could he be a solid pick after some top level coaching? Sure, but it’s still a gamble to an extent and one I’m not willing to take if in charge. Players available in this scenario included Derek Carr, CJ Mosley and Morgan Moses a tackle out of Virginia. Carr is a good prospect to replace Carson Palmer after some tutelage. I’m a proponent of a first round understudy at quarterback as there are numerous examples of it being a good decision. CJ Mosley fits the need at linebacker and his tape is very appealing. As far as Morgan Moses, he has the same issues at Kouandjio but has other traits that make the hands issue a non-factor. If coached on hands technique, then he becomes a well-rounded tackle for years to come with no deficiencies.
NFL: These picks were all over the board which shows the disparity of mock drafts and how they can be very un-reliable. The one I would invest in is Daniel Jeremiahs as he has a history of being a scout in the NFL. He too chose Kouandjio and my response is the same as above.
Fansided: Calvin Pryor S Louisville. This site you’re on now started a very odd mock draft and a contributor of Raising Zona who is not I chose Calvin Pryor a safety from Louisville. When reading this I chalked it up to a panic pick. Safety is one of the lower needs and shouldn’t be addressed in the first round unless there is a can’t miss prospect in which case Pryor is not one of them. Simply put there are two safeties on the field at a time and the Cardinals have three of them that can perform just fine. Players available for this draft included CJ Mosley and a couple offensive tackles that would have been more suitable and Jace Amaro again. I understand the rationale as he would be used to protect the Cardinals against the many tight-ends that scored all over the defense this last season but drafting Pryor doesn’t guarantee that they won’t the following season and it’s a bad principal to draft according to what happened the previous season, ask Atlanta.
After these reviews, hopefully you have a better idea as to how mock drafts can be silly but also educational as it’s a safe bet the Cardinals take one of the above mentioned players and now you have an idea as to what kind of player he will be. Another point to mention is that Zach Martin wasn’t in the top 35 on various mock drafts and yet he is a first rounder according to ESPN. Similar to Calvin Pryor being a top three safety and not a first round choice by ESPN. The disparity is all over the place and who knows who will fall to the Cardinals at number twenty. What I do know is comments like “How did this crazy guy get hired by ESPN” made by various readers regarding Mel Kiper are un-necessary, as authors aren’t as knowledgeable as many mock authors and are never happy with the teams choice unless they make it themselves.