The Arizona Cardinals for the most part over the past three days made some very wise choices with their seven picks in the 2012 NFL Draft. They took best available in a couple of spots and definitely filled a couple of needs. They set the tone in the first round on Thursday by selecting both a need and the best available wide receiver, Michael Floyd from Notre Dame. I was excited with the pick as most Cards fans should be. Overall, I give the Cards a B+ in the three-day event.
1st round, 13th pick: Michael Floyd, WR, Notre Dame – Floyd definitely a great athlete with great leaping ability. More than once heard him compared to former Cards receiver Anquan Boldin. Very nice pick, although some wish the Cards had gone offensive line here. I am not included in that group.
3rd round, 80th pick: Jemell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma – Fleming is a good zone defender, so should be a good fit for the Cardinals. For what was out there at the time, probably a very good pick for the Cards.
4th round, 112th pick: Bobby Massie, OT, Mississippi – Massie may turn out to be the steal of the draft for the Cards. He was projected as high as the 2nd round by some experts. An underclassman, so always some risk there, especially on the O-line. I still like the pick a lot.
5th round, 151st pick: Senio Kelemete, OG, Washington – Probably the first surprise for me in the Cards draft. This might be a bit of a stretch, although his projection was 5th round. What probably drew the Cards to him is his flexibility to play anywhere along the line, which as we all know, tends to happen with the Cards. They are always moving players left and right on that line.
6th round, 177th pick: Justin Bethel, FS, Presbyterian – The first head scratcher of the draft for me. That was until you read Bethel is a beast blocking kicks. Between punts and field goals, the young man blocked nine kicks during his career and is apparently a good candidate for special teams. I’m good with that, so I give the Cards the benefit of the doubt here.
6th round, 185th pick: Ryan Lindley, QB, San Diego State – A GREAT pick for the sixth round. Lindley, was rated above QB’s Nick Foles from Arizona, Kellen Moore from Boise State and projected as a 4th rounder by CBS Sportsline. His quarterback coach at SDSU? Former Cleveland Browns QB Brian Sipe. Not a bad guy to learn from. He can air it out. He had 23 TD’s and only 8 INT in 2011.
7th round, 221st pick: Nate Potter, OT, Boise State – Was the leader on an offensive line that allowed the fewest average sacks. On one of the best offensive lines in the country. He’s tall and has good agility. Knock on him is his upper-body strength. Another guy that was selected past his projection.
No complaints about how this years draft went. Of course the story will be told starting with mini camps and then training camp. I think all seven guys have a legitimate chance to make the roster given the current state of the Cards roster. A couple of the offensive linemen will need to really work hard for their spot. Not that any of the others won’t, but guys like Bethel, Kelemete, and Potter will probably have to work harder than others to make this team.