Arizona Cardinals: First Round Pick Possible Directions
Heading into the off season, the positions the Arizona Cardinals needed to address the most were that of Linebacker, Defensive End, Running back and Guard. Steve Keim filled all of these positions, except for running back, through free agency. With most of these needs being addressed, the Cardinals have the luxury of taking the best player available. That being said, which direction do the Cardinals go with their first round pick?
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With most of the marquee free agent running backs off the market, the Cardinals could draft a back in the first round. The last back the Cardinals drafted in the first round was Ohio State’s Beanie Wells, who never panned out into the power back the Cardinals hoped he’d become. This may factor into the organization’s decision into taking a back in the first round.
The 2 backs whose names are being thrown around to most likely be drafted in the first round are Georgia’s Todd Gurley, and Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon. Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports reported that Melvin Gordon recently visited the Cardinals. As time goes on, it has become less likely that the Cardinals will trade for Vikings running back, Adrian Peterson, which only strengthens the possibility of the Cardinals taking a back in the first round.
The Cardinals are still looking to strengthen their linebacking core. With no certainty that Kevin Minter will perform, the uncertain future of Daryl Washington, and the fact that both LaMarr Woodley and Sean Witherspoon are coming off injuries. While the Cardinals are most likely to miss out on the top ranked linebackers, including Florida’s Dante Fowler and Clemson’s Vic Beasley, there is still the possibility of them landing Nebraska’s Randy Gregory or UCLA’s Eric Kendricks.
There is no guarantee that the Cardinals will address a position of need with their first round pick. With Keim and Arians “take the best player available” philosophy, they will almost certainly take the best player available regardless of position. If the best player available happens to fill a need. even better.
The 2015 NFL Draft is on Thursday, April 30th. The Cardinals have the 24th, 55th, and the 86th picks in the first three rounds.