1 - #31 RB Donald Brown, UConn
- This pick really sells itself. Arizona is in dire need of a RB because Edgerrin James has a year or two left with the team at most and backup Tim Hightower is not a guy that you want to have as your starter. I like the pick of Brown because he really fits the Cardinals offense. He would team up with Edge in a platoon role at RB and eventually replace him as the starter. If Edge leaves then Brown will start as a rookie and platoon with Hightower. Brown has good size and good speed and he is a workhorse. He is not the biggest guy, but he has no problem getting 20 carries a game. The best thing about him though is he is a very good blocker for a RB and in Arizona's pass-happy offense that is something that the RB's must be able to do.
2 - #63 OLB Cody Brown, UConn
- With Arizona transitioning to the 3-4 defense they need to revamp their LB corp. They are set on the inside with Karlos Dansby and Gerald Hayes, but OLB is the problem. They have some good players in Chike Okeafor and Travis LaBoy, but those guys are not the best options as "rush" LB's. Brown played DE in college, but because of his size he translates as an OLB to the NFL anyway. Using his pass rush ability on the outside could really help this defense that really struggled picking up the 3-4 last year and eventually dumped it. Brown may or may not start, but he figures to be an immediate impact guy with a large role as a rookie either way.
3 - #95 C Antoine Caldwell, Alabama
- This where the Cardinals need a lot of help. They have some quality players on the offensive line, but no depth whatsoever. The current incumbent at Center, Lyle Sendlein, struggled tremendously last year and it is not a stretch to say that Caldwell could take his job away as a rookie. Even if he doesn't start the Cardinals are very weak in the interior line so depth anywhere is a big plus.
4 - #131 OLB Phillip Hunt, Houston
- Another attempt at revamping the rush LB position here. Hunt, like Cody Brown, played DE in college but just does not have the size that you want for a 4-3 DE in the NFL. For some reason he is not getting as much publicity and hype as the other 3-4 OLB's, but this guy can play and he can rush the passer. Like Brown, he will most likely contribute immediately even if it is as a situational player. He really reminds me of DeMarcus Ware, just less talented and not as developed. He should turn out to be a very good rush LB though.
5 - #167 QB Rhett Bomar, Sam Houston State
- This is a depth pick. The Cardinals drafted Matt Leinhart a few years ago to be their franchise QB, but he has struggled making the transition to the NFL. Kurt Warner has done a tremendous job as the starter for them recently, but he can't play forever. Bomar has a very good arm and can move around in the pocket, but can be inconsistent with his accuracy. I don't really see him developing into a starting QB in the NFL, but he has the skills to do so. I see him turning into a nice backup option to Matt Leinhart for the Cards'.
6 - #204 T Andrew Gardner, Georgia Tech
- Arizona seriously needs depth on the offensive line and this is a nice pick for them. Gardner is a great athlete with good size. He really excels as a run blocker which doesn't make him the best fit for Arizona's offense, but he was the best Tackle on the board and Arizona really needs help on the O-Line.
7 - #240 G Travis Bright, BYU
- Once again the Cards' need some serious help on the offensive line. Bright is a very solid offensive lineman, but he is a late round prospect because of his age. He went on a church mission before he began his career at BYU so that turns off a lot of teams. He also has limited upside, but he is still a solid lineman. However, Arizona really needs some interior line help and although Bright is a bit of a quick fix he would still be a welcome addition to this team.
7 -#254 TE Marquez Branson, Central Arkansas
- The Cards' have a nice, big target at TE in Leonard Pope and have some decent options as backups, but Branson is just to intriguing a prospect to pass up. He has decent size, but is an excellent receiver. He benefitted a little bit from having a good QB in college, but he is still a very good prospect as a receiving TE.
Arizona had a nice draft. They added their RB of the future in Donald Brown and added two 3-4 rush LB's in Cody Brown and Phillip Hunt. The Cards' also seriously needed to add some depth on the offensive line and did that with taking a potential starting Center in Caldwell and some nice depth picks late. I also like the late pick of Rhett Bomar at QB and Marquez Branson at TE. Nice draft.