Written by: Barry Lewis on April 23, 2011
Does anyone remember the Cardinals-Steelers Super Bowl? It was, in my opinion, one of the better Super Bowls in history. Warner-Fitzgerald. Warner-Boldin. Those two connections helped make sure that this franchise got to a Super Bowl and within 1 minute of winning it all.
Fast forward two years. This franchise is heading nowhere fast and is my favorite for being the worst team in the NFL during the 2011-2012 season if they don’t make any moves during free agency that significantly upgrades the quarterback position as well as the offensive line, rush linebacker, and depth at cornerback and safety.
First to Tyron Smith. Yes, this guy is a man. He is agile and should be a right tackle in the NFL. He is also soft. He is also coming off minor knee surgery. He is the riskiest top 10 pick in this draft. With that in mind, ok – I give the big man a pass. I am sure that he will pan out.
Lets’ move to the next two picks – Akeem Ayers and Ricky Stanzi. Ayers does not play the run well and despite being touted as an above-average rush linebacker, he ran a 4.81 40 at the combine before improving it to the 4.68 and 4.74 range at his pro day. He has also put on about 10 pounds of playing weight since his senior year to 254 which indicates that he will only fit in a 4-3 defense because he will not set the edge well in a 3-4 set. Arizona runs, for the most part, a 3-4 set.
And finally lets get to Ricky Stanzi. He lacks arm strength even though he has above average mobility. He also lacks accuracy. He may have played in Iowa like Warner (Northern Iowa) but the chances of him becoming Warner are slim to none. If the Cardinals were smart, they would have drafted Colin Kaepernick at pick 38 before he was plucked by the Raiders.
This team is my favorite to be the worst team in football. This draft did not help them at all. And that is sad considering how weak the NFC West was last year.
I give the Cardinals a D- because of Tyron Smith’s upside and Daniel Thomas who may be the 1st running back on the Cardinals depth chart or the 3rd back on their depth chart. Good luck Hightower and Wells. You have another running back who is going to provide you guys company on the sideline.