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Arizona Cardinals

Updated May 1, 2012 - 4:39 pm

Whisenhunt: Cardinals trusted draft board, saw it pay off

Arizona Cardinals President Michael Bidwill, left, owner Bill Bidwill, second from left, and head coach Ken Whisenhunt, right, pose with first-round NFL football draft pick Michael Floyd during a news conference, Friday, April 27, 2012, at the team's training facility in Tempe, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Never will you hear a coach talk badly about his draft.

So, it should come as no surprise that Arizona's Ken Whisenhunt told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf he felt good about what the team accomplished over the weekend.

"I think that the way the players came off the board, I felt like we were very prepared and ready to do it logically as well as what we thought was best for our team," he said.

In drafting Michael Floyd, Jamell Fleming, Bobby Massie, Senio Kelemete, Justin Bethel, Ryan Lindley and Nate Potter the Cardinals not only added some talented players, but potentially filled some needs, too.

And, maybe in a departure from some past drafts, Whisenhunt said he expects some of his rookies -- specifically first-rounder Floyd -- to make an impact in his first season.

"The ability to help from the standpoint of making those big plays down the field, the chunks of yardage," the coach said of what they like about the Notre Dame star. "He's a physical player, brings a lot to the table from that standpoint."

Whisenhunt pointed to Floyd's ability to go up and get the ball in traffic, which is a trait shared by current Cardinal Larry Fitzgerald.

The idea of pairing Floyd with the Pro Bowler and adding him to an offense that features other weapons, too, is something that Whisenhunt is excited about going forward.

But it's not just the team's first round pick that the coach is optimistic about.

Like, for instance, fourth-round selection Bobby Massie, who was projected by many to be picked a couple rounds higher.

The team gambled that he may last to their pick after selecting corner Jamell Fleming in the third round.

"On our board, he was higher rated than Bobby Massie," Whisenhunt said. "Even though everybody was screaming that we had a need for tackle, if we trust our board and how we had them stacked up then we felt like we would be true to that.

"Obviously, when we had a chance to get [Massie] in the fourth we were extremely excited."

What transpired ended up being a lesson in following your draft board, no matter how the draft plays out. As Whisenhunt said, chances are if they took Massie in the third round Fleming would not have been available in the fourth, meaning the Cardinals got excellent value out of those picks.

"That's why you have to trust your preparation and stick with it," he said. "It paid off for us this time -- we think."


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