Updated Apr 12, 2013 - 9:35 am
NFL Draft: Five prospects the Cardinals should avoid
Sure I point out some of their flaws as prospects, but overall I try to keep an upbeat, yet realistic outlook on their future.
I know for certain I am going to miss on some prospects both ways, my biggest miss thus far in my brief analyst career is Jason Smith. I thought he was going to be the next Walter Jones, and now he's on his third team just trying to make a roster.
I bring up my follies because in the coming week, I am going to list my ten prospects I would "bang the table for," but today is my look at the five prospects I want no part of in the 2013 NFL Draft.
This one is a little shorter because I am going to look at only players I have pegged as first and second round prospects.
Here are the five prospects the Arizona Cardinals should avoid come draft day 2013.
Matt Barkley, QB, USC
After breaking down the USC signal caller earlier this week, it should be obvious that I am not a fan of his.
His NFL readiness is apparent, in the right system. If Barkley gets to a team with a solid offensive line, a good running game, and some wide receivers that can make plays with the ball in their hands, he can be a good NFL quarterback.
Putting Barkley in Cardinals' head coach Bruce Arians' vertical attack, asking him to sit back in the pocket, make reads deep into his drops, and fit the ball into tight windows down the field would be a recipe for disaster.
Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
The Longhorns defensive end started off the year as a potential top 20 selection on some scouting services' boards.
With the Cardinals sticking with a 3-4 defense, I have taken him completely off my draft board.
Okafor is an intriguing player as a 4-3 defensive end on the strong side of the line. He doesn't show the short area quickness, change of direction skill or burst in the open field to be an outside linebacker, though. Additionally I don't know if he can put on enough weight to play defensive end in the 3-4.
Matt Elam, S, Florida
While the Cardinals are in desperate need of safety help, and likely early in the draft, Elam is a player I am not a huge fan of.
While he possesses the ability to make some splash plays, he isn't nearly consistent enough for my taste.
Doesn't show a consistent, aggressive motor, and too often drifts to plays instead of attacking downhill.
He misses easy tackles too often because he is looking for a kill shot instead of breaking down, wrapping up and making the stop.
For a box safety, Elam isn't physical at or near the line of scrimmage, and his coverage ability is only adequate, as he isn't always in on plays with the ball in the air.
Manti Te'o, LB, Notre Dame
While many believed early in the season (myself included) that Te'o could be a high pick, I never agreed with the idea of him being a top talent.
He didn't ever make me sit up and say "wow." Instead I saw a guy that didn't clean up a lot of plays, and was just getting to them as they were ending.
Te'o too often takes a false step in the run game, allowing blockers to get on him and push him around; this was never more evident than in the BCS game against a dominant Alabama offensive line. When you have to go up against NFL offensive linemen every Sunday, you won't get a chance to recover from those false reads.
There will be questions about him being more than just a two-down inside linebacker, and for me that isn't something that the Cardinals need in round two.
Sharrif Floyd, DT, Florida
I know, there are two defenders from a stacked Florida defense on my list, but like Elam, Floyd isn't a fit for the Cardinals 3-4 defense.
He could line up as a defensive end in the five-technique and be okay, but Floyd doesn't possess the length, or motor I am looking for in a defensive end.
He plays too high at times, has short arms and can be bodied up by offensive linemen after initial contact.
He was beaten consistently by Larry Warford in the Kentucky match up, and despite his impressive quickness, he wasn't a skilled pass rusher.
I am also concerned with his inability to stay on the field. Floyd played in less than 70% of the Gators' defensive snaps in 2012 and that isn't what you want out of player that you're likely to take at seventh overall.
Those are the five big name prospects I would like to see the Cardinals avoid on draft day 2013.
Let me know who you want the Cardinals to avoid. I'm expecting a lot of Geno Smith or all quarterbacks to fill up that list.
Seth Cox/The Sports Headquarters, Editor-in-chief of The Sports Headquarters
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