What if Mel Kiper Jr. was the GM of the Arizona Cardinals?
Somebody like ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper, Jr.
In his latest ESPN Insider piece, Kiper takes over the draft reins for all 32 NFL franchises, including the Cardinals.
After diagnosing Arizona's needs as safety, outside linebacker, wide receiver and tight end, Kiper went to work, choosing UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr in the first round (20th) overall, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron in the second (52nd) and Wyoming receiver Robert Herron in the third (84th).
Analysis: Left tackle was addressed in free agency, so the focus turns to the pass rush, and at this spot on the draft board I think Barr's upside is hard to pass on, even if his senior tape was underwhelming. At one time I thought he'd be a top-10 pick, but if Barr is more consistent and improves on his awareness (he converted from running back) he could become a steal at this slot. It's a close mix between need and "best player available" at this point. McCarron might seem like a bit of a luxury pick in Round 2, but tell me what the long-term solution is at QB in Arizona. The drop-off from Carson Palmer on the depth chart is scary-looking, Palmer isn't young, and the roster is good enough to take a shot on a developmental backup a little early. Herron can be electrifying after the catch, and there's a need for an added target at receiver after Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd.
Barr had 23.5 sacks in his two seasons as a linebacker for the Bruins and was a two-time First Team All-Pac-12 selection and consensus All-American in 2013.
McCarron finished his career in Tuscaloosa as one of the most decorated quarterbacks in college football history. The Mobile, Ala. native went 36-4 in three years as a starter and guided the Crimson Tide to two BCS national championships.
Herron caught 152 passes for 2,030 yards and 20 touchdowns in his Wyoming career. In 2012, he was fourth in the nation when he averaged 21.2 yards per catch. Three of his eight touchdown catches were 70 yards or longer.
Vince Marotta, Co-host - Bickley & Marotta, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- Cardinals' Dockett: Peterson will 'definitely be a future Hall of Famer'
- Former Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner thankful for patience of fans, organization
- Notes from the Nest: July 30, 2014
- Arizona Cardinals to host Fan Fest this weekend
- All-Access with Bruce Arians: Extra points experiment will be fun, may add excitement
- Paul Fanaika, Arizona Cardinals offensive guard - Wednesday July 30The Arizona Cardinals’ offensive guard Paul Fanaika joins the show to discuss training camp.
- Kurt Warner, NFL Network analyst - Wednesday July 30NFL Network analyst Kurt Warner discusses Arizona Cardinals' training camp.
- Patrick Peterson, Arizona Cardinals cornerback - Wednesday July 30Arizona Cardinals' defensive cornerback Patrick Peterson discusses his new contract extension.
- Paul's Call with Paul Calvisi! - Wednesday July 30Johnny Manziel struggles in practice.
- Pete Prisco- CBS NFL Analyst - Wednesday July 30Pete Prisco talks about the top cornerbacks in the NFL.