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Cardinals get bacon, steak, and ice cream in draft

Larry Fitzgerald said that Ken Whisenhunt learned his lesson.

Yes he did. Apparently with a vengeance.

The Cards Wide Receiver told Yahoo Sports “Whiz told me he learned his lesson with Adrian Peterson … if there’s an incredible athlete there, you take him, even if you don’t have a need. You find a place for him.”

You remember the story: The Cardinals needed an offensive lineman… badly. With Peterson still on the board the Cards reached and took Brown. Watching Brown has been a reach ever since.

To me, that is the story of this 2011 draft for the Arizona Cardinals. Screw need. Who is the best football player on our board right now? Take him. When they drafted Patrick Peterson in the first round they were praised for it. When they drafted running back Ryan Williams in the second round they were panned for it.

My knee jerk reaction was one of incredulity. A running back was the last thing you needed. Quality pass rushers are on the board. The speculation spread like the flu bug on a crowded airplane. Is Williams or the other running backs trade bait for a QB? Who is looking over his shoulder the most, Beanie or Hightower? What does it mean?

I turned to the YMCA for answers. Namely Dave Pasch, the play-by-play voice of the Arizona Cardinals, whose daughter plays in the same YMCA volleyball league as mine. And while he didn’t coin the phrase “screw need”, it was that concept he was spiking home between games Saturday at the Y. If you think Player A is that much more talented, driven and capable than Player B, take him … even if Player B fills a slot.

It can be hard to embrace, but ask yourself this: Were you pleased with the performance of Beanie or Hightower last year? If you could go back and do it over would you take Adrian Peterson over Levi Brown?

My colleague at the Arizona Republic, Kent Somers, is spot on. This draft likely will be judged not by Peterson’s performance, but by Williams’.

While the Cardinals seem to be embracing this mantra, certainly with the Williams pick, I am merely extending a tentative handshake. I would have been more comfortable with a pass rusher in the second round; I don’t like that they waited until the fourth round to get one. They waited a long time to get another linebacker. I don’t like that they didn’t take a single offensive lineman.

I sent you to the store needing milk, eggs and bread and you came back with steak, ice cream and bacon.

The good news is that they will be able to go back to the store to stock up on the staples. At some point — goodness only knows when — free agency will begin. Better to get an experienced quarterback there than roll the dice in the draft. I’m totally on board with that concept. So why am I having a harder time embracing the Williams pick? Check back with me in a few months and I’ll tell you if I was wrong.

In the meantime, who wants some bacon and ice cream?