Whisenhunt’s draft philosophy includes looking at need and value

Apr 6, 2011, 8:33 PM | Updated: 10:05 pm

With the 2011 NFL Draft only 22 days away, Arizona Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt is determined to take both need and value into account when it comes to selecting the team’s picks.

“You have to stay true to your process of how you evaluate players,” Whisenhunt said in an interview with Mike Florio on Pro Football Talk Live. “When it comes your chance to pick you have to really analyze not only what your team needs are but also the type of player that’s there.”

After a 5-11 season that garnered the Cardinals the fifth overall pick, experts around the nation differ on the player the team will choose. Players like Blaine Gabbert, Von Miller, Patrick Peterson and Cam Newton have all been speculated selections, each for different reasons and to different reactions from the fanbase.

Which player will be selected is still completely dependent on how the cards fall with the first four picks. Doing his best Lady Gaga impersonation, Whisenhunt doesn’t plan on revealing which player he hopes will be there when the Cardinals are put on the clock.

“Sometimes you can’t overlook the fact that there might be a player that you don’t specifically have a need for, but he is graded so much higher than the players that are on the board at that point that you would have to consider him,” Whisenhunt said. “If you’re in range of a guy that you think fills a specific need and yet he is graded high enough, then you’ve got to be ready to try to move if you feel like you have the need to try to get him.”

The coach compared his statement to the Cardinals’ trading up for linebacker Daryl Washington last season. The team believed Washington was a first round talent and that their need at inside linebacker gave them enough reason to move to the Patriots’ spot to draft the TCU star.

The obvious need this offseason is a quarterback who can make some throws to Larry Fitzgerald and put the team on his back when they need him to most. The big question though is if the team’s next quarterback will come out of the draft.

“It’s really a balancing act that you have to have conviction about how you’re picking or what your plan is,” Whisenhunt said. “When it comes near our pick we’re definitely looking at what our needs are but we’re also looking at what the players are.”

With the season — if there is one — still months away, fans are already clamoring for a new arm under center.

Whisenhunt isn’t afraid to stick to his formula, though. It may not be a player at the position everyone wants, but talent won’t be overlooked.

Arizona Cardinals

Carlos Watkins #91 of the Dallas Cowboys runs into the endzone for a touchdown as Taysom Hill #7 of...
Kellan Olson

Arizona Cardinals sign former Cowboys DL Carlos Watkins

The Arizona Cardinals signed former Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Carlos Watkins on Thursday.
1 day ago
Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Rashad Fenton kneels on the field before the AFC championship NFL foo...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals ink Rashad Fenton to boost CB depth

The Arizona Cardinals signed former Kansas City Chiefs and Atlanta Falcons cornerback Rashad Fenton to a one-year deal on Thursday.
1 day ago
Arizona Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals WR Hollywood Brown fined in speeding case

Arizona Cardinals receiver Hollywood Brown was fined $473 with credit for time served for an August speeding arrest on the Loop 101 freeway.
2 days ago
Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals and Kyler Murray #1 of the Arizona Cardinals warm up prior ...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals ‘feel really good’ at QB as Kyler Murray preps for next phase of rehab

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray is making steady progress in his rehabilitation from a torn ACL suffered last season.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals star backer Isaiah Simmons (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Isaiah Simmons remains positionless in Cardinals’ new-look defense

The Cardinals have a decision to make when it comes down to Isaiah Simmons. And no, it's not centered around the fifth-year option.
3 days ago
DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals is called for a personal foul penalty against Eric Sto...
Tyler Drake

Jonathan Gannon operating under premise DeAndre Hopkins will be a Card

While the trade chatter surrounding wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins continues, he's a Cardinal until he isn't in HC Jonathan Gannon's eyes.
2 days ago
Whisenhunt’s draft philosophy includes looking at need and value