I’m fully aware the Arizona Cardinals do not care whether I support their first pick in the 2011 NFL draft. Insultingly enough, they have never once asked my opinion (although they should have since I didn’t like the Levi Brown pick).
Having said that, there are only two scenarios that I can see happening between now and 5:45 P.M. (when the Cardinals will be on the clock) on draft day that would lend my support to trading down.
1) Mike Ditka has been hired by one of the teams selecting 6-32 as their new GM and he would be willing to trade his entire slew of draft picks and picks for next year for the #5 spot in this year’s draft.
2) Patrick Peterson and Von Miller are off the board.
To this day, no one remembers the worst decision in draft history. Everyone thinks the worst decision is a pick like Ryan Leaf or Tony Mandarich. No. The worst decision in draft history isn’t even the fact that Mike Ditka traded his whole draft to move up to select Ricky Williams. The worst decision in draft history happened by a team that answered Ditka’s phone call.
The worst decision in draft history is when Mike Ditka called the Cincinnati Bengals and the Bengals said, “No.” The Saints offered every pick they had in the 1999 draft, a first and third rounder in 2000 and a first round pick in 2001 for the #3 pick overall. The Bengals said no and drafted AKILI SMITH, QB, OREGON. Who says no to that trade to draft Akili Smith? Only the Bengals.
The Saints weren’t able to get to #3 but they offered the same deal without the 2001 first round pick to Washington and moved up to number #5. Since that is the precedent set for the number 5 pick, if the Cardinals can get Ditka on the phone, make the trade!
If we’ve established that option one, the ridiculous trade offer, isn’t on the table, the only way the Cards should trade out of the #5 spot is if Peterson and Miller are both selected in the first four picks.
It’s impossible for me to sit here and say what the Cards should get to trade down because it all depends on just how far the Cardinals are trading down. I would need to know what four guys are gone at the time of the trade, where the Cards are drafting after the trade and what’s the position of the other picks attained.
I can say I don’t like trading down if either are on the board unless I’m getting a Ditka deal. Peterson and Miller do one thing immediately: they make everyone in the organization instantaneously better.
If it’s Peterson, the front seven has more time to rush the passer, DRC has a challenge to live up to, Greg Toler is now the 3rd CB while Andre Roberts and Steve Breaston can focus on being better receivers. If Miller is a Cardinal, Toler has less time he needs to cover, Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell see less double teams and it makes releasing some veteran LB’s easier for cap space.
Both players improve the defense dramatically. With a better defense, the offense can play more ground control and stop trying to win the game in the 1st quarter. A bad or new QB doesn’t need to play catch-up most of the game and throw the ball all over the place. Coach Whisenhunt and Mike Miller can take more calculated chances since the defense will be there if it doesn’t work versus calling plays out of wishful thinking that the offense does something since you know the defense won’t.
Then there’s the Horton factor. You can’t get a better fit into the zone-blitz scheme than a do-everything outside LB or a shut-down corner. If Coach Whiz is tired of going through DC’s, there’s nothing better than giving the new DC a toy with 4.3 speed.
I’m fine with staying at number 5 as long as I’m not getting a QB. I’m fine with trading down from number 5. What I won’t be able to stomach is trading from number 5 with Miller or Peterson on the board. I’m down with OPP. I hope the Cardinals are too.