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Cardinals get their guy, fans love it, player excited

Patrick Peterson, the highly touted cornerback from LSU, is coming to the desert.

Arizona Cardinals fans got exactly who they wanted. At least that’s what the fans at the place I was at said. Small sampling? Sure. But it was unanimous.

Walking around the headquarters of Sports 620 KTAR’s 2011 NFL Draft Extravaganza Thursday evening moments before the pick was made, every person in a Cardinals jersey said they wanted Peterson.

The only mention of Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert was by a fan who said, “NO! Don’t let it be Gabbert and don’t trade down, not at this point.”

What about Ken Whisenhunt?

After the pick, Whiz said he could see Peterson lining up as a kick returner in the NFL right now — and being one of the best.

“Obviously he has a tremendous combination of size and speed,” Whisenhunt said.

Not to mention a new shut-down partnership with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie that will have every NFL quarterback thinking twice about going deep.

Did Peterson get what he wanted?

“Definitely want to get [the Cardinals] back to the Super Bowl and win it this time,” Peterson said on NFL Network moments after being drafted.

One has to wonder if Peterson knew his chances of becoming a Cardinal were good — I mean really good.

Peterson certainly played the part as if he knew. He was decked out in a bright red tie. It went well with the red and black Cardinals hat he put on.

Peterson told Deion Sanders on the NFL Network moments after being drafted, “I really didn’t,” when Sanders asked him if he knew anything and why he was wearing red.

I’m not so sure about that. What I am sure about is the Cardinals drafting a sure thing.

After months of grades, scouting, interviews and watching tape — Peterson seemed to be a can’t-miss sure-thing for the Cardinals at number five.

The speedster will have the chance to be a cornerback and returner right away for the Cardinals. If you can turn your top draft pick into an impact player right away, then that’s what you do.

While Ken Whisenhunt and the Cardinals make their draft picks based on what their team needs are, on Thursday night it seems they drafted for everyone — themselves, the player and the fans — and won at every level.

It’s definitely only one night in April, but the Cardinals got a victory.