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2012 NFL Draft - Arizona Cardinals

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 29, 2012


Arizona Cardinals - NFC West, 2012 Draft Selections & Prospects

Arizona Cardinals

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas CityOakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2012 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants | Philadelphia | Washington
WEST Arizona | San Francisco | Seattle | St. Louis
NORTH Chicago | Detroit | Green Bay | Minnesota
SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina | New Orleans | Tampa Bay   

- 2011 Arizona Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Arizona Draft Breakdown 

The Draft Was ... solid. Michael Floyd instantly solves a problem in the receiving corps, and while there wasn’t another pick until midway through the third round, the Cardinals seemed able to get value at every turn. CB Jamell Fleming in the third and OT Bobbie Massie in the fourth were the decent calls in the middle rounds, and OG Senio Kelemete was a terrific call in the fifth. OT Nate Potter in the seventh has steal-of-the-draft potential, while QB Ryan Lindley in the sixth round was a good shot at a developmental player.
Best Value Pick: QB Ryan Lindley, San Diego State, 6th round
Worst Value Pick: CB Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma, 3rd round
They Should've ... given more thought to a center instead of Fleming. The Cardinals need help for the interior, and while Kelemete was a good call in the fifth round, they should’ve used a more valuable pick in the third to beef up the line.
Division Draft Ranking: 1
Overall Draft Ranking: 4

First Round

WR Michael Floyd, Notre Dame 6-3, 220
Overall Pick No. 13 CFN Overall Ranking: 17
CFN Analysis: Is Larry Fitzgerald the general manager? He wanted more offensive weapons to take the heat off, and he got one in Floyd who’s in the perfect position. He’s a No. 1-caliber wide receiver who doesn’t have to be No. 1. All he has to do is handle single coverage and go get the ball when it’s thrown in his general direction. Arizona might have wanted Fletcher Cox, but this is hardly a bad consolation prize.

Tall, fast, and a great playmaker, he’s a true No. 1 target with all the tools to fit the prototype. While he can blow past corners, he’s also not afraid to get physical and he’s great at being able to fight for the ball and outmuscle defenders. The concern going into the Combine and the offseason was that he wasn’t going to time fast, and then he ran in the 4.4 range to quiet all doubters and raise up his stock. He might have timed fast, but he’s not lightning quick and he’s not a sharp cutter. Durability concerns are valid with a variety of issues to drop him down a bit, but the big red flag comes from the drunk driving issues that cast a cloud over his career. Even with the character questions he’s not considered a bad guy, and he appears to be well past the poor decisions with the make-up and the smarts to be able to handle the weight of being a main man for a passing attack. While there are risks, and he can’t be counted on to last a full 16 season without missing at least a little bit of time, he’ll be a good value late in the first round compared to where Justin Blackmon will be taken.
CFN Projection: First Round

Third Round

CB Jamell Fleming, Oklahoma 5-11, 206
Overall Pick No. 80 CFN Overall Ranking: 154
CFN Analysis: Is corner really a need pick? Patrick Peterson is a burgeoning star, and now Fleming has to be a No. 2 guy on the other side. However, the Cardinals could've gotten Fleming later and didn't address the needs on the offensive line or at linebacker. He's more of a piece-of-the-puzzle defender than a starter, and he should end up working in a nickel and dime defender.

The tools are good enough to go along with the size to be tried out in a variety of roles. The 4.53 40 at the Combine wasn’t good, but he’s been timed under 4.5 in workouts, cranked out 23 reps on the bench, and flew around the cones in Indy. Smart and instinctive, he manages to sniff out plays and he does good things when he gets to the ball-carrier. While he has decent size, he’s not the best of tacklers and he tends to stay blocked too easily. The speed is there, but he’s not necessarily a shut-down corner in man coverage and will have to be in the right system. As long as he’s surrounded by hitters, he’ll be productive.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fourth Round

OT Bobby Massie, Ole Miss (Jr.) 6-6, 316
Overall Pick No. 112 CFN Overall Ranking: 125
With a world of talent and upside, he was a superstar recruit for Ole Miss and was expected to be a dominant presence and a mainstay for the front five. While he was good, and he grew into a nice starter, he wasn’t the dominator many expected him to become. With a great body, the right length, and excellent strength, he has the tools and the ability to become a long time starter on either side. Most of the tweaks aren’t that major and he just needs a little fine-tuning with the upside to get even stronger and better if he can light the fire. Getting better leverage on a regular basis is a must, and he has to improve against the craftier pass rushers, but there’s plenty to get excited about for one of the bigger boom-or-bust picks among the top 75 prospects.
CFN Projection: Third Round

Sixth Round

S Justin Bethel, Presbyterian 6-0, 200 (FS)
Overall Pick No. 177 CFN Overall Ranking: 249

Fast, he came up with the offseason workouts he needed to have tearing off a 4.56 while coming up with a safety-best 39.5” vertical and 10’11” broad jump. He used that speed and athleticism to be a half-step faster and better than anyone else on the field at the FCS level, and he has proven to be just talented enough to get an honest look to be someone’s free safety. However, he got by on being more athletic than anyone else at the lower level and he might not fit a defined role. He’s a good tackler, but he’s not going to blow anyone up, and he doesn’t have the elite wheels to make him a sure-thing as a free safety. It’ll take a while before he finds his niche.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round

Sixth Round

S Justin Bethel, Presbyterian 6-0, 200 (FS)
Overall Pick No. 177 CFN Overall Ranking: No. 21 S
Fast, he came up with the offseason workouts he needed to have tearing off a 4.56 while coming up with a safety-best 39.5” vertical and 10’11” broad jump. He used that speed and athleticism to be a half-step faster and better than anyone else on the field at the FCS level, and he has proven to be just talented enough to get an honest look to be someone’s free safety. However, he got by on being more athletic than anyone else at the lower level and he might not fit a defined role. He’s a good tackler, but he’s not going to blow anyone up, and he doesn’t have the elite wheels to make him a sure-thing as a free safety. It’ll take a while before he finds his niche.
CFN Projection: Fifth Round 

Sixth Round

QB Ryan Lindley, San Diego State 6-3, 229
Overall Pick No. 185 CFN Overall Ranking: 99
It’s all about the consistency. He has good size and a great arm with the ability to make all the NFL throws at a top level, and he has a gunslinger mentality with the ability to shine in a shootout. No, he didn’t win enough close games, but they weren’t all his fault and often got hurt by a shaky defense. The problem is that he’ll make a Pro Bowl pass on one play and will hit the hot dog vendor the next. While he timed fast there’s little mobility and he’ll never take off, but he moves around just enough in the pocket to get by. Because of the gun and with good upside there’s a good chance he could be a nice value pick in the middle of the draft, but accuracy can’t be taught.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Seventh Round

OT Nate Potter, Boise State 6-6, 303
Overall Pick No. 221 CFN Overall Ranking: 117

Very, very good for a very long time, he was great at keeping the relatively immobile Kellen Moore relatively clean. While he was a terrific pass protector he’s also a good run blocker with excellent toughness for his size. He’s trying to get bigger getting up over 300 pounds on his 6-6 frame, but he has to get functionally stronger and he has to be a blaster more than a finesse blocker. In the right system he could be a nice value pick if he can find the right niche. He’s not quite physical enough at an NFL level, and that’s the problem; he’s good at everything but not elite in any one way. He’ll work hard and he won’t take a play off, but at best he’ll be a functional starter and not an anchor.
CFN Projection: Third Round