2013 NFL Draft - Arizona Cardinals

Posted Apr 29, 2013

Arizona Cardinals - NFC West, 2013 Draft Selections & Prospects

Arizona Cardinals

2013 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami | New England | NY Jets
WEST Denver | Kansas City |  Oakland | San Diego
NORTH Baltimore | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh
SOUTH Houston | Indy | Jacksonville | Tennessee

2013 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    
- 2012 Arizona Draft Breakdown
- 2011 Arizona Draft Breakdown
- 2010 Arizona Draft Breakdown  

The Draft Was ... outstanding. There will always be an argument over taking North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper than Alabama's Chance Warmack, but there's no real complaint with the pick considering his athleticism. LSU's Kevin Minter is a quarterback of a linebacker taken in the second round, and Texas defensive end Alex Okafor was an absolute steal in the fourth. Will Tyrann Matheiu work out? He was a huge, huge chance to take in the third, but he's in the right situation. Running backs Stepfan Taylor from Stanford in the fifth and Andre Ellington from Clemson in the sixth are both late rounders who'll make the roster, and Texas A&M's Ryan Swope should be a part of the receiving mix even though he went in the sixth.
Best Value Pick: RB Andre Ellington, Clemson in the 6th round
Worst Value Pick: DB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU in the 3rd round
They Should've ... taken Connecticut's Blidi Wreh-Wilson instead of the Honey Badger in the third. Lost in all the gushing and the crying over Mathieu's story is that he's still small and still slow. Meanwhile Wreh-Wilson is a second round talent who was sliding, and is a much, much better all-around prospect than Mathieu. He went one pick later to Tennessee, and big-hitting safety T.J. McDonald went right after to St. Louis. Rutgers' Logan Ryan, who went to the Patriots with the 21st pick in the round, would've been a stronger selection.
Division Draft Ranking: 1
Conference Draft Ranking: 1

OG Jonathan Cooper, North Carolina
6-3, 311
Overall Pick No. 7 CFN Position Rank: 2

CFN Analysis: There was a thought late in the draft game about whether or not Cooper would go ahead of Chance Warmack, and he did. He's a different type of blocker with more athleticism and more quickness, and while he's not a blaster, he's a good battler who can do it all. There's no downside here, and an easy case could be made that he might be the best player taken in the first seven picks. He'll be a key fixture of the Cardinal front line for a decade.

A special, versatile blocker who'd be getting all the praise and all the attention among the guards if it wasn't for Chance Warmack. Able to work anywhere on the line, including center, he's a rare athlete for a player of his size with excellent movement and terrific all-around skills, able to beat up speedier interior pass rushers and with the strength to beat people up when needed. Tremendous in workouts, he's very quick, very strong and very good in interviews, he's almost the prototype. Almost. He has to work to get up over 300 pounds and will likely dip down below once the season starts. Built like a tackle more than a brutish guard, he might end up at center. If he can hold up and stay healthy, he'll be a rock of an interior blocker for the next decade.
CFN Projection: First Round


ILB Kevin Minter, LSU (Jr.) 6-0, 246
Overall Pick No. 45 CFN Position Rank: 1
While he doesn't have tremendous foot speed and isn't necessarily going to go sideline-to-sideline, he's a terrific tackler who sucks up everything that comes within his range. Smooth, he doesn't take a wasted step and he holds up extremely well against the more powerful teams and blocker. Slippery, he's quick enough to be able sidestep blockers and get in on a play, and he's able to get back into pass coverage without any problem. There might not be anything flashy to his game, and he's not going to get into the backfield on a regular basis, but he'll put up huge numbers and doesn't have to come off the field on third downs. While he struggled at the Combine and didn't show off much in offseason workouts, he's a good, pure football player with almost no downside.
CFN Projection: Second Round


CB Tyrann Mathieu, LSU (Jr.) 5-9, 186
Overall Pick No. 69 CFN Position Rank: 12
Yes, there are a ton of problems and concerns. He's too small, he's too slow, and, oh yeah, the knucklehead streak. Woefully weak to be a safety and just not fast enough to be a full-time corner, there isn't an NFL position for him. There's also the problem of being given chance after chance before getting booted from LSU. It took something truly special to get in that much hot water and never play again for the Tigers, but he never got back in the mix after his transcendent 2011 season. However, despite all the obvious problems and concerns, he's a magical special teamer and a magnet for the ball and the big play. As long as he's drafted outside of the top 50, he's absolutely worth the risk, but everyone has to go in with eyes wide open.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round


DE Alex Okafor, Texas 6-5, 264
Overall Pick 103 CFN Position Rank: 2
For all those looking for the rock-solid, totally safe, no-bust, defensive producer, Okafor is it. He might not have the high-end talent of several of the prospects in this draft, but you know exactly what you're going to get. Well built, he has decent size and strength against the run with the quickness to be a decent pass rusher from a variety of ways and angles. He's never going to fly into the backfield, but he's creative, sound and disciplined – the Texas run defense was a problem last year, but it wasn't his fault. He knows exactly what he's doing and he's always going to bring the effort as a potential leader and main man for a defensive front, even if he's not the best player on a line. There's not going to be anything special about what he'll do as either an outside linebacker or an end, and he'll never put up big sack totals, but get him on a line and he'll start and be sound from Day One.
CFN Projection: Second Round

OG Earl Watford, James Madison 6-3, 300
Overall Pick No. 116 CFN Position Rank: 8
Extremely athletic, he moves well for a guard with tremendous feet, outstanding balance and enough strength to grow into a terrific pro blocker – he has the tools. While he's missing the raw bulk and doesn't have the look of a top guard, he's good enough to shine in a zone-blocking scheme once he gets his technique down. Don't be shocked if he slides a little bit because of the lack of polish, but also look for several teams to fight and trade to trade to grab him if he slides past the third round – there's too much there to pass on. If he gets with the right team and the right coaching staff, he could be a steal of a starter.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round


RB Stepfan Taylor, Stanford 5-9, 214
Overall Pick No. 140 CFN Position Rank: 9
There no flash, little upside and no deep-run potential, but he's a workmanlike back who always produces and always comes up with positive yards. One of the strongest interior runners in the draft, he doesn't fumble, is willing to hit and does all the little things right. Coaches love him because of his toughness and desire to always keep working, but he might have a short ceiling. There's no speed and the athleticism is lacking to bounce to the outside. There's little reason to think he can be a regular for the passing game, but he'll find a role.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round


WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M 6-0, 205
Overall Pick No. 174 CFN Position Rank: 20
He's going to be lumped in by the lazier scouts as a Wes Welker-Danny Amendola type because he's smallish, played for a Texas school and white, but unlike the former Texas Tech playmakers he's a phenomenal raw athlete with sub-4.4 speed and tremendous quickness and leaping ability. While he's not all that physical and can be knocked off his routes way too easily, he's always finding way to get open and he's not afraid to take a pop – to a fault. Concussions have been a problem and he takes way too many big shots with the potential to have big issues if he gets blown up a few times.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

RB Andre Ellington, Clemson 5-9, 199
Overall Pick No. 187 CFN Position Rank: 7
There's big-time upside as a home-run hitter who needs just a sliver of daylight to take off and make something big happen. A blazer with great vision and burst, he could grow into a devastating third down back and a bit of a specialist in a rotation – get him in space and the defender is in big trouble. At the very least he could turn into a good returner with the talent to break a few here and there, but he's going to be considered a lead running back who can carry the workload. He's not going to pound on anyone and he's never going to block anybody, but he could become a gamechanger.
CFN Projection: Second Round


TE D.C. Jefferson, Rutgers 6-6, 255
Overall Pick No. 219 CFN Position Rank: Not Ranked