It has been a nice change of pace on day 3 of the NFL draft, as the Cardinals have been able to address their lack of offensive line talent and added two new players who will likely come in and compete right away for a starting position.
Add in the phenomenal Michael Floyd pick, and a potential #2 cornerback to pair with Patrick Peterson and you have yourself the makings of a very strong and important draft class for the Cardinals.
The Arizona Cardinals 2012 Draft.
13) Michael Floyd, WR Notre Dame
How he fits: Obviously the Cardinals were in need of someone to step up and take the pressure off of Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals brass believe Floyd has that ability.
He’s a strong, physical WR, in the same mold as Larry, with a little more straight line speed, but doesn’t always play as fast as the numbers say he is.
Needs to tighten up his route running, and work on getting better separation in his routes but working with Fitz should help with that.
80) Jamell Fleming, CB Oklahoma
Why he fits: Fleming is excellent in and out of his backpedal, has great hips that make up for his average speed, that allows him to never give up to much separation against the WR.
Has good press man ability getting physical at the line of scrimmage, but his smallish frame can get him overwhelmed at times.
Excellent ball skills, recognizes and makes his breaks and gets to the ball without giving up penalties.
112) Bobby Massie, OT Ole Miss
Pay attention at 1:50 where he pancakes newest Rams defensive tackle Michael Brockers.
Well the Cardinals are going to get a very good player, who is pissed off after he was hearing round 1 chatter, and it was thought to be a lock he would be gone at the beginning of round 2.
- Light on his feet and quickly engages his defender.
- Well proportioned, long armed and strong build.
- Can physically dominate people at times.
- Is just average in his lateral speed.
Played right tackle, but with a strong kick and good anchor projects as a left tackle at the next level, but let’s allow him to develop.
151) Senio Kelemete, OG Washington
Kelemete played LT for Washington
Young in his development as an offensive lineman, but has all the attributes you want in a guard.
Great build, good strength in his lower half and does a great job getting to blocks in the running game.
Needs to clean up his footwork and make sure he gets a body on his man every time.
His strength and huge upside didn’t move to the offensive line until 2009, makes him an offensive line coaches dream. His movement in space, and ability to get to the second level could really be a fit.
177) Justin Bethel, CB Presbyterian
Good build, with long arms and fluid hips in coverage, but comes out of his stance when he breaks on the ball.
He is a fantastic athlete and a potential move to FS as he comes into the league and finds his way. Great ball skills, excellent back pedal and a willing tackler. Had him going in the fifth round to the Colts, so I am very excited to see this type of athleticism in the later rounds.
185) Ryan Lindley, QB San Diego St
Lindley has the look and build of an NFL quarterback, he is a tall, well put together prospect with a monster arm.
Can make all the throws both to the sidelines and in the deep routes, but has trouble with consistency and his footwork in the pocket.
Is a developmental, practice squad type pick, but after some time and some work could actually push for a position in the NFL, if he cleans up his footwork in the pocket.
221) Nate Potter, OT Boise St
Call me crazy, but this is the potential left tackle of the future of the Cardinals. I have scouted Potter a lot, and his 2010 tape is really impressive, but just as impressive as he was in 2010, he was underwhelming in 2011.
- Solidly built with long arms and a frame to add mass to.
- Good looking pass protection blocker.
- Shows good body control and balance in and out of his stance.
- Needs to see the inside of a weight room.
- History of shoulder issues.
He is an intriguing prospect. that lacks the base strength, needs time to get stronger, and works better in space as opposed to attacking his defender and punishing him. He will not be needed to compete right away and can sit a year or two, get stronger, grow into his mammoth body, and like I said, potentially become a franchise type left tackle.
Adding him in the 7th round was a high reward, low risk prospect that if he can get stronger and grow into his body, oh and stay healthy, he could be a steal.
Overall: Fantastic end of the draft for the Cardinals, nabbing two offensive lineman that have high potential, and then getting a gift of Bobby Massie falling to the fourth round.
Adding in the Michael Floyd pick in round 1, which allows Andre Roberts to move into a more natural position in the slot, and Early Doucet becoming nothing more than a fourth receiver, is a strong play in round 1.
While the Cardinals traded away their second round pick in order to get Kevin Kolb, and that hasn’t necessarily worked out, they were able to rebound in round 3 with the pick of potential starting CB Jamell Fleming.
Fleming shows a deft ability to make plays in a zone scheme, and should compete with recovering Greg Toler for the position starting across from Patrick Peterson. More importantly he is a 4 way special teams player, and a valuable asset in the depth department.
Massie should be able to start from day one as the right tackle for the Cardinals, and will play with an immediate chip on his shoulder. While there will be concerns about the Cardinals ability to run to the right side of the line, Adam Snyder is not the greatest of run blockers either, Massie is a definitive upgrade in pass protection because of his smooth slide, strong hands, and long arms. He is going to make life a little bit easier for Kolb or third year man John Skelton.
One of the most exciting selections of the draft for me though is Justin Bethel, a phenomenal athlete who’s measurables don’t quite match up with the tape yet, but you can’t teach what he has naturally.
Bethel screams free safety upside, and with the depth of talent the Cardinals now possess, shouldn’t be rushed into any type of play quickly.
As I said with Kelemete, Lindley and Potter, they all are developmental picks with high upside, that need time, but when you have so much need on the offensive line, adding depth like Kelemete and Potter is a necessary evil.
Overall, I loved the Cardinals draft for the simple reason that they addressed almost all their needs, would have liked to see a pass rusher, but this is what makes a great draft. Impact players early, developmental talent late, and the opportunity for them to grow together.