2011 NFL Mock Draft: Cardinals Go Defense In Rounds 1 & 2

With the 2011 NFL Draft coming up in just a week and a half, SB Nation has made the latest projections in their 2011 NFL mock draft. This time they have mocked a full two rounds. For the Arizona Cardinals, the projections have them going for defensive players with their first two picks.  

With their first selection, much like several previous projections, the Cardinals select LSU cornerback Patrick Peterson after fan preference Von Miller is drafted with the third pick by the Buffalo Bills. 

Here is the explanation for Peterson at number five:

Cornerback isn't the big need, but teaming Peterson with Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie would be very enticing.

It is hard to disagree with this pick. Peterson is arguably the best prospect in the entire draft and has the potential to make a huge impact not only on defense, but also on special teams with his ability to make plays as a returner.

In the second round, the Cards take a bit of a risk on a pass rusher, selecting Georgia OLB Justin Houston. Says the article:

The Vernon Gholston comparisons are already flying, but this is good value for a potentially excellent pass rusher.

I think a Gholston comparison is a bit unfair. Houston would not be selected at the top of the draft like Gholston was and Houston will end up playing OLB, while the Jets used Gholston at DE. The only question is if he is like Cody Brown, who after being drafted in 2009 was cut before the 2010 season. 

With the drafting of two defensive players, it would seem that Arizona will most certainly be a player in obtaining a QB by trade or via free agency and are banking as well on the further development of John Skelton for the future.

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