The NFL lockout is lifted by court ruling which has thrown the entire league into lawless chaos. Players are visiting team facilities only to be told they can't actually workout and no one really knows what's going on. Meanwhile, the 2011 NFL Draft is just days away and the trade rumors are starting to heat up. The Arizona Cardinals have the fifth overall pick in the draft's first round and certainly their phones must be ringing off the hook with offers from teams wanting to move up.
What's less clear is what the Cardinals or any of the other top teams will actually do. Why ruin the draft day surprise and take away from the NFL's last big chance to get the full attention of the sports world until their labor issues are fully resolved. With no CBA in place it had been assumed that players couldn't be traded as part of the typical draft day fun, but now that Judge Susan Nelson has lifted the lockout with a stroke of her pen it's not at all clear that rule still applies.
This leaves teams like the Cardinals scrambling to evaluate the situation and make last minute contingency plans. Perhaps they really can trade that fifth pick to the Philadelphia Eagles for Kevin Kolb as had been rumored weeks ago. A deal like that would give coach Ken Whisenhunt the quarterback he needs without having to deal with another rookie under center.
Arizona Republic beat writer Kent Somers, however, thinks the Cardinals won't draft a quarterback at all and is picking cornerback Patrick Peterson in his mock drafts but also thinks it could be defensive end Robert Quinn if the Cardinals don't trade their pick.
Somers also relayed a Peter King report that the Cardinals "considered moving up in last year's draft to take receiver Dez Bryant." Last year the Cardinals had the 26th pick and took tackle Dan Williams while Bryant went to Dallas with their 24th pick. It's not clear what the Cardinals would have had to give up to move two places forward in the draft.
With so much more on the line in the 2011 NFL Draft and all the uncertainty resulting from the labor situation, don't be surprised if we see a lot of movement on draft day.
The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 5 p.m. (AZT) on Thursday, April 28, and SB Nation has everything you need to prepare: NFL mock drafts, draft projections, scouting reports, the full NFL draft schedule and more. Check it out at SB Nation's NFL Draft page and our NFL Draft blog, Mocking the Draft or for Cardinals coverage, visit Revenge of the Birds.