NFL Draft Day 3: Saturday Schedule And Updated Draft Order

The first round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 5 p.m. Thursday. The final mock drafts are pouring in and soon we will have actual picks to talk about instead of just projections.

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NFL Draft Grades: Four Arizona Defensive Products Earn Highest Marks

The 2011 NFL Draft is has brought a few surprises and plenty of good news for fans. A distraction from the CBA fight and legal mess over the lockout, the draft gives the promise of hope for teams needing to upgrade their rosters. This year the NFL Draft featured four players from Arizona high schools who were drafted in the top three rounds. Prince AmukamaraCameron Jordan, Brooks Reed, and Dontay Moch a play on the defensive side of the ball and all four grade extremely high for their new teams.

It's possible a class of NFL Draft prospects from Arizona has done better than these four, but if so, we can't remember it. All of these high-grade players will have a chance to impact their teams immediately and one or two could possibly join Maryvale Highschool's Darren Woodson (a classmate of mine) at the pantheon of defensive stars.

Prince Amukamara, like Woodson, comes from a west side high school. Apollo High School, home to to Arizona Republic beat writer Paul Coro as well, is proud of Prince who played running back for most of his high school career. It wasn't until his sophomore year at Nebraska that he converted to cornerback where he excelled and was eventually the second-rated CB in the 2011 NFL Draft behind only Cardinal's pick, Patrick Peterson.

Amukamara fell to the New York Giants at no. 19 and they were thrilled to get him. 77 percent of Giants fans graded the Prince pick an "A - a home run".

Cameron Jordan played high school ball at Chandler High School. One of many great defensive ends in the 2011 Draft, the New Orleans Saints selected him with the 24th overall pick. The choice helped earn the Saints a grade "A" in the early draft grades.

Brooks Reed not only played high school football at Sabino High School in Tucson, Arizona but he stayed local and played for the University of Arizona Wildcats. Reed fell out of the first round where the defensive end was projected to go in mock drafts and right into the laps of very happy Houston Texan fans. SB Nation Houston said the following about the Texan's second round (42nd overall) pick. "Grade: A slightly used record of Nena's 99 Luftballons". No, we don't really know what that means either but we are sure it much be positive.

Dontay Moch not played high school football at Hamilton High School in Chandler, he blogged regularly here at SB Nation Arizona about his preparation leading up to being drafted early in the third round by the Cincinnati Bengals73 precent of Bengals fans polled like the pick and the other 27 percent just haven't learned enough yet.

Overall, it was a fantastic 2011 NFL Draft for Arizona schools. All four of these guys will certainly have great careers in the NFL and we wish them the best.


2011 NFL Draft Grades: NFC West, Who Came Out Best?

Ah, the NFC West. You've been the laughingstock of the NFL for a few years now, and last season a 7-9 team won the division. Did the 2011 NFL Draft do anything to improve these mediocre squads? Lets break it down, starting with the division champs, the Seattle Seahawks.

Seattle Seahawks: The 'Hawks wanted to improve their porous offensive line, drafting OT James Carpenter and OG John Moffitt. These guys are both good picks for this team, and will give their QB more time to make decisions. After that, they picked up three guys for the secondary, a wide receiver and a linebacker. All in all, pretty good draft for Seattle. Grade: B-

St. Louis Rams: "Sam Bradford needs weapons. We must supply him with the goods," was the mantra of the 2011 draft by management. DE Robert Quinn was the obvious choice in the first round, but then the Rams grabbed TE Lance Kendricks (who torches teams), WR Austin Pettis and WR Greg Salas. Those three should give Bradford some more options as he looks to bring the Rams back to the playoffs. Great job by St. Louis. Grade: A-

San Francisco 49ers: Aldon Smith was a risky pick by the Niners in the first round. I'm not sure I like any of their picks, other than Colin Kaepernick (he looks like he could be decent). Chris Culliver is not a good pick in the third round, and none of their other draft choices appear to have the right tools to be great. Harbaugh better know what he's doing over there. Grade: D

Arizona Cardinals: Shore up the secondary? Check. Get a few more offensive weapons? Check. Grab a potential stud linebacker? Check. Draft a franchise quarterback? Fail. Arizona better have lined up a good QB to come in and play under center, or this team will win 5 games again in 2011. Grade: B+ (C- if John Skelton is Arizona's QB).


NFL Draft Day 3: Saturday Schedule And Updated Draft Order For Round 4

The 2011 NFL Draft enters it's final day on Saturday with Rounds 4 through Rounds 7 scheduled to start at 9:00 p.m. (PT). The fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh round are the time we separate the casual fans from the hard core college and pro football junkies. For those who have nothing better to do on a Saturday, the action is broadcast live on TV on either ESPN or the NFL Network. You can also watch online at

SB Nation's NFL Draft Hub, will continue its coverage of over pick. Here's a summary of the picks in each round: first round draft pickssecond round draft picks and third round draft picks. They also have a complete list of the best available players remaining.

Here's the full updated draft order for Round 4 and here's a list of all the remaining picks in the 2011 NFL Draft:

98) Carolina
99) Seattle (from New England via Denver)
100) Buffalo
101) Cincinnati
102) Cleveland
103) Arizona
104) Philadelphia (from Washington)
105) Houston
106) Minnesota
107) Seattle (from Detroit)
108) Denver (from San Francisco)
109) Tennessee
110) Dallas
111) Miami
112) St. Louis
113) Oakland
114) Jacksonville
115) San Francisco (from San Diego)
116) Tampa bay
117) New York Giants
118) Kansas City
119) Indianapolis
120) Philadelphia
121) Jacksonville (from New Orleans)
122) Buffalo (from Seattle)
123) Baltimore
124) Cleveland (from Atlanta)
125) Oakland (from New England)
126) New York Jets
127) Washington (from Chicago)
128) Pittsburgh
129) Green Bay
130) Tennessee (compensatory)
131) Green Bay (compensatory)


Tragedy In Alabama Keeps NFL Draft In Perspective

While most of us are following intently our teams' selections and the trade and pick rumors in the 2011 NFL Draft, there are some who are suffering real tragedy. While most of us have complained about a lack of offseason NFL news other than lockout rhetoric, people in Alabama are suffering the aftermath of yesterday's tornado. 

Our hearts go out to those who have suffered losses in the South, particularly Alabama long snapper Carson Tinker. He was caught in the middle of the storm and lost his girlfriend in it. He himself was injured, being flung 50 feet from his home. The girlfriend, Ashley Harrison, also a student at the University of Alabama, and was reportedly the first Alabama student to have been found deceased in the storm. 

So while we are cheering or booing our teams and hoping for a great player of value and/or impact, let us also keep a place in our minds and hearts to remember that at the end of the day football is not the be-all, end-all in life. We have friends and family and should remember for at least a moment how fleeting life can be. 


Rick Gosselin's NFL Mock Draft Has A 'Prince' Of A Surprise In Store

Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News is one of the top mock draft experts. His mocks over the years have consistently been noted for their accuracy. Peter King cites him, along with Mike Mayock, as top sources for 2011 NFL Mock Draft information. Gosslin's latest mock draft is behind the pay wall, but thanks to our friends and overlords at SB Nation HQ, we have a peak under the skirt for you.

Gosselin's top five in his mock draft looks very similar to what the other experts -- Kiper, McShay, Mayock -- are reporting. Cam Newton first, followed by Von Miller, Marcell Dareus, and A.J. Green in the two through four slots. Like most of the mocks, Gosselin also has Patrick Peterson going fifth to the Arizona Cardinals.

Where things get interesting is with the quarterbacks. Gosselin has five (FIVE) quarterbacks going in the top 12. They are: Newton to the Panthers, Blaine Gabbert to the 49ers, Jake Locker to the Titans, Christian Ponder to the 49ers and Andy Dalton to the Vikings. That's a lot of reaching right there.

Another surprise involves Apollo High School (Glendale, AZ) star, CB Prince Amukamara. Prince is a top 10 pick in most mock drafts but Gosselin has him falling all the way to the 25th pick and going to the Seahawks. That's a double-gut punch for Arizona football fans, but fortunately, this is just one man's mock.

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.


NFL Draft Trade Rumors: Falcons Coming Hard For Cardinals Pick Glazer Reports

Everyone seems to want Patrick Peterson. The Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys were previously mentioned in rumors as teams interested in a trade with the Arizona Cardinals to get the fifth pick and nab the talented LSU cornerback. Now it seems, we can add the Atlanta Falcons to the list of potential suitors.

Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported via twitter that the Falcons are aggressively looking for a play maker and want to get into the top seven and are, "talking w Cards, Browns and 49ers w Browns the most likely spot."

Earlier this week SI's Peter King reported that the Falcons wanted to trade into the top 10 to acquire WR A.J. Green or WR Julio Jones according to SB Nation's Joel Thorman.

With all these teams wanting the Cardinals pick, one might think the Cardinals, a team with a lot of needs themselves, might also consider using it to take a sweet player to help them, you know, win more games.


NFL Draft Trade Rumor Update Via Peter King: Cardinals Could Trade Down With Houston

Peter King has spoken his last words before the 2011 NFL Draft via his wisdom-filled column at King starts by summarizing the mock drafts of two other media experts, Mike Mayock of NFL Network and Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News. Both Mayock and Gosselin agree on their top seven picks and both have LSU's Patrick Peterson going to the Arizona Cardinals with the fifth pick.

Peterson, in King's world, is the hot commodity of the 2011 NFL Draft. Todd McShay thinks that the Houston Texans are so desperate to get Peterson that the will bribe the Cardinals into trading down. We've previously heard a similar rumor about the Dallas Cowboys

His highness*, Peter King, isn't so sure that the Texans would be willing to pay the price the Cardinals would likely demand:

I've been told in the past couple of days that Houston GM Rick Smith is loathe to use so much draft currency to move up from 11 to five or seven to get Peterson (it would likely cost him the Texans' second-round pick to do so).

In other King news, he believes Cam Newton will indeed go number one to the Panthers and thinks Blaine Gabbert will be gobbled up by Cincinnati or Arizona. He also thinks there's a chance the Patriots will trade one of their three picks in the top 33 for a 2012 first round. But honestly, who cares. 

One thing King is most certain about is the unpredictability of tonight's draft action. We appreciate that honesty but at the same time it makes us wonder why we bother with all these rumors and mock drafts in the first place? The answer, of course, is because you read them.

* No offense intended towards Mr. King. His name is "King" so we feel honor-bound to make at least one bad joke at his expense.


NFL Draft 2011: TV Schedule And ESPN Start Times For Weekend Fun

The 2011 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday evening, or late afternoon for those in the Western time zones. The action gets going officially at 5:04 p.m. (AZT) when the Carolina Panthers official get on the clock and prepare to take the Cam Newton. At 5:10, the Panthers will begin regretting their choice, a process that will last for the next several years as Newton joins a long line of number one pick busts.

In round 1, there is a full ten minutes between each pick which is plenty of time to make fun of anything. At that pace, the first round will last until about 9:00 p.m. That assumes, of course, that angry players who are mad at the owners over the labor issues don't storm the draft and conduct a sit-in. We are very much rooting for that to happen.

The second and third rounds of the draft don't start until Friday at 3:30 p.m. Arizona time (which is also known as Pacific Time). Picks are spaced out every seven minutes so this should only last about 17 hours. The rest of the draft -- rounds four through seven -- start on Saturday at 8:00 a.m. Five minutes between each pick during this interminable stretch.

ESPN (main) and NFL Network will be providing live TV coverage of all three days of the draft. Check you local listings for channel information. (Or just start at channel 1 and start randomly flipping through until you find it.) We suggest you treat the draft like the Super Bowl and invite some friends over, eat too much crappy food, and drink a lot of beer. We guarantee that will improve your view experience. 

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.


NFL Draft Day Rumor: Cardinals Have Deal In Place With Bulger, Will Skip Gabbert

The latest tidbit of information suggests that the Arizona Cardinals will pass on quarterback Blaine Gabbert with the no. 5 pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. The Cardinals were widely believed to be targeting Gabbert in most mock drafts just a few weeks ago. The team clearly, obviously, desperately, has a need to fill under center. Lately however, most insiders have veered away from Gabbert for the Cardinals and today we learn there could be a good reason why. The Cardinals, according to a report by Rob Rang of the CBS Sports, have an "understanding" with veteran free agent quarterback Marc Bulger.

A lot of people in the league feel the Cardinals already have an understanding with pending free agent quarterback Marc Bulger. The Cardinals would have liked to sign Bulger last year, and coach Ken Whisenhunt lobbied for a deal, but Arizona had already agreed with Derek Anderson and management didn't see a way to bring in two veterans.

This certainly makes a lot of sense. It's well known that coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't predisposed to rookie QBs and with Larry Fitzgerald coming up on free agency the team needs a guy immediately. With the NFC West still packed with crap teams, the 5-11 Cardinals must feel they could get right back in the playoff hunt this season. Gabbert is widely considered a prospect who's going to need some time to develop. Time isn't something the Cardinals have much of these days. 


Todd McShay Final NFL Mock Draft Differs From Kiper: Need Versus Best Available

Todd McShay of Scouts Inc. and ESPN has published his final 2011 NFL Mock Draft and his top five differ from the order laid down by Mel Kiper. McShay and Kiper agree on the first four picks with Cam Newton going first, Von Miller going second, Marcell Dareus going third, and A.J. Green going fourth. But when it comes to the fifth pick, the pick currently owned by the Arizona Cardinals, McShay and Kiper part ways.

Todd McShay has the Cardinals taking DE/OL Aldon Smith from Missouri. According to McShay, Smith would move to outside linebacker in the Cardinals 3-4 system and be an edge rusher the team needs. With Von Miller already off the board, McShay obviously feels the Cardinals need at this position is so great that they'd take the second best player to fill that role instead of grabbing a top talent at a lesser-need position.

Mel Kiper in his final mock draft goes the other way. He has the Cardinals taking the best player available on his board at number five, Patrick Peterson

McShay's final mock has the Cardinals taking quarterback Jake Locker with their second round pick (38 overall) which is an interesting prediction. Some people think Locker will go as high as the middle of the first round so to find him still available that late is intriguing. 

In the third round (69th overall) McShay slots in TE Lance Kendricks from Wisconsin for the Cardinals. There's no doubt the tight end is a need for the Arizona offense but this feels a bit high.

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.

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