Cards Draft: RB Williams (38), TE Housler (69), DE Acho (103), FB Sherman (136), ILB Sturdivant (171), DL Carter (184), WR Sampson (249)

The second and third rounds of the NFL Draft are filled with intriguing football talent. The fourth through seventh rounds are a crap shoot.

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Undrafted Free Agent List: Plenty Of Names Available Once Lockout Ends

Typically the days after the NFL draft are reserved for two things. The first is partying by the guys who were drafted and the second is teams scrambling to sign free agents who weren't drafted. Most of those guys just end up in camp as warm practice bodies but every now and then one of those undrafted free agents from the list turns out to be a diamond in the rough. There were after all, 23 undrafted free agents in this year's Pro Bowl.

Some of the top names out there include according to SB Nation's Jason Kirk include:

Kentucky Wildcats RB Derrick Locke, North Carolina Tar Heels DB Kendric Burney, Clemson Tigers SS DeAndre McDaniel, Fort Valley State WR Ricardo Lockette, Central Michigan LB Nick Bellore, UNC DB Deunta Williams, Notre Dame Fighting Irish DT Ian Williams and Fresno State WR Jamel Hamler. Names like Oregon Ducks WR Jeff Maehl and Boston College Eagles LB Mark Herzlich also surely ring a bell?

Here's the list of 2011 undrafted free agents, according to Click the header of a column to sort it:

Player Position Height Weight School
Ryan Bartholomew C 6'1" 302 Syracuse
Alexander Linnenkohl C 6'2" 304 Oregon St.
Deunta Williams CB 6'2" 205 North Carolina
Niles Brinkley DB 5'10" 193 Wisconsin
Kendric Burney DB 5'9" 186 North Carolina
Mario Butler DB 6'0" 182 Georgia Tech
Vance Cuff DB 5'10" 178 Georgia
Joe Lefeged DB 6'0" 210 Rutgers
Andrew McGee DB 5'11" 195 Oklahoma St.
Kevin Rutland DB 6'0" 190 Missouri
David Sims DB 5'9" 200 Iowa St.
Devon Torrence DB 6'0" 199 Ohio St.
Wayne Daniels DE 6'0" 260 TCU
Ladi Ajiboye DL 6'1" 297 South Carolina
Pierre Allen DL 6'4" 273 Nebraska
Brandon Bair DL 6'6" 276 Oregon
Ugo Chinasa DL 6'5" 264 Oklahoma St.
Demarcus Dobbs DL 6'2" 281 Georgia
Kentrell Lockett DL 6'5" 241 Mississippi
Martin Parker DL 6'2" 303 Richmond
Adrian Taylor DL 6'3" 311 Oklahoma
Cedric Thornton DL 6'3" 309 Southern Arkansas
Colby Whitlock DL 6'2" 302 Texas Tech
Ian Williams DL 6'1" 319 Notre Dame
Ryan Winterswyk DL 6'4" 268 Boise St.
John Graves DT 6'3" 286 Virginia Tech
Sealver Siliga DT 6'2" 305 Utah
Henry Hynoski FB 6'0" 257 Pittsburgh
Will Hill FS 6'1" 202 Florida
Jerrard Tarrant FS 6'0" 204 Georgia Tech
Justin Boren G 6'3" 309 Ohio St.
Dan Bailey K 6'0" 193 Oklahoma St.
Ryan Donahue K 6'2" 193 Iowa
Kai Forbath K 5'11" 197 UCLA
Reid Forrest K 6'0" 189 Washington St.
Joshua Jasper K 5'10" 174 LSU
Jacob Rogers K 6'2" 213 Cincinnati
Nick Bellore LB 6'1" 245 Central Michigan
Mark Herzlich LB 6'4" 244 Boston College
Jeremiha Hunter LB 6'1" 239 Iowa
Elijah Joseph LB 6'1" 243 Temple
Orie Lemon LB 6'1" 242 Oklahoma St.
Scott Lutrus LB 6'2" 241 Connecticut
Adrian Moten LB 6'2" 228 Maryland
Derrell Smith LB 6'0" 243 Syracuse
Daniel Aiken OL 6'4" 244 Virginia
Garrett Chisolm OL 6'5" 312 South Carolina
Joshua Davis OL 6'7" 313 Georgia
Ray Dominguez OL 6'4" 334 Arkansas
Adam Grant OL 6'6" 325 Arizona
Richard Henry OL 6'3" 308 Nebraska
Kyle Hix OL 6'7" 318 Texas
Kevin Hughes OL 6'4" 302 Southeast Louisiana
Zachary Hurd OL 6'7" 316 Connecticut
Carl Johnson OL 6'5" 361 Florida
Jarriel King OL 6'5" 317 South Carolina
Richard Lapham OL 6'8" 315 Boston College
Kristofer O'Dowd OL 6'4" 304 USC
Stephen Schilling OL -- -- Michigan
Willie Smith OL 6'5" 310 East Carolina
Zane Taylor OL 6'3" 309 Utah
Isaiah Thompson OL 6'3" 300 Houston
Chas Henry P 6'3" 215 Florida
Ryan Colburn QB 6'3" 223 Fresno St.
Patrick Devlin QB 6'3" 225 Delaware
Jerrod Johnson QB 6'5" 251 Texas A&M
Joshua Nesbitt QB 6'1" 217 Georgia Tech
Joshua Portis QB 6'3" 211 California (PA)
Scott Tolzien QB 6'2" 212 Wisconsin
Jeff Van Camp QB 6'5" 218 Florida Atlantic
Armando Allen RB 5'8" 199 Notre Dame
Matt Asiata RB 5'11" 229 Utah
Damien Berry RB 5'10" 211 Miami
John Clay RB 6'1" 230 Wisconsin
Graig Cooper RB 5'10" 205 Miami
Noel Devine RB 5'8" 179 West Virginia
Shaun Draughn RB 5'11" 213 North Carolina
Darren Evans RB 6'0" 227 Virginia Tech
Mario Fannin RB 5'10" 231 Auburn
Derrick Locke RB 5'8" 188 Kentucky
Brandon Saine RB 5'11" 220 Ohio St.
Vai Taua RB 5'10" 213 Nevada
Jeron Johnson SS 5'10" 212 Boise St.
Deandre McDaniel SS 6'0" 217 Clemson
Nate Williams SS 6'0" 211 Washington
Preston Dial TE 6'3" 237 Alabama
Charlie Gantt TE 6'4" 252 Michigan St.
Cameron Graham TE 6'3" 244 Louisville
Schuylar Oordt TE 6'6" 261 Northern Iowa
Zack Pianalto TE 6'3" 256 North Carolina
Allen Reisner TE 6'2" 248 Iowa
Weslye Saunders TE 6'5" 270 South Carolina
Darvin Adams WR 6'2" 190 Auburn
Armon Binns WR 6'3" 209 Cincinnati
DeAndre Brown WR 6'6" 233 Southern Miss
Mark Dell WR 6'0" 193 Michigan St.
Tori Gurley WR 6'4" 216 South Carolina
Jamel Hamler WR 6'1" 193 Fresno St.
Andre Holmes WR 6'4" 210 Hillsdale
Lestar Jean WR 6'3" 215 Florida Atlantic
Ricardo Lockette WR 6'2" 211 Fort Valley St.
Jeffrey Maehl WR 6'1" 190 Oregon
Joe Morgan WR 6'1" 189 Walsh
O.J. Murdock WR 5'11" 197 Fort Hays St.
Jamar Newsome WR 6'1" 200 Central Florida
Jock Sanders WR 5'6" 181 West Virginia
Dane Sanzenbacher WR 5'11" 182 Ohio St.
Keith Smith WR 6'2" 214 Purdue
Owen Spencer WR 6'2" 195 N.C. State
Terrence Toliver WR 6'4" 212 LSU
Terrance Turner WR 6'2" 220 Indiana
Marshall Williams WR 6'1" 188 Wake Forest
Jimmy Young WR 6'0" 204 TCU

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Because It's Never Too Soon To Make Things Up

Every year after the NFL Draft we look back at the various mock draft boards and laugh mockingly at how wrong they were. The best experts in the country with the final mock drafts just days before the actual draft got nine of the first 32 picks right. That's an accuracy rate of just 28 percent under the best possible conditions. So, when you look at this 2012 NFL Mock Draft please don't believe it has any connection to reality.

What you can take from such an early look at the 2012 mock draft board is a peak at the college football players that at least two guys think will be important names one year from now. We know for sure that Andrew Luck will be at the top of the list. We likely would have been the top guy taken in the 2011 NFL Draft if he hadn't done the crazy thing and returned to school for another year. It is interesting to think that a guy who would make such a nutty decision could still be considered a top pick, but there you have it.

So, enjoy this peak at the 2012 NFL Draft and just remember that it means very little. Here's the top 10 picks guesses:

1. San Francisco 49ers: Andrew Luck, QB, Stanford. Even with Colin Kaepernick on board, it's tough to imagine Jim Harbaugh turning down any opportunity to reunite with his Stanford protege.

2. Carolina Panthers: Quinton Coples, DE, North Carolina. Even with their franchise quarterback in Cam Newton, this team is probably going to struggle. Coples is an athletic marvel, and the Panthers need a pass rush.

3. Washington Redskins: Matt Barkley, QB, USC. During ESPN's draft telecast this weekend, John Beck's name was floated as a possible starter. So yeah, the Redskins are taking a quarterback early next year.

4. Tennessee Titans: Alshon Jeffery, WR, South Carolina. Jake Locker is Tennessee's future. If it's going to be a pleasant future, he'll need more offensive weaponry. Jeffery is very gifted.

5. Buffalo Bills: Landry Jones, QB, Oklahoma. The Bills still don't have a long-term answer at quarterback; they have Ryan Fitzpatrick. Jones has done nothing but produce at Oklahoma, and has solid upside.

6. Arizona Cardinals: Matt Kalil, OT, USC. Quarterback will be a possibility, but Kalil is next year's top tackle prospect, and the Cardinals won't be able to ignore OT much longer.

7. Seattle Seahawks: Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford. Seattle made their line a priority this year, and it will still be a priority next year. Martin would be a bookend for Russell Okung.

8. Cincinnati Bengals: Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State. Geno Atkins is good, but may not be an every-down player. Worthy would team with fellow MSU product Domata Peko.

9. Denver Broncos: Dre Kirkpatrick, CB, Alabama. Champ Bailey is getting no younger, and Kirkpatrick will enter the league polished and pro-ready, with huge upside.

10. Cleveland Browns: Justin Blackmon, WR, Oklahoma State. The Browns have a nice mix of young receivers, but maybe not a true No. 1. Blackmon torched the Big 12 as a sophomore.


NFL Draft Results: Demarco Sampson Is Cardinals 'Mr. Irrelevant'

"Mr. Irrelevant" is the ignoble title bestowed on the final pick of the NFL Draft. The Arizona Cardinals don't have that final pick, Houston does. The Cardinals have selected DeMarco Sampson with the 249th pick of the draft which makes him just five spots earlier than the Mr. Irrelevant, Cheta Ozougwu.

Sampson is the eight player selected by the Cardinals in the 2011 NFL Draft so he does earn the team Mr. Irrelevant title. The wide receiver from San Diego State will turn 26 during his rookie season (assuming he makes the team). He had extra years of college eligibility granted due to missed seasons due to injury.

Sampson missed the 2006 and 2007 seasons due to a  foot injury and was kicked out of school for poor grades in spring 2008. In his best season, 2010, Sampson had 67 catches, 1,220 yards, and 8 TDs for the Aztechs.

Good luck, Sampson, at least expectations are low.

And so concludes the 2011 NFL Draft. Stay tuned for more analysis and discussion in the coming days.


Quan Sturdivant Taken By Cardinals In 6th Round To Help Inside Linebacker Corps

Quan Sturdivant may or may not turn out to be a solid football player for the Arizona Cardinals. The inside linebacker drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 NFL Draft is the 171st player taken which automatically makes him a bit of a gamble like most other players taken in the late rounds. Certainly there's examples of guys doing really well who were drafted late but there's far more busts coming out of the sixth round. 

One thing about this pick, we aren't likely to forget his name. Quan Sturdivant has a nice ring to it. It's bound to stick in the craw for a few years regardless of what the young man out of North Carolina does in a Cardinals uniform.

Quan has a few clouds hanging over him. He missed five games during the 2010 season due to a hamstring injury and only participated in some of the drills at the NFL Combine. He was also cited for possession of marijuana in 2010. Sturdivant should compete for a job right away as the Cardinals have plenty of holes to fill on the linebacker corp. They are expected not to bring back Gerald Hayes.

2011 NFL Draft Results: Arizona Cardinals Fill A Need By Taking Quan Sturdivant - Revenge of the Birds
It looks like the Cardinals have found their guy to compete with Paris Lenon and possibly line up next to Daryl Washington. Quan Sturdivant, ILB, North Carolina is the choice and he is a guy that Arizona Cardinals fans should see as pick that fills a need.

 Sturdivant was projected to go in the third or fourth round by Mel Kiper Jr. from ESPN, so for the Cardinals to pick him up in the sixth round means that they got tremendous value with their pick.


Cardinals Continue To Ignore Needs, Draft FB Anthony Sherman In 5th Round

While you are out at the pool or playing golf or mowing the lawn (sorry), the 2011 NFL Draft is moving right along. In the fifth round of the draft, the Arizona Cardinals continued the "best available" theme and went with full back Anthony Sherman out of Connecticut. 

Sherman is a beefy 245 pounds at just 5-10 and is rated as a very good special teams player who is considered a "hard-nose blocker and reliable receiver".  He had 63 special team tackles as UConn Huskie.

Asked by the media at Cardinals Draft HQ about not taking an offensive lineman, GM Rod Graves said, "Again, we are allowing our (draft) board to dictate our selections."

Sherman seems to understand his role in life fairly well and reportedly said, "You gotta have a couple screws loose to be a fullback. I don't know if everyone can do it, but there are a few of us doing it every day out here."

Here's Revenge of the Bird's take on the Sherman pick:

2011 NFL Draft Results: Arizona Cardinals Draft Fullback Anthony Sherman In The Fifth Round - Revenge of the Birds
Looks like the Cardinals really want to run the ball more. They haven't upgraded the Offensive Line at all yet, but they have selected Ryan Williams in the second round, and in the fifth round they have added Fullback Anthony Sherman from UConn.


Sam Acho Defensive End Cardinals Need, Selected In 4th Round Of NFL Draft

The Arizona Cardinals needed a defensive lineman in this weekend and in the fourth round of the 2011 NFL Draft they got one in Sam Acho. Acho was a defensive end at Texas but will likely convert to outside linebacker in the Cardinals 3-4 defense. He lacks elite speed of some of the guys the Cardinals passed on earlier in the draft so it will be a waiting game to see if the can provide the pass rush that older vets Joey Porter and Clark Haggans didn't provide.

Acho's top-rated skill according to the ESPN scouting report is his intangibles. Reading through this list of accomplishments, it's easy to see him being a Ken Whisenhunt guy.

Team captain that won team's most valuable player award, most valuable defensive player award and a strength and conditioning award in 2010. Won several other team awards during time at Texas. Head coach Mack Brown called Acho one of the team's best special teams' players. Won several prestigious academic awards including the William V. Campbell Award and community service awards including the Wuerffel Award in 2010.

Representative at NCAA Leadership Council and recipient of Arthur Ashe Award a national award given to minority student-athletes in 2009. Speaks Spanish and has taken multiple trips to Nigeria where his parents grew up.

Cardinals blog Revenge of the Birds will surly be happy with this pick. They targeted Acho before Saturday's portion of the NFL Draft started.

If Available, Should The Cardinals Draft Sam Acho? - Revenge of the Birds
Right now, a lot of us are frustrated that the Cardinals took Running Back Ryan Williams and Tight End Robert Housler instead of some of the pass rushers who were available like Akeem Ayers, Brooks Reed, and Dontay Moch.

 Acho played Defensive End for the Texas Longhorns, and while they vastly underperformed as a team last season he had a good year racking up eight sacks with 60 tackles...He also preformed well in the Combine posting a 4.63 in the 40 yard dash, along with a 37.5 inch vertical leap and good performances in the Linebacker drills.


The Cardinals have one pick each in the fifth (136), sixth (171), and seventh (249) rounds with an extra pick (184) in the sixth. 


Ryan Williams 15th-Ranked Player On Cardinals Board, Beanie Wells 'Excited'

When the Arizona Cardinals selected running back Ryan Williams with the 38th pick in the second round of the 2011 NFL Draft, many people were surprised. The Cardinals defense was seen by most to be a bigger priority and there were still two available edge rushers that most experts had going in the first round of the draft, Brooks Reed and Da'Qaun Bowers.

The Cardinals then drafted their third skill player of the draft in the third round with tight end RobHousler at 69. Coach Ken Whisenhunt explained the picks to the media late in the day on Friday.

"To be quite honest with you, we're looking at pick 38 and we've got the 15th-ranked player starting us back in the face so that's something you really have to consider," the Cardinals' head coach explained.

It seems like the Williams pick means that either Beanie Wells or Tim Hightower won't be coming back. Wells, 22, in his second season with the Cardinals saw his productivity drop and his durability became an issue as he missed three games and only carried the ball 116 times. Of course many, including Wells, felt like he wasn't given enough opportunities to run the ball. 

Tim Hightower, 24, played in all 16 games and started 13 of them. He posted a career-high 4.8 yards per carry but he also continued to fumble the ball at key times. Hightower is a free agent this offseason. Late in the season young LaRod Stephens-Howling, also 23, started to get more opportunities. He finished with 23 rushes and an impressive 4.9 yards per carry.

No one knows what the Cardinals are going to do with their group of running backs now that Ryan Williams is in the mix. Whisenhunt provided no answer to that question other than to say that the pick wasn't designed to send a message to any of his existing players.

Wells for his part sent out a tweet about the Williams pick, "Excited about him! Think he will be great fit for the cards!"

Whisenhunt added more thoughts on Williams, "He brings a lot of things to the table as a running back that are unique -- size, speed, the way he runs. I think he's a very good receiver out of the back field, which, if he can handle the protection aspect of it, give us a good element."

As for the third round pick of tight end Rob Housler, Whisenhunt admitted the young man out of Florida Atlantic needed to work on his blocking game but is confident he has the desire and ability to improve that. Adding another element to the offense was the prime reason for taking Housler.

"As much as we run three wide receiver sets, that when you add a combination of a guy that has that type of speed and receiving ability he can make you a very dynamic offense," Whisenhunt said.

Video of Ken Whisenhunt talking to the media provided by Arizona


NFL Draft, Round 3: Robert Housler Becomes Third Skill Position Pick For Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals are done for Day 2 of the 2011 NFL Draft. With their second round pick (38th overall) they surprised many with Ryan Williams, a running back from Virginia Tech. With their third round pick (69th overall) the Cardinals completed the skill position triumvirate by taking tight end, Robert Houseler from Florida Atlantic.

Housler was ranked as the 124th best player in the 2011 NFL Draft according to ESPN's expert rankings but according to the Cardinals front office he either fills a need that's far more desperate than most people think or he's a lot better football prospect than believed. 

According to Sideline, Housler has, "natural athleticism, good size, very good speed, and was the fastest tight end at the combine." The negative on Housler is his inconsistent concentration and poor blocking. He was listed at 215 lbs but checked in at the combine at 248 lbs and is considered a multi-year project.

At Florida Atlantic, Housler averaged 15.7 yards per catch and totaled eight touchdowns and 1,228 yards in four years.

The second and third round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 3 p.m. (AZT) on Friday, April 29, 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.


Da'Quan Bowers Joins Tampa Bay, Finally Drafted 51st Overall

Da'Quan Bowers was supposed to be a top ten pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. He is an explosive defensive end who racked up 61 tackles last season as a member of the Clemson Tigers.

After "legitimate concerns" were raised about Bowers' knee, which is being reported as prone to injury, Bowers fell from grace faster than Derek Lowe after getting a DUI.

From top ten pick to 51st overall, where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers picked up the embattled defensive end. Bowers is great at stopping the run, and is also well-suited to getting sacks. Should his knee hold up, he is a can't miss talent, and Tampa Bay was wise to risk a second round pick on this player.

After two rounds, the Buccaneers have added a ton of quality talent to their team for the upcoming season, including Bowers and Adrian Clayborn, another defensive end out of Iowa.

Going into the 2011 season, two healthy rookies on the outside edges will put Tampa Bay right into the Super Bowl discussion. Drew Brees and Matt Ryan should be scared now.


NFL Draft Round 2: Cardinals Surprise With Running Back Ryan Williams

The second round of the 2011 NFL Draft quickly moved through five picks. Two quarterbacks were taken and two cornerbacks were taken and one defensive lineman is off the board. That left plenty of options available to the Arizona Cardinals with the 38th pick (sixth of the second round). With that pick the Cardinals took a running back, Ryan Williams from Virginia Tech. 

All the talk about the Cardinals needing help rushing the quarterback, or getting a quarterback, and the Cardinals switched things up and went with a running back. This obviously tells us that coach Ken Whisenhunt isn't happy with his duo of Tim Hightower and Beanie Wells

Ryan Williams put up 477 yards in 110 carries last season with Va Tech. Williams was rated as the second-best running back on many experts boards but like Beanie Wells there's durability concerns. 

It's an interesting pick in many ways, both what it says about the Cardinals current core of ball carriers but also passing up on a couple of interesting defensive lineman like Brooks Reed, and Da'Quan Bowers or outside linebacker Akeem Ayers. This is just another pick that proves the uselessness of trying to predict what teams will do on draft day.


Grading NFL Mock Drafts: Mel Kiper And Mike Mayock King Of The 2011 Mocks

We spent a lot of time looking at mock draft boards going into the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft. We pour over these things like they are gospels from the prophets who have devine power to see into the future and tell us what picks our favorite NFL teams will make. Now it's time to look back on these projections and find out who was the most accurate soothsayer and crown a King of the Mock Draft for 2011. Hint, Mel Kiper and Mike Mayock are who we thought they were.

There's a few different ways to sparse the data such as correct picks or how far off the mock draft picks are since perfection is an awfully high standard. For simplicity sake we will look just at correct picks. Here's the list of well-down mock draft experts in order of how many picks in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft they got right (name, affiliate, number of correct picks).

Mel Kiper, ESPN - 9

Mike Mayock, - 9

Todd McShay, ESPN - 7

Don Banks, SI - 7

Peter King, SI - 6 

Chad Rueter, CBS - 5

Pat Kirwan, - 5

Wes Bunting, NFP - 5

Pete Schrager, Fox - 5

The guys they whiffed on most was Vikings surprise pick of quarterback Christian Ponder. Ponder, in retrospect, seems to be a good fit with Minnesota's West Coast offense and the Vikings need a QB now that Brett Favre is truly retired (right?!). Peter King had Ponder going late in the first round but no one had him going that high in the 2011 Draft. 


Mel Kiper, Todd McShay Update NFL Mock Drafts For Round 2 Focus On Skill Positions

Just because the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft is over doesn't mean the mock drafts are dead. Two of the noted experts at ESPN Draft Central, Todd McShay and Mel Kiper, have both updated their mock draft boards for Friday's second round action. With four quarterbacks and a record 12 defensive lineman taken in an impressive list of first round prospects, the attention now turns to other skill positions like tight end and safety.  

Todd McShay in his updated mock draft for the second round of the NFL Draft has Arizona's Brooks Reed going to the New England Patriots with the 33rd overall pick and the first of the second round. McShay previously had Reed going in the first round so this isn't a surprise. Mel Kiper agrees and also has Reed coming off the board first once Friday's NFL Draft resumes at 3:00 p.m. PT.

From there Kiper has LB Martez Wilson, QB Andy Dalton, CB Aaron Williams, WR Titus Young and to the Cardinals, TE Kyle Rudolph. McShay has the order at the top of the second round a bit different with OLB Akeem Ayers, QB Andy Dalton, DT Stephen Paea, DE Da'Quan Bowers and then he also has the Cardinals taking TE Kyle Rudolph.

Da'Quan Bowers is the guy they disagree on most. Kiper has him falling all the was to the Vikings at 43 and says, "If Bowers is healthy, this is a potential top-five pick. Tremendous value at this point and worth the risk."

Kiper has Ryan Williams as the next running back coming off the board at 41 to the Redskins. McShay has Williams falling to 49 which is also a Redskins pick as a result of the trade with the Browns.

Second and third round action of the 2011 NFL Draft gets underway at 3:00 p.m. PT. 


Arizona Cardinals Draft Needs: Plenty Of Options Still Available In Rounds 2 And 3

The Arizona Cardinals had many needs headed into the 2011 NFL Draft and cornerback wasn't high on the list. That didn't stop general manager Rod Graves from taking Patrick Peterson with the fifth pick. Peterson was generally considered one of the best football players in the 2011 draft and the Cardinals weren't "bowled over" by any offers to trade down in the draft. 

The upside to this decision is Peterson, a guy who will likely start right away at corner and get a chance to return kicks and punts as well. Great stuff for sure but the pick also leaves several big holes in the roster for the Cardinals to fill in the later round. 


Obviously, quarterback is the biggest hole in the Cardinals team and since they reportedly didn't have one for the available QBs at the top of their draft board they have other plans in mind. There was a report on Thursday that the team has an "understanding" in place with free agent Marc Bulger. There are, however, several interesting QB prospects left on the draft board. The top three remaining quarterbacks to keep an eye on in Friday's second and third rounds of the NFL draft are Andy Dalton, Ryan Mallet and Colin Kaepernick.

We have a hard time seeing the Cardinals taking one of these guys with their second round pick (38th overall) but perhaps is one is available when the Cards draft in the third round (69th overall) they could snatch one up.

Defensive Line

The Cardinals were one of the worst teams in the NFL last season when it came to putting pressure on the quarterback. Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell just didn't get the job done on their own and last year's first round pick, Dan Williams, is more of a run-stopper than pass rusher. Help needs to come on the edges and there's several interesting names left on the draft board.

Arizona's Brooks Reed, Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson, and OLB Akeem Ayers of UCLA are three of the most highly rated rushers still available. In addition Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh and Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia are on the board as is Hamilton High School star and SB Nation Arizona blogger, Dontay Moch who could be available in the third round.

Offensive Line and Tight End

The offensive line faces the potential of losing veterans Deuce Lutui and Alan Faneca who are both without contracts for next season. Tight end has been a hole for several years which makes Notre Dame's Kyle Rudolph a name to watch. Clint Boling from Georgian and Wisconsin's John Moffitt are two names to monitor here.

The second and third round of the 2011 NFL Draft starts at 3 p.m. (AZT) on Friday, April 29, 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.


Todd McShay Round Two NFL Mock Draft: Many Pass Rushing Prospects Available

As many have noted, the 2011 NFL Draft is very deep when it comes to pass rushing defensive linemen and outside linebackers. The mock draft from Todd McShay demonstrates this with numerous interesting football players in the second round who could help a team get after the opposing quarterback.

In his final mock draft before the actual 2011 NFL Draft, McShay listed three top flight pass rushing prospects in the first round who weren't actually taken. Arizona's Brooks Reed was slotted to go 28th, Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson 27th, and OLB Akeem Ayers of UCLA 30th to the Jets.

All three of those guys are still on the board and available early in the second round for a team like the Arizona Cardinals who need help at that position.Another couple of names to throw out there are Jabaal Sheard, DE, Pittsburgh and Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia.

There were a total of eight defensive ends taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft and only one outside linebacker, Von Miller. Bottom line, there's still quality talent to be had when the Cardinals sixth pick of the second round is on the clock.

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