John Skelton

2010 Draft Grades: Cardinals

In terms of value, Dan Williams was one of my favorite picks in the 1st round. Considering the emphasis that teams running 3-4 defenses have placed on nose tackles, I expected him to come off the board early. When he started to fall, I even thought someone that didn’t really need a nose tackle (the Steelers, for example) would take him because he was simply the best available player.

In Arizona, Williams will team with Darnell Dockett and Calais Campbell to give the Cardinals one of the most impressive defensive lines in the game. If he lives up to his potential early on, their defense could be much better than expected in 2010.

I like Daryl Washington, but I don’t necessary like how he fits into Arizona’s defense. He’s slightly undersized and for that reason I think he’s better suited for a 4-3 defense.

Andre Roberts is a decent 3rd round pick, but I was surprised they didn’t go after a more NFL-ready receiver. They really needed to find someone who would help Matt Leinart (or Derek Anderson) right away and I don’t know that Roberts will be able to do that.

I don’t like the selection of O’Brien Schofield for two reasons. One, he is undersized, much like Washington. He just doesn’t look like a great fit for a 3-4 defense unless he bulks up significantly. Two, he’s coming of an injury. The Cardinals want to win now and they needed a linebacker who could play immediately. It’s uncertain whether or not Schofield will be ready for the season.

John Skelton is a great fit for the Cardinals. They obviously have concerns about Matt Leinart, but they didn’t want to push the panic button just yet and take someone in the early rounds. Instead, they rolled the dice on Skelton in the 5th. They can bring him along slowly and develop him over the course of a year or two with Leinart as the starter. That should be enough time to determine if Skelton can be a starter of if they need to start over.

Jorrick Calvin will add depth at cornerback and help replace Bryant McFadden. I would have liked to see them add a cornerback earlier than the 6th round, though.

Tight end was another position that the Cardinals should have addressed earlier. Jim Dray has limited upside and will struggle to beat out Anthony Becht, Ben Patrick or Stephen Spach for a spot on the roster.

Overall, this was a solid but unspectacular draft for the Cardinals. They hit a home run with Dan Williams in the 1st round, but I’m not confident that anyone else from this draft class will develop into a starter. I like the draft, but I’m not as enthusiastic about it as I have been in years past. The Cardinals have developed a reputation under Rod Graves and Steve Keim as being one of the top teams in the draft, and this year’s class didn’t quite live up to expectations.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in Cardinals, Draft Grades - 2010 Comments Off

10 Bold Predictions for the NFL Draft

10. The Raiders will be criticized for their 1st-round pick
Ok, so maybe this isn’t quite a bold prediction. No one has any idea who the Raiders are going to draft, but I can all but guarantee it will be a reach.

9. C.J. Spiller will be a top-10 pick
And he can thank Chris Johnson for paving the way. The NFL is a copycat league and now everyone wants to the next Johnson. Spiller is an option for the Browns, Raiders and Jaguars. Someone such as the 49ers may also try to trade up for him.

8. Two TCU players will be drafted in the 1st round
Jerry Hughes is all but locked into the 1st round, but his teammate Daryl Washington could join him. He’s a perfect fit for the Colts and Saints and could sneak into the late 1st round. It would be the first time since 1939 that two Horned Frogs went in the 1st round.

7. Bruce Campbell will fall to the 2nd round
Al Davis will consider him with the 8th pick, but he’ll pass. And so will everyone else. Someone will eventually scoop up the most overrated draft prospect to come along in years in the early-to-mid 2nd round.

6. Pete Carroll will reach for someone from USC
Taylor Mays? Everson Griffen? Both could be options for the Seahawks in the 1st round. He may even be tempted to reach for someone like Jeff Byers later on. College coaches are always blinded by familiarity when they move to the NFL game.

5. The Cowboys will draft a WR in the 1st or 2nd round
Motivated by the Redskins acquisition of Donovan McNabb, Jerry Jones will feel the need to bolster his offense. The NFC East could feature a number of shootouts in 2010 and Jones wants to stay ahead of the curve.

4. A  Pro Bowler will be traded
Ronnie Brown? McKinnie? Umenyiora? Roethlisberger?

3. The Steelers will draft a quarterback
Not necessary in the first two rounds, but they’ll grab a signal caller at some point. Maybe Dan LeFevour in the 3rd round? Tony Pike in the 4th? John Skelton in the 5th?

2. There will be at least 5 trades in the 1st round
This could be one of the busiest 1st rounds in recent memory. With so much talent in this year’s class, teams will be motivated to move in two directions. On one hand, some great players will fall and teams will want to move up to grab them. On the other hand, as those great players fall, more good players will be available in the late 1st and early 2nd round.

1. At least 3 quarterbacks will be selected in the 1st round
We know Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen will be 1st round picks. But don’t be shocked when a third comes off the board in the late 1st. The Vikings could take Tim Tebow. The Bills or Browns may also trade up for Colt McCoy.

Posted on by Ryan McCrystal in 2010 NFL Draft, 49ers, Bills, Browns, Colts, Cowboys, Jaguars, Raiders, Saints, Steelers, Vikings 95 Comments