The Arizona Cardinals drafted 7 players and filled some needs. Going into the draft, they had an obvious hole in Safety and could also think about upgrading at Cornerback. The Cardinals also had to keep in mind that Carson Palmer is headed into his final year of his contract and Carson Palmer is not a young guy anymore. He is not dinosaur old as we see the trend for older QBs continue with the likes of Tom Brady and Peyton Manning, but Carson Palmer will be 35 by the time the season ends and will want a substantial contract and I am just not sold on him as their key to success. Obviously if the Cardinals do draft a QB, he has to be football intelligent as Bruce Arian’s offensive schemes are really complicated. Cardinals took some risk trading out of their 20th pick, but it worked to their advantage as they got the key player that they wanted and stayed true to their draft board
2014 NFL DRAFT PICK RECAP AND ANALYSIS
Deone Bucannon Safety Washington State Round 1 Pick #27
A Safety that will better suited in the Strong Safety position. Likes to hit people and understands how to deliver blows with full impact. Has sub 4.5 speed with good height at 6’1″ and size carrying a 210 lb frame. Likes to watch the box and doesn’t hesitate to play downhill. Almost like a hybrid linebacker on the field. Needs to be coached on patience and learn not to overrun a play. Will need help developing foot work and transitioning and taking better angles defending passes. A solid pick by the Arizona Cardinals, Deone Bucannon will be a huge improvement in the secondary especially playing alongside Tyrann Mathieu. Will be effective stopping a run on the second level, could be a big key to stunt blitz as he can take on a RB blocking and win that battle and will learn how to be a top Safety as his experience grows and the coaching catches on.
Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame Round 2 Pick #20
6’6″ 270 lb Tight End. Troy transitioned from outside linebacker to Tight End at Notre Dame thus having only two years experience on the field. Let’s talk weaknesses first: Not speedy, not a great blocker and limited experiences. His strengths are what made him a second round pick. He is an immediate threat in the red zone. He runs decent short and medium routes and can get separation from his defender. Decent hands and still hasn’t even reached 65% of his potential. Roy Niklas played behind Cincinnati Bengal’s Tyler Eifert and Notre Dame has become a great place to find an NFL caliber Tight End. With some work on blocking and developing a killer instinct, Troy Niklas will be the Heat Miller type Tight End that Arizona needs to get to the next level.
Kareem Martin DE North Carolina Round 3 Pick #20
6’6″ 270 lb Defensive End has a similar build to Jadeveon Clowney. I like this player a lot. Has real football instincts. Knows when to rush the edge, when to swim move inside to collapse the pocket and when to hold is ground and contain. A really good tackler with impressive numbers at the NFL Combine. Kareem Martin needs some help getting off on the snap and building his lower body strength. I think that an NFL conditioning program fixes both issues. No one can teach wingspan and his athletic ability which was showcased at the NFL Combine. Kareem Martin put up the second best number for defensive ends in the 10’9″ broad jump and an explosive 35.5″ vertical leap. Couple that with his 35″ arm length and you have a player that can block a pass and turn a game in one play.
John Brown WR Pittsburg State (Kansas) Round 3 Pick #27
A sub 4.4 40 yard wide receiver. John Brown is a smaller size receiver with good hands. Has returned punts and kickoffs successfully. Seems to small to play in the NFL at 5’10” and 175 lbs but could be a gunner or a deep threat receiver. Has really good field speed and can catch up to a ball thrown. Just don’t know how we will deal with a press corner that towers over and can out muscle him at the line, rerouting him. I just don’t see this as a good pick for the Arizona Cardinals unless they use him for kickoff returns and put him in as a receiver for situational downs.
Logan Thomas QB Virginia Tech Round 4 Pick #20
A converted Tight End who stands 6’6″ 250 lb. Drafting a quarterback is exactly what the Cardinals and Bruce Arians needed here. With Carson Palmer playing out the last yea of his contract and age becoming a concern, it was time for the Cardinals to look at their future and find a prototypical Quarterback. Has all the tool to be a successful NFL QB. Has the speed and agility to escape when the pocket collapses. Has the physical size to see down the field which offer natural throwing lanes. Has a short throw motion and quick release. Sounds good on paper but his play was inconsistent and showed his inexperience at the position with a roller coaster ride of performances. Will be a minimum one to two year project for the Cardinals. Will take one season to get him to understand the intricacies of Bruce Arians offensive schemes and the full two years developing his mechanics and getting a better understanding of defensive sets and how to avoid turnovers.
Ed Stinson DE Alabama Round 5 Pick #20
Another Defensive End chosen here by the Arizona Cardinals. A five technique Defensive End that played for National Champs Alabama Crimson Tide. Did not compete in the Senior Bowl of the NFL Combine due to a groin injury. 6’3 290 lb with good core strength that has had an easier time than most uprooting blockers and surprises most with his power. Will need to learn how to shed blocks better and develop better footwork. His off the line speed needs work as well if he is ever going to be a strong edge rusher. Might be a journeyman second stringer is entire career.
Walt Powell WR Murray State Round 6 Pick #20
Brother played for the San Francisco 49ers and has had a run in with the law, getting arrested for domestic violence and a petty theft. Could be a huge sign of immaturity and poor character. 5’11” 19 lb receiver with average speed. Everything about him spells bust. The only way that changes is if he develops a fierce work ethic and lives and breathes football for the next two years. Otherwise a career at FedEx is most likely.
Analysis and overall draft grade
The Arizona Cardinals worked on draft day, Trading down and still got their man at Safety. They added two Defensive Ends, Kareem Martin is the one I believe will be a stud and a bust in Ed Stinson. They added two similar sized WRs with almost the same skill set. A bit confusing but maybe like I said one will be a special teams kick and punt returner./ They added an instant red zone threat with Troy Niklas and got a possible QB that could be a good backup and maybe with some development become a future starter for the Arizona Cardinals.
Draft Grade: B
Hard to go any higher than this. Two similar WRs lower the grade here. I like the trade day moves but they should have looked to get two different skill set receivers. Not sure about the Ed Stinson or Walt Powell picks because both players look like they will bust and not even make the roster. Also think they should have looked for a QB replacement a bit earlier in the draft even if it meant missing Troy Niklas.
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