--The Cardinals didn't ignore their needs in the 2011 draft, but they certainly didn't make them a priority.
They waited until the fourth round to take a pass rusher. They didn't select a quarterback or an offensive lineman. They took a running back in the second round, even though they are deep at that position, and they took a fullback in the fifth round, which was a surprise.
In almost every instance, the Cardinals simply took the best player on their board. And in fairness to them, only time will tell if they made good decisions.
Running back Ryan Williams, the second-round pick, was dynamic as a freshman but was banged up last year. The team took him in the second round despite having some of the top names at tight end and outside linebacker available to them.
Cornerback Patrick Peterson: It's easier to take the fifth overall pick for this category, but it's important to note the Cardinals didn't outsmart themselves. Unlike 2007, when they used the fifth pick to fill a need and took tackle Levi Brown over running back Adrian Peterson, the Cardinals simply took the best player left.
Linebacker Sam Acho: The fourth-round pick has some pass-rush skills, and while he played end at Texas, he also played some outside linebacker in his first two seasons. He's smart and a hard worker. He could develop into a good player.
--Coach Ken Whisenhunt was in a good mood after the team took Texas linebacker Sam Acho in the fifth round.
"We are petitioning the NFL to let Sam wear No. 5 so he can be Acho Cinco," Whisenhunt quipped.
General manager Rod Graves, sitting next to Whisenhunt when the coach said that, piped in: "I wasn't a part of that."
--Sam Acho, the fourth-round pick, has graduated from Texas with a business degree and won an award recognizing him as the nation's top student athlete. He thinks his intelligence "helps me immensely" on the field. "You know, being a smart football player, 90 percent of the game is mental, so you have to be able to understand plays, understand defenses, understand other teams' offenses and know how to react within a defense."
--Fullback Anthony Sherman, the fifth-round pick, knows he plays a unique position that appears to be in a death spiral. "I think you have to have a couple of screws loose to be a fullback," he said. "You are running down there with 240-, 250-pound linebackers and colliding at full speed. It is one of those things where I don't think everyone is capable of doing it, but you have a couple of us out here that are willing to do it every day."
--The Cardinals didn't address the offensive line in the draft. It's the second consecutive year in which the team has not taken an offensive lineman. Since 2007, it's taken one offensive lineman before the seventh round. Herman Johnson was a fifth-round pick in 2009 and lasted one year with the team.
--Arizona and Tampa Bay have been named the finalists to host the 2015 Super Bowl, the NFL announced.
University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. played host to the Super Bowl in 2008, while Tampa Bay had the game the following year. Tampa has been the site of four previous Super Bowls.
The next three Super Bowls are scheduled to be played in Indianapolis, New York/New Jersey and New Orleans.
"We are delighted to receive the terrific news that Arizona is one of two finalists for the 2015 Super Bowl," Arizona Super Bowl Host Committee chairman Mike Kennedy said in a statement. "As I have always said, we are in the Super Bowl business and believe we have the best facilities and most hospitable venue in the country."
It's a reversal for the Arizona committee, which pulled out of the running for the 2014 game, citing the economic downturn.
The two final cities must submit a formal bid in time for the owners' meetings in October.
"We're going to put together a very competitive bid," Paul Catoe, president of Tampa Bay & Company," told the Tampa Tribune. "We look forward to the battle.
Cardinals post-draft news and notes
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