Inside the War Room: Round 3

We have finally arrived at Day One, where starters are drafted and the future of the Cardinals is at stake. Will they pick a winner or pick a dud? Who's going to be available and how can they help?

By Round 3 and the close of the first day, the picks come faster and every player becomes less and less of a "sure thing."  Many distinguished NFL players, past and present, have been drafted in the third round (and lower), but for the most part,  this is the last round to build the foundation (or, in the words of Rod Graves, the "centerstone") of your team.

If all goes well with a third round selection, they become a valued part of the team for many years and help their squad to win a championship.  Obviously, all has not gone well for Arizona the past few drafts.

In the past, successful teams, such as the Steelers and Bears, have gone with a "wildcard" pick in the first day to help the team overall, but not at a specific position.  The Devin Hester and Atwaan Randle-El experiments worked out rather well for the respective teams involved, but there are other examples (too numerous to list) of "wildcard" situations that have not panned out. 

All that having been said, I think that the Cardinals should take a long look at Eric Weddle, S, Utah.  This kid has a ton of confidence, without being cocky.  He has played safety, running back, cornerback (successfully shut down Calvin Johnson - "If I have enough time to watch film on someone, I can shut anyone down"), and was even the placeholder on field goals and extra points.

While he doesn't have a true position, he has the size (5"11", 201), the speed (4.52 in the 40), and the cover skills (did I mention he shut down Calvin Johnson?), as well as the special teams acumen to help Arizona in a number of areas.  If nothing else, they get a special teams standout that contributes in dime situations.  If they get lucky, the Cardinals get a versatile player that will keep everyone on the kicking team fired up that can also be a presence in the passing game.

They may choose to play it safe, though, and go for a linebacker here.  Clemson's Anthony Waters or Brown's Zachary DeOssie (I don't want... your... life!) would be excellent choices at this point, should they decide to go that route.  Other linebacker possibilities include Hampton's Justin Durant or Oklahoma's Rufus Alexander.

Provided that the wheels have fallen off and the Cardinals have yet to take an offensive tackle, this would also be a good time to take Doug Free of Northern Illinois.  Free is an exceptionally large man (you really need to see his hands to believe them) that fits in well with Russ Grimm's "type" at right tackle.  Then again, so does Oliver Ross.

We also can't overlook the fact that Arizona may have taken Thomas in the first, Sears in the second, and that Branch is still available in the third.

Editor's Pick: Eric Weddle, S, Utah


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