Ben Patrick, TE, Delaware:
Here's a prospect that the experts at Scout.com had rated as the #3 tight end (#62 overall) but was actually the tenth player drafted at his position (and 215th overall). Why did we like him so much?
First of all, while he's a little small for a tight end (6'3", 252), he still runs well (4.77 in the 40) and has made blocking a point of emphasis in his game, improving dramatically in that area over the last two seasons. Whisenhunt and tight ends coach Freddie Kitchens will make sure that he continues to improve in that aspect of the game as it is something that Whisenhunt most definitely takes very seriously.
It is also an area of current tight end Leonard Pope's game that leaves a lot to be desired.
As more of slender, athletic player than Pope, Patrick should be able to expose defenses in the deep seam off of play-action (a Whisenhunt trademark) and bring about a Renaissance of sorts for the position in Arizona.
Patrick's a smart player with outstanding hands that should be able to challenge defenses vertically (something that has been sorely missing from their tight ends thus far this century) and exploit mismatches against linebackers and in the secondary.
But, more than likely, there's a very good reason that 214 players were chosen before him and nine tight ends. It could be that he's from a small school that is not a factory for producing NFL talent.
It could be that he's not the ideal height or weight, or that he didn't blister the stop watch.
It could also be that no one else researched him as much as the Cardinals did.
Then again, since Arizona took Steve Breaston several rounds before they probably should have, it could just be that the Cardinals didn't do enough research.
From what we've seen on film and at the Combine and given the fact that he only missed two games throughout his entire college career because of foot injuries, let's just hope that the Cardinals and their under funded scouting staff has unearthed a diamond in the rough.
In the meantime, I'm going to assume that we were wrong in rating Patrick as high as we did and assume that Arizona still doesn't know what they're doing in the second day.