Day Two: Cardinals

Even though Mr. Irrelevant has yet to hear his name called, the rest of the draft is pretty... well, irrelevant as far as the Cardinals are concerned. What did they get and what does it foretell? Find out here.

When there are only two picks to review and two of them look to either fill depth or support the new emphasis on special teams, there honestly isn't a lot to write about.

Steve Breaston will work his way onto the roster as a possession receiver and in the return game.  Not a terribly sexy pick or a guy with a lot of upside, but someone that can certainly contribute as a rookie and help the Cardinals win some games.

Ben Patrick will most likely give Leonard Pope a run for his money in training camp, but something tells me there's a big hole right through the middle of him and he'll end up buried on the depth chart.  You can never have enough tight ends, right?

The point is this: Arizona seems to find their starters on Day One and roster spot filler on Day Two.

All of their starters are either free agent signings or players that were chosen by them in the first three rounds.  The only player to have seen the field from the second day of the last three drafts is starting center (and probably not for long) Nick Leckey.  And he's started 20 games since Arizona took him in the 6th round out of Kansas State in 2004. 

Candidly, Leckey got some spot starts the last couple of seasons because there was no other option.  Since the Cardinals signed Al Johnson this off-season, his days in the desert are numbered.

You have to hand it to Ken Whisenhunt and Rod Graves, though.  They definitely had a bulletproof strategy this year.  Since they knew they weren't going to find any starters in the last four rounds, so they may as well trade them to get higher quality players in the first day.  They also traded their sixth round pick for Brandon Gorin last season and he's barely with the team.

While the plan that Graves and Whisenhunt executed in this draft may seem like a better one than simply throwing picks at prospects that would never make the roster, it's not the long term solution that will make this team into a contender.

In order to be competitive year in and year out, the Cardinals need to hit more often than they miss on the second day.  Ask the players that they signed as free agents.

Of the current or prospective starters for next season, three offensive linemen (Oliver Ross, Mike Gandy, and Milford Brown) were drafted in the fourth round or later by their former teams, same with newly acquired Roderick Hood (undrafted), Terrence Holt (5th round), and Sean Morey (undrafted).  Defensive linemen Chike Okeafor, Bert Berry, and Kendrick Clancy were all drafted in the third round by their former teams.

If Arizona is looking to build a "centerstone" for the franchise, they need to start having some success outside the first day.


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