Cardinals Feel Cornered at 16

The Cardinals will be taking a gamble if they pass on choosing a cornerback with the 16th overall pick in the draft. The need at the position is great. The starters, Eric Green and Rod Hood, are both decent players. But with Antrel Rolle moving to safety, there is little talent and depth behind them.

The third corner right now is veteran Ralph Brown, a solid player but probably not someone the coaches want to play in more than certain situations. Behind Brown, it's 5-foot-8 Michael Adams, a rookie free agent last year who played sparingly.

This reportedly is a decent class of cornerbacks and maybe the Cardinals believe they can get a decent one in the second round. But don't count on guys like Antoine Cason from Arizona and Brandon Flowers from Virginia Tech dropping that far.

No, the Cardinals will likely base their decision in the first round on need, and there is none greater than corner.

They don't need a first-round pick to necessarily start right away. But it would be nice to add a playmaker at the spot, as well as someone who could challenge for a top job and be competent replacement in the event of event.

Right now, they don't have a player like that on the roster.


QB Matt Leinart
Stephen Dunn/Getty

PLAYER NOTES

--QB Matt Leinart hasn't commented publicly since pictures of him partying with young girls, allegedly Arizona State coeds, appeared on the Internet. According to sources, Leinart thought he was doing the right thing by staying at home that weekend. It's probably time a member of his entourage assumed control of making guests check their cell phones and cameras at the door.

--The Cardinals don't plan to bring in any top prospects, a continuation of a philosophy implemented several years ago. Club officials deny it has anything to do with saving money. They say they find out all they need to know about prospects from their scouts and interviews at the Combine.

--There as been no movement in contract negotiations with inside linebacker Karlos Dansby, the team's franchise player. It's not likely the situation will be addressed again until after the draft. Dansby has made it clear he's not signing the tender anytime soon.

--Defensive lineman Darnell Dockett is still absent from the offseason conditioning program. Dockett wants a new contract even though he signed his current deal fewer than two years ago and it doesn't expire until after the 2011 season. Ripping up that deal is not a priority with club officials, who have more pressing matters.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "I reiterated to him the type of behavior that we expect at all times from our players. He understands that as well as the level of scrutiny that he's under because of who he is. It's being handled internally. I was disappointed but at the same time have no doubts about his commitment to this football team or his ability to lead it." -- Ken Whisenhunt on his reaction to photos of Matt Leinart partying.


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