DRC or Mike Jenkins?

It seemed DRC fell into the Cardinals' lap from defensive back heaven, but did the excitement of his last name make Arizona choose the wrong guy? On the board was Mike Jenkins who ended up on "America's team." Former pro scout Tom Marino thought Jenkins was a better athlete than DRC and the No. 1 corner in the draft, but he explains to Amberly Richardson why everything isn't bigger in Texas.

Amberly Richardson: Mike Jenkins and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie were both on the board when the Cardinals went on the clock, why did they go the Rodgers-Cromartie route?

Tom Marino: It was a personal choice. My impression was that Jenkins was the No. 1 corner in the draft. That being said, Jenkins could possibly have not been the No. 1 corner Monday-Friday, but certainly he was on Saturday. Jenkins has problems with his work ethic and practice habits.

The thing about Jenkins is they don't back peddle at South Florida, so when he plants that foot and comes forward he is pretty special.

But the Cardinals chose DRC who in his own right is a darn good player. The Cardinals had enough people in Alabama to watch and evaluate him at the Senior Bowl. Rodgers-Cromartie is very good in practice and very good in the game. Overall, he is a pretty darn good choice. Sure, he's not as talented as the guy from South Florida. At least, I don't think so, but it comes down to the intangible. The Cardinals have quality veteran scouts over there, and I know they all took that into close consideration.

AR: When have you seen Rodgers-Cromartie play? What did you think?

TM: The first time I got to see DRC was last year at the Penn relays. It was mentioned that he was also football player, but I just watched him run. He can really run.

Dominique is an awfully big corner, but a little thin. After the relays, I watched him play in games and wasn't disappointed. But he wasn't very physical and not very combative.

I thought he was a second or third round pick based on that. Enter the Senior Bowl, and he was outstanding. Hands down the best corner there, but Jenkins wasn't there.

Head and shoulders, DRC was the best defensive back at the Senior Bowl. He was far more combative. I still don't think he was the best tackler, but he can match up and that's what Arizona needs.

You look at basketball and every single time down the court you have guys that can matchup. In football, we line up with mismatches. DRC's height brings the best chance of avoiding a mismatch.

Now he has to face some real receivers, but he is far tougher than he use to be. Somebody got to him and called him a ballerina. He went from second or third round potential, to a worthy first-round selection in my eyes.

AR: All in all, did the Cardinals make a good choice?

TM: Yes, Dominique is smart. He's a good kid and a solid one too. Again, he's not real physical, but that's not what he's there for. They want him to be able to cover and match up. Dominique is a piece of the puzzle that Arizona had to have. He can really run and has easy acceleration.

Amberly Richardson is a member of the Pro Football Writers of America and a correspondent for Scout.com. She has contributed to the official Web sites of several NFL players for Sixthman Communications. Her analysis has been published by the NFL Network, Fox Sports and MySpace Sports.

CardinalsSource Top Stories