Wild Day Finishes Cardinals’ 2010 Draft

 

Arizona certainly had an eventful final day of the 2010 NFL draft.  During rounds four through seven, the Cards drafted a DE that blew out his ACL, traded their starting CB to draft a quarterback, drafted a CB that was academically ineligible to play in 2009, and wrapped things up by drafting a TE that tore his ACL, MCL, LCL and hamstring; yikes.

It’s not nearly as bad as all that sounds.  On the contrary, it was actually a great draft for the Cards overall.  First, the Cardinals are willing to gamble on O’Brien Schofield and his torn ACL because of his tremendous talent.  GM Rod Graves explained that, “he’s a first-round talent [and] [w]e gambled a little bit but we felt it was well worth it.”  Schofield’s 2009 numbers are pretty staggering and they lend credibility to Graves’ assessment.  The former Badger was first-team all-Big Ten with 12 sacks and 24½ tackles for loss while helping Wisconsin upset Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl to finish 10-3. 

Obviously the Cardinals love his exceptional pass rushing skills and feel he can easily transition to OLB once he does hit the field.  Still, it’s tough to love the pick because the Cardinals aren’t getting the player they saw before they drafted him; they’re getting an entirely new player because any way you slice it, tearing an ACL is a life changing injury.  It’s possible that Schofield may come back even stronger, but there’s really no way to know until he gets back out there.  According to Darren Urban of the Cards’ official website, “Schofield said he should be cleared to run in mid-May, and should be cleared for some contact at some point in training camp.  There is a good chance he will start the season on the Physically Unable to Perform list, but there is little question neither Schofield or the Cards are hoping he gets on the field in 2010.  Schofield’s weight had dropped to 221 pounds when he was weighed at the combine, the result of a lack of working out just a few weeks after the injury and a lack of appetite. But he said he plans to play at 245, a comfortable weight for him without losing speed and quickness.”

The excitement continued when the Cardinals traded starting CB Bryant McFadden and their extra sixth round pick (acquired from the New Orleans Saints) to move up in the fifth round to select QB John Skelton from Fordham.  Skelton expressed his excitement by saying “in my heart of hearts, I always hoped the Cardinals would pick me.”  Skelton (6-6, 245 lbs.) worked out for the Cardinals only 10 days before the draft.  The Fordham product is described as a “raw” talent, posting 3,708 passing yards, 26 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in his last year.  In terms of intangibles, Skelton stated he has “the leadership qualities to be a starter in the NFL and the arm to make all the NFL throws.”  Skelton, however, has little to no chance of starting this year for the Cardinals, but he will absolutely be given the chance to prove that he’s worth grooming as the quarterback of the future. 

Perhaps more interesting, however, was the move the Cards made to get Skelton.  Specifically, the Cards dumped their starting yet useless CB  Bryant McFadden (and his $5 million salary) back on the Steelers, the team from whence he came.  Anyone who has read this site regularly would know that I have absolute no love for McFadden.  Not only am I glad to see him go, but I’m very glad to see that Greg Toler is slated as the starter opposite DRC.  Some within the Cardinals’ organization say that Toler’s skills may even surpass DRC’s, which would make for a lethal CB tandem.  Toler, however, is taking it all in stride by commenting that “I just want to keep working.  Coming from a small school [St. Pauls] you have to keep working. You’ve just got to be ready and capitalize when the opportunity comes.”  Well, Toler’s opportunity is right in front of him in 2010.

The Cardinals pulled another surprise by drafting CB Jorrick Calvin of Troy in round 6.  It’s not surprising that they took a CB or even one from a small school.  It’s surprising because Calvin didn’t even play football in 2009; he was academically ineligible.  Calvin explained that after a “couple of deaths” in the family he left campus without informing a teacher, which dropped him below the 24 credit hours required to play during the season.  The Cards’ six round selection stated, “I’ve had problems in my past, but I’ve come to realize there is more in life to worry about than bull.”  Calvin asserts that he’s not lost any time despite not playing in 2009.  He spent the season with the team and lifted weights the entire time.  “I just couldn’t play on Saturdays,” Calvin explained.  “Once and athlete, always an athlete,” Calvin stated, addressing whether he’d be ready to play in the NFL; we’ll see.

Finally, the Cards ended their draft by selecting TE Jim Dray from Stanford.  At this point it’s assumed that Dray must have some baggage to have been picked by the Cardinals; he does.  In 2007, Dray tore the ACL, MCL, and LCL meniscus and hamstring (all on the left leg) while covering a punt.  He’s recovered, but he’s not the same player he was.  Dray reinvented himself as a blocking tight end with limited value in the passing game because his injuries didn’t allow him to run double move or deep routes.  As a result, Dray earned his keep at Stanford with solid blocking.

Here’s the draft recap:

  • Round 1:     DT Dan Williams, Tennessee
  • Round 2:    OLB Daryl Washington, TCU
  • Round 3:    WR Andre Roberts, Citadel
  • Round 4:    DE O’Brien Schofield, Wisconsin
  • Round 5:    QB John Skelton, Fordham
  • Round 6:    CB Jarrick Calvin, Troy
  • Round 7:    TE Jim Dray, Stanford

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