One month to go and I’m confident the Cards have found themselves in a great position to grab some great talent and fix some glaring holes. Just some thoughts on each pick.
#7 It’s easy to have a Big Board here as there only needs to be 7 players on it. Geno’s the only QB I’d look at with this pick. He’s going to be a solid player at the most important position, which, of course, is one of our weakest. (I love the Drew Stanton signing BTW. Cheap contract, low risk/high reward.). After Geno, it’s pointless to talk about another position other than LT. Joeckel, Fisher, and Johnson are easily top 10 talent at this point and have to be 2, 3, and 4 on the Cards Big Board. Any of those guys would fit in nicely and give us an instant starter at our 2nd weakest position on offense. And yes, it happens to be the 2nd most important position on offense.
Now, let say the world falls in on itself and all four of them are gone… what to do? What to do? The answer is simple, trade that baby into the late 1st! I’d be fine if we trade Chicago their 1st and next year’s first plus some change and land anther guy that can help us long term. You’d have your choice of Jones, Warmack (he’ll slide just like every other G in draft history), Ansah, Werner, or even Manti T’eo. I’d argue that the next 20 or so players are almost equal in talent and carry about the same Impact rate for the Cards. So why grab a guy at #7 when you have a great chance of landing him at #20? You don’t. You see if someone really wants to move up and take the trade.
If no one wants to trade, then we’re screwed. I can’t see taking a G that early in this flooded market, so Warmack and Cooper are out. I also can’t see us taking a DT for our 3-4. That eliminates Floyd, Star, etc. Milliner is certainly talented. But how big a deal is landing ANOTHER CB? I don’t see the need for trying to fill a position that we’ve just invested in. At this point, I’d focus on the 4 OLBs: Jones, Ansah, Jordan, and Mingo. Jones is the sure talent, but has the injury history. Ansah is so raw, but so athletic. Mingo looks the part, but disappeared last year. Jordan has the injury questions among others. I’d go Jones, then Ansah, then Jordan, then Mingo. They’re all top 15 talent and fit a massive need at WOLB for us. But they come with a boatload of questions for a #7 pick. Let’s just hope one of the original four are there.
#38 In some ways this pick might yield more excitement than at #7. I could see one of the 2nd tier talents drop here and have the Cards giddy at the steal potential. Manti comes to mind. People are stupid if they think he can’t play. He’d be a monster next to Washington at SILB, which happens to be a top 5 need. Minter would be a heck of a consolation prize if he’s there instead of Manti. Then you have the Center prospects of Cooper and Barrett Jones. Either would be massive upgrades (+20). I don’t see any WOLBs fitting the mold of the 3-4 this late.
This is usually where you get great deals on Cs, SILBs and Gs. The G market is flooded. I’d be fine with Warmack, Cooper, Jones, Fluker, Pugh, Thomas, or Warford. However, I’m convinced that if we get one of the 3 LTs at #7 then Levi moves to RG. I see him dominating there. With Colledge being adequate, I don’t see the pressing need to grab a G over a SILB or C. And I’m not so enamored with anyone else in the 3rd tier that I’d choose another player at another position. But if one of those 2nd tier guys falls I’d be all over it. Demontre Moore would be a massive steal here.
I’d avoid any QB at this pick. I just see there being too much value elsewhere as none of the QBs warrant this kind of value. As much as I love EJ, I’d rather trade up from the 3rd and grab him mid 2nd than take him here.
Also, under the assumption that the Cards were to be lucky enough to nab Geno at #7, I’d be looking at one of the 2nd round LTs. Long has the athleticism to play the part but has a full rounds length of rawness over Lane Johnson. And the Armstead kid is far behind Long. Still, both should be considered. (Although I’d rather trade back for them).
#69: If one of these QBs falls to us here we should steal em here: Wilson, Manuel, Nassib, or Dysert. The only addition to that group is if Renfree gets more notice. I’m hoping to grab him in the 5th otherwise. He’s my diamond in the rough of this draft. This of course, assumes we didn’t get Geno in the 1st.
If we do get Geno, or if none of the QBs are there, I’d like to see us get some of the talent that slipped out of the 2nd round. Maybe one of the LTs: Long or Armstead. Or one of the Gs that slipped between the cracks. Maybe one of the remaining SILBs like Bostic. Or look at FS, like Reid (he’d be a massive slip at this point), or Rambo, or McDonald. (Don’t we have to draft the son of an all time great Card?) There’s also a good group of Cs at this point. I like Khaled Holmes, but he looks like he might be more of a value pick up in the 4th. Still, there are a lot of great options here.
#103: I’m almost positive there will be a bundle of RBs left here to choose from. Take the best remaining in this order: Randle, Bell, Taylor, Ball, Lattimore, Gillislee, and my other late round gem Theo Riddick. We can probably land him in the 5th. I wouldn’t look at much more than RB here, unless they are all gone which I highly doubt. This looks like the prime spot to nab your RB of the next 3 years.
Ideal draft: (per CBS Rankings)
#7 Geno Smith QB
#38 Manti T’eo SILB
#69 Bacarri Rambo FS
#103 Khaled Holmes C
#140 Marcus Lattimore RB
#174 Sean Renfree QB
#176 Theo Riddick RB
I think the first 5 guys could start after camp, although I’d protect Geno a bit by letting Stanton take the beatings until the line gelled. However, I have no LT in this scenario. That means I hope we signed a guy like Winston Justice. We also would be missing a WOLB, but I kinda don’t see us landing a stud this year anyway, so let Acho or Scho battle for that spot again