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Talib's troubles make Cardinals appear wise

3/30/2011

The Arizona Cardinals went into the 2008 NFL draft needing a cornerback.

It's increasingly clear they made the right choice in Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie even though the one-time Pro Bowl choice is coming off a disappointing 2010 season.

The problems Rodgers-Cromartie experienced in coverage and in tying for the NFL lead with 15 penalties last season appear trivial compared to the off-field issues affecting the corner Tampa Bay selected four spots later in the first round.

Aqib Talib's future in the NFL appears shaky now that Talib is facing a likely charge for a second-degree felony. The incident stands as a troubling setback for a player who appeared to have made strides off the field.

Talib's situation sent me back through the 2008 draft for a look at the first 10 cornerbacks selected. The Cardinals fared relatively well in making Rodgers-Cromartie the 16th overall choice, but they'll expect a more focused effort from him this season. Adding defensive coordinator Ray Horton, a former NFL cornerback, has the potential to help.

2008 NFL Draft: First 10 Cornerbacks Selected