Print and Go Back ESPN.com: NFC West [Print without images]

Tuesday, May 12, 2009
Cardinals: Graduation dates and draft picks

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Now that NFL post-draft camps have passed, league rules prevent most rookies from joining their teams until May 16 or until their colleges have held final examinations, whichever comes later. Those final three words will affect some rookies more than others.

Players who have already graduated or will graduate before May 16 can join their teams May 16.

I'll start by looking at how the NFL's rookie rule affects the Cardinals' draft choices, listed below by round. The Cardinals hold their next camp beginning May 19. Their final camp ends June 11. Training camps generally begin in late July.

Ohio State holds its graduation June 14, preventing Cardinals first-round choice Chris "Beanie" Wells from participating in organized team activities (OTAs). The result: Wells won't participate in a Cardinals practice before training camp. He can report to the team after final exams.

1. Beanie Wells, RB, Ohio State. Graduation June 14. Finals June 8-11.

2. Cody Brown, OLB, Connecticut. Graduation May 9. Finals May 4-9.

3. Rashad Johnson, S. Alabama. Graduation May 9. Finals May 4-8.

4. Gregory Toler, CB, St. Paul's. Graduation May 10. Finals April 27-May 1.

5. Herman Johnson, G, LSU. Graduation May 15. Finals May 4-9.

6. Will Davis, DE, Illinois. Graduation May 16. Finals May 8-15.

7. LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB, Pittsburgh. Graduation April 26.

7. Trevor Canfield, G, Cincinnati. Graduation June 13. Canfield graduated in December. He can join the team May 16.