Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Kiper mock 2.0: Thoughts on Cardinals
By Mike Sando
Mel Kiper's second mock draft for 2011 serves as a good conversation starter for NFC West fans looking forward to April.
I'll conclude with a look at his plans for the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the No. 5 overall choice.
5. Arizona Cardinals: Von Miller, OLB, Texas A&M
Kiper's give: Joey Porter is unlikely to be back, and Miller would represent an immediate pass-rushing upgrade on the edge of Arizona's 3-4 scheme. The Texas A&M standout made his name in 2009 as a sack artist but developed a range of skills in 2010 and has become a complete player. He stands up well against the run and drops into coverage seamlessly.
Sando's take: Kiper had the Cardinals taking Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert in his previous mock. Gabbert was still available at No. 7 in this follow-up mock, and nothing about the Cardinals' quarterback situation has changed in the interim. Arizona did recently hire former Pittsburgh Steelers secondary coach Ray Horton as defensive coordinator. Horton has promised to remake Arizona into an aggressive blitzing team. The Cardinals will need to upgrade their pass-rush talent to make that happen. Adding Miller would qualify as a step in that direction, but who plays quarterback, again?