The draft is a little more than a week away, and finally, there will be some answers. The Cardinals also are back on the field before that, holding a veterans minicamp next week as well. In the meantime, we go to your questions. As always, click here to send a question in for next week's mailbag.
They do. All teams do mock drafts following all their draft meetings and building their draft board. There will be multiple mocks done to try and get all the scenarios out in the open. Obviously, this year, picking first, the Cardinals can decide how many mocks they want to do -- if they indeed decide they are using the first pick, the rest is more or less moot unless they are factoring in a potential trade back into the first round.
From Blaine Pierce via azcardinals.com:
"Who would you consider starters at the DE and DT positions currently on the team? The backups at these positions? Thank you."
If I had to guess right now, it'd be Philon and Gunter as the 3-4 DEs and Corey Peters at the nose. As of now, I'd say Nkemdiche (once he is healthy) and Malveaux as backup DEs and Valentine as backup nose tackle, although Gunter can play the nose if needed. Lots of fluidity there.
Does he appreciate them more? I don't know about that. But the Cardinals certainly haven't passed up on a guy because he is from a small school. Your examples are guys that have done pretty well. Justin Bethel, multi-time Pro Bowl special teamer, was a small school guy. Dennis Green was the opposite; he thought you needed guys from big programs. I just think it's all a case-by-case basis; there is a reason guys most of the time end up at the bigger schools. But that doesn't mean some guys fall through the cracks who can definitely play.
From Brad Cain via azcardinals.com:
"Hey Darren, is it just me or does it seem like the media and sports analysts are trying to push the Cardinals into taking Murray? I don't think there's anyone saying they'd take someone else anymore."
Well, the Cardinals aren't making a pick based on that, so to say the analysts are "pushing" them doesn't make sense to me. But clearly, many analysts think that is what is going to happen. We'll see. As has been pointed out plenty, nobody had the Browns taking Baker Mayfield until practically draft day.
Game changer? You have to be a good quarterback in the first place. I don't know if I'd say it's the traditional increase, but he was going to get that money, based on what he was going to get via a franchise tag over the next three years. I'll say this -- the Seahawks had to do it. You can't let Wilson get away, or even have him be upset with his contract. He's too good and too important. What will be interesting is to see the contract's impact on the rest of Seattle's roster building.
From Mel Brenden via azcardinals.com:
"I truly wish that you guys would go out and get Ndamukong Suh. The guy is still a force in the middle of the D-line. He can bring leadership on the field as well as in the locker room. I can't understand why you haven't already grabbed him up. GO AND GET HIM ALREADY!!!!"
From Joy Brooks via azcardinals.com:
"I'm still stuck on the possibility the Cards will stupidly take Kyler Murray with the #1 pick. I think if they do, they'll again be picking at the top of the draft in 2020. Wasn't Kingsbury hired almost totally because of what he said he'd do to make Rosen an elite quarterback? Now he wants Murray? Isn't it a bit of a conflict of interest that Kingsbury and Murray have the same agent. Personally i'd like to see just what Rosen can do with a real offensive line in front of him. You can't judge him by one year. For example, I don't think Troy Aikman won a game his rookie year."
A lot going on here.
Aikman went 1-15, so there's that. He is absolutely a success story. I don't think anyone -- including the Cards, even if they draft Murray -- are saying you should judge Rosen on one year. If the Cardinals made that move, it'd just because they think Murray has a higher ceiling than Rosen. As for Kingsbury, I don't see how a conflict of interest is in here -- the Cardinals aren't drafting anyone just based on what the coach wants. There is a lot that goes into it, and Steve Keim will have the final say. As for why Kingsbury was hired, it was to help the Cardinals' offense and to win games. Rosen is part of that equation, certainly. But again, if decisions are made that it would be better to draft Murray, not sure why you would avoid it because Kingsbury can help Rosen.
I haven't heard anything along those lines. I know esports is growing. But like I said, I haven't heard any conversation about that in terms of the NFL.
Had to finish with these two back-to-back. I wish I had an answer for either one. I do not. But it encapsulates the last month or so in a nutshell. The draft can't come soon enough.