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You've Got Mail: The Draft Is On The Way

Topics include potential draft trades and the need at No. 1


April has arrived and the Cardinals -- with the rest of the NFL -- drives toward the draft at the end of the month. Meanwhile, the Cardinals officially begin their voluntary offseason program starting Monday. With that as the backdrop, on to your questions. As always, you can leave a question for next week's mailbag by clicking here.

There is always a chance to trade back into the first round. Certainly, with pick No. 33 to start the second and ample picks throughout the draft, the Cards will have ammunition. Now, whether it would be to take Harry, no way to know. There is still a chance he's there at No. 33. I don't think there is any question the Cardinals need to get a wide receiver sooner rather than later. But a lot can happen.

From Balázs Dohy via

"Are the players somehow involved in the draft research process? If they know each other from college, they could have deep knowledge about how the new players work and live in everyday business, not when the they want to sell themselves. Choosing the right fits isn't the player's job obviously, but as additional information, I wonder if Steve Keim uses the players in this way."

The Cardinals have done this in some circumstances, yes. Certainly, Patrick Peterson was a resource when the team was doing its homework on Tyrann Mathieu. It would be missing an opportunity to ask people who would know the prospect. I agree on that. I don't know if they'd do it a lot -- don't forget, scouts are already digging up a ton of info on these guys already, from trainers to college coaches to family members. A former teammate already on the Cards helps, but it wouldn't be a backbreaker if you didn't do it.

Short-term? You can make a strong case for Quinnen Williams, just because of what is on the defensive line right now. But not knowing how much longer Terrell Suggs has left, that strong case for Nick Bosa is the same. Also, if you're talking No. 1 overall, I think you have to take the guy who you think will be better in the NFL over his career. Both are important. Steve Keim always talks about the top four premium positions are QB, pass rusher, left tackle and cornerback. If Bosa is the real deal, it'd be hard to pass up.

From David Brandt via

"Hey Darren, I was wondering if the Cards are utilizing their No. 1 pick to their best advantage or might the team get caught in the media sensationalism of the moment like when they traded for Kevin Kolb? Meaning, many No. 1 picks and Heisman Trophy winner have panned out but, I guess I'm using my own recollect, that it seems like more Heisman winners going into the NFL have not fared well."

The only reason the Cardinals would take Kyler Murray is because they think he could be a transcendent QB. There have been plenty of Heisman winners who have not done well, yes, but you have to judge each player on a case-by-case basis. As for the Kolb comparison, I'm not sure I see the analogy. The Cardinals needed a QB in 2011 after a rough 2010 and rolled the dice on Kolb. He couldn't stay healthy. I don't think they traded for him because of media hype.

From Chad Johnson via

"With recent stories on Kingsbury and cell phone breaks, what does a typical daily schedule look like for the average player? Is there much variation in the schedule from coach to coach?"

There is always a little variation, but generally, it'll depend on the time of year. There is only so much time players are allowed in the building in the offseason based on the CBA, so a team has to fit in whatever meetings plus the "physical" work (whether it is lifting or conditioning and/or on-field work.) In season, players can lift first thing in the morning or after practice, when there is time to get lunch or just have some downtime. But there are meetings most of pre-practice time, and then more for a couple of hours after practice. Plus there is whatever individual time a player (especially quarterbacks) might spend studying for themselves.

Honestly, breaks make sense to me, whether they are for cell phones or whatever. I saw all the blowback after that story came out, and all I could think of was the people who complain that a player tweets about playing golf or doing whatever on a Tuesday off day instead of practicing or watching video. Like everyone else doesn't take any down time during the week.

Don't go down that rabbit hole. Too many are. I mean, if that's why the Cards are starting a week later -- and Kliff Kingsbury said flat out it was so the Cardinals don't have to take a week-long break in the offseason, which would have been required if they started April 1 -- then what about the other three teams with first-year head coaches that are also starting April 8 out of the eight teams with new coaches? (The Packers came out and said it was for the same reason Kingsbury gave.) The offseason schedule was set up weeks ago, long before the draft process had gotten far (and long before any decision had likely been made about who to draft, and I don't think anything is solidified yet.) I also don't understand how a player showing up or not kills leverage. It's voluntary to be here.

From Joy Brooks via

"I am so sick of hearing about Kyler Murray. After trading up last year to draft Josh Rosen, and the flashes we saw from him in spite of zero protection up front, could they seriously be thinking of wasting the No. 1 pick on a QB? I'd like to think they've told Rosen to tune out the 'noise' and they're just blowing smoke to drum up draft day trades. What's your honest opinion?"

Honestly, I don't think they've made any final decision. I, of course, could be wrong, but I sit 10 feet from the draft room and I know when the draft meetings -- in which they rank all these players and build their board -- go on, and those are just getting started. If you think Murray has superstar potential, you'd be foolish not to investigate that potential. This could be a smoke screen, sure. We will know for sure by the end of the month. But I can tell you this -- they have no interest in "wasting" any picks, most of all the first overall. They're spending a ton of man-hours trying to figure out the best course of action. Whomever is the quarterback, fans want to see a trend toward winning. Whomever is quarterback, if this team struggles, the fan base won't be happy. Whomever is quarterback, if this team gets better and starts to win, the fan base will be happy.

I don't think this has ever been about replacing Josh Rosen. They believe Josh Rosen can be a good quarterback. I think this team would be happy with him at quarterback. But if you want to look into whether Kyler Murray can be a next-level talent -- and you don't think any of these other guys will be -- that's why Murray is the one guy you do the work on at this position. You don't want to have 2007 again, when you had a good running back In Edgerrin James (one that helped you get to a Super Bowl, mind you) so you decided to pass on Adrian Peterson. I'm not saying Murray will be a Peterson-type talent, but that's what you're trying to see if you can figure out.

From Robert Malicki via

"The current owners' meeting produced a decision to open the 2019 season with the Green Bay Packers playing the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. I get it. The NFL can spin NFL history to fit their hype any way they want. But, the Packers were not there 'at the beginning.' Have you heard of any recognition of our Cardinals as an original team? For instance, we hold the claim of oldest rivalries. We played the Bears before they ever played the Packers and the Packers before they ever played the Bears. Just sayin'."

Well, it doesn't help that the Cardinals don't play the Packers or Bears this season, so to get a game with two of the oldest franchises, the Cards couldn't really be factored into that idea. Of course, the Packers and Bears also have a rivalry to this day, whereas the Cards don't as much with either of them. I didn't really think much of it. The league knows the Cardinals are an original franchise.

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