Franchise tags are upon us, the Scouting combine is almost upon us and the draft is the draft. There is no offseason, really. Here is this week's mailbag, and as a heads up, there will not be one next week -- Tuesday I will be traveling to Indianapolis for the combine, and while we will have plenty of content on azcardinals.com. the next mailbag will be posted March 5. That gives you plenty of time to send in questions by clicking here. Now, on to this week's questions.
From Laird DelRosa via azcardinals.com:
"Nick Bosa is probably the first pick. Any chance you take an O-lineman instead?"
I'm not ruling anything out at this point, but given the early conversation about the very top of the draft board, I'm not sure an offensive lineman makes sense to take first -- you can't just grab a guy and decline to bring in elite players because it is a position of need. I'm very curious to see how free agency goes when it comes to the offensive line.
Truthfully, I don't look too deep into the draft until we get to the combine, which is soon, obviously. From what I know about all three, I think all are good enough that they would fit what the Cardinals do. Williams intrigues me because the Cardinals could use an elite distruptor in the middle -- what they were hoping Robert Nkemdiche could have been. But there are also times when Williams hasn't been as active as he should be, and you don't want to have someone who is on and off that you are taking No. 1.
We don't know yet how Kingsbury will use the tight end (or really, how his offense will look, period.) The team did sign Charles Clay Tuesday, so it's obviously a position they are thinking about. This tight end class is strong as well. I know that the offense needs playmakers, and that Kingsbury (and Steve Keim for that matter) want mismatches. If a tight end comes along they feel can do that, yes, I absolutely could see them taking a tight end in one of those rounds.
I mean, I think the Cardinals would do that in a second. The Raiders? I don't know. The trade-down, in some form, is always an option. The Cardinals need multiple players to improve multiple spots.
From Robert Malicki via azcardinals.com:
"As a very long-time Cardinal fan I am intrigued by team president, Michael Bidwill. How have you come to see him with your front-row seat we fans lack? I sense he is a student of team history and its challenge of striving to be, and being, in contention for a title. I see last season and the upcoming one as a present day redo of what his father and uncle experienced during the 1972-1973 seasons and that Michael is, too."
Well, I can't speak to 1972 and 1973, with that well before my time, and I am not sure that would be any part of Michael's thinking either. I do think he is a student of team history, especially in terms of wanting to shift perception in this franchise. I think -- and he's talked about it before -- winning a championship is extremely important to him, both to show the franchise can do it and to get one for his father after all these years.
From Eric Scott via azcardinals.com:
"Given our need for immediate depth at WR, what are the odds we add a veteran like Chris Hogan, or possibly a solid young slot in Adam Humphries, or maybe both? Also a dark horse guy I'd love to see is Tanner McEvoy. At 6'6" 230 he could line up inside outside or at TE if needed -- thoughts?"
Wide receiver is a position of need. I think this team needs outside receivers, however. Fitz mostly works within the slot, and Christian Kirk does well there too. While these slot players are important, you have to have some guys on the outside to whom defenses have to pay attention. As for McEvoy, he hasn't done a whole lot in the league -- if you sign a guy like that, it's probably at the bottom of the roster to potentially fill out a depth chart.
Antonio Brown is a great player. No one can dispute that. He would make any team he goes to better in the passing game. But the baggage -- boy, there is a lot of baggage. It's not just the comments or the visible antics on the sideline but also the inevitable new contract push, which seems to be part of this situation. Personally, I do not see it with the Cardinals. But never say never.
Someday, Adrian would like to be a general manager somewhere. He's definitely not going to pound his chest about it, but he's like many front-office types who would eventually like to run their own ship.
Well, obviously they just picked up Charles Clay. He and Robert Alford and Brooks Reed all have a chance to help. Now, is that a guarantee? No. But with where the roster stands right now, all three figure to have roles come September.
In a vacuum, perhaps that makes sense. You have two potential QBs of the future, and you double your chances of finding one. Alas, NFL teams don't play in a vacuum, and realistically, that concept is flawed. To start with, you've invested your last two first-round picks on a position in which only one can play -- meaning you've guaranteed one of those picks won't pan out -- at least for your team. Two, a QB on a rookie contract works -- but two, especially two first-rounders, including the first overall -- and suddenly that's not the cost benefit most teams get with a rookie deal.
Third, there is a human element. Both guys are going to want to play. One, if not both, figures to be frustrated if he does not. Rosen probably isn't going to be thrilled the team decided he wasn't good enough to stick with. The locker room can become divided. It's the old college axiom -- if you have two quarterbacks, you don't have any.