The Cardinals have lost a number of talented defensive players over the past couple of years. One is Darnell Dockett, who signed with the rival 49ers. Arizona has brought in Cory Redding, but the former Colt is 34, so the front office has to find a five-technique for the long haul.
Rd. 2, Pk. 23
Ameer Abdullah, RB, Nebraska
Andre Ellington can't carry the load by himself, and the Cardinals need a new No. 2 running back anyway.
Rd. 3, Pk. 22
D'Joun Smith, CB, Florida Atlantic
The Cardinals lost Antonio Cromartie this offseason, so they'll be looking to upgrade the cornerback position early during the draft.
Rd. 4, Pk. 24
Max Garcia, C/OT/G, Florida
The Cardinals parted ways with Lyle Sendlein this offseason, so they'll need to do something about the center position.
Rd. 5, Pk. 23
Taiwan Jones, ILB, Michigan State
The Cardinals have had major issues covering tight ends the past two years. The main problem in this regard this past season was the inside linebacker position. Karlos Dansby and Daryl Washington were both missed. Sean Weatherspoon signed with Arizona, but he can't be counted on to stay healthy.
The Cardinals entered the offseason wanting to increase the speed, athleticism and pass rush of their inside and outside linebackers. Gregory will help address that. Arizona has shown interest in him and has taken chances on character-risk players in recent years.
Gregory is hands down the best pass-rusher in the 2015 NFL Draft, in my opinion. However, I have him sliding because of off-the-field concerns. In 2014, Gregory totaled 56 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, one forced fumble, three passes broken up and one interception while missing three games (knee, concussion, ankle). He was a beast for Nebraska in 2013 - his first year on campus. The sophomore had just 10 starts, yet racked up 66 tackles with 19 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, one pass batted and an interception. The 6-foot-5, 235-pounder should get even bigger over time.
There is no doubt that Gregory is extremely fast. His lightning first-step gives him an advantage to turn the corner against tackles. Gregory also has natural agility to drop his hips and maneuver his body by blockers. On top of his speed, he has phenomenal hands for a player who doesn't have a lot of experience. Gregory is very adept at getting blockers' hands off of him and shedding their blocks. He is also physical when putting offensive players into the turf. Gregory has a relentless attitude and can make some plays through a second effort. He uses a spin move, swim move and bull rush effectively. Gregory also is really smart about when he deploys those moves. However, Gregory could stand to get stronger for the ground game.
Pick change; previously Eli Harold, OLB
Rd. 2, Pk. 23
Carl Davis, DT/3-4DE/NT, Iowa
The Cardinals could use a nose tackle to replace Dan Williams.
The 6-foot-5, 315-pound Davis is a tough run-defender at the point of attack with the speed to make plays in the backfield. He recorded 34 tackles with nine tackles for a loss, two sacks, and a pass broken up in 2014. Davis had a great Senior Bowl on the field, but made a terrible impression in the team interviews. That has really hurt his grade with some teams as he came across as lazy and arrogant.
Davis notched 42 tackles, four tackles for a loss, one pass batted and 1.5 sacks in 2013. He had 14 tackles as a sophomore. The senior's stock would be higher if he had increased his pass-rushing production year over year, but he was inconsistent as his motor ran hot and cold while also spending a lot of snaps on the sideline.
Pick change; previously Alex Carter, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 22
Kevin White, WR, TCU
The Cardinals grab some cornerback talent after losing Antonio Cromartie in free agency.
While White (5-9, 180) is undersized, he is a gritty cover corner who competes and does a nice job of not allowing separation. He had an excellent week at the Senior Bowl. In 2014, White recorded 51 tackles with four tackles for a loss, two interceptions and 11 passes broken up. He was impressive with how he defended West Virginia wide receiver Kevin White (3-28). The Horned Frog looks like a potential slot cornerback for the NFL.
In 2013, White was an honorable mention Big XII pick by the conference's coaches, but was overshadowed by Jason Verrett. White had 40 tackles with eight passes broken up and three interceptions that season.
Pick change; previously Henry Anderson, DL
Rd. 4, Pk. 24
Josh Robinson, RB, Mississippi State
The Cardinals could use some running back depth behind Andre Ellington.
Robinson (5-8, 217) enjoyed a breakout season for the Bulldogs. He ran with quickness and toughness to pace the Mississippi State offense. Robinson averaged 6.3 yards per carry for 1,203 yards with 11 touchdowns. He also had 28 receptions for 370 yards. Robinson needs to improve his pass blocking for the next level. He averaged 5.9 yards per carry for 459 yards and three touchdowns as a sophomore. In his freshman year, Robinson totaled 335 yards (6.1 average) and a score.
The Cardinals need a back to complement Andre Ellington. Gordon is the perfect fit here at 24. This is good value here, and this would take some pressure off Carson Palmer in the passing game and would balance out their offense.
After trading down and losing AP, RB is a real possibility here. Both Gurley and Gordon are here to choose from and they decide to take Gurley. While he is coming off an injury and there are concerns, I don't think that stops him from getting picked here. After all they did take AP and not only did he health concerns he also had fumbling problems. Gurley was one thought to be a top 10 pick. Him falling to the mid 20's has everything to do with his injury and not his play.
With no top RB here, the Cards go with the top ILB. The Cardinals' LB group is very depleted of youth and talent, and Kendricks is a great ILB prospect who can also play the pass well. He should be an instant starter for the Cardinals.
The Cardinals have a great defense but it wouldn't hurt to have a pass rusher like Bud Dupree. Dupree is 6'4, 265. He has a quick burst off the ball, is a great athlete and is relentless in his pursuit. He definitely is more of a situational pass rusher at this point, but I think that's what the Cards need.
McKinney's stock has fallen a lot after Mississippi state dropped off halfway through the season. His play was inconsistent in 2014 but the talent is there. Arizona's interior defenders are pretty weak on the roster with Larry Foote being 34 and Kevin Minter not yet proving he can stay healthy.