Representing the Arizona Cardinals, ozarks with the 13th pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft...
When it came time to lock in a team for the 2012 AP Mock, I was surprised to find myself with the actual opportunity to grab a team, after trying for the last two years. After a quick scan of what was off the board, I immediately turned to one of the teams of my youth and selected the Big Red, er, Cardiac Cards, er, the Angry Song Birds of Arizona.
The Cardinals went 8-8 last year. But after a horrendous 1-6 start, they improved to go 7-2 over their last nine games. New QB Kevin Kolb had some... issues. He missed all or part of nine games, first with turf toe, and then by getting kicked in the head and concussed. QB protection was an issue. Hoo boy, what an understatement. They were next to last in the league in sacks allowed with 54. That was just one sack away from the NFL worst Rams. Interestingly, the Cardinals did not draft ANY offensive linemen in the 2011 draft, this after also finishing 2010 next to last in sacks allowed! 104 sacks allowed in two seasons. That's. Just. Gross.
So to recap, the Cards knew they lived in a dangerous neighborhood (50 sacks allowed in 2010). They purchased an expensive new BMW (Kolb), but didn't see the need to buy any additional insurance (linemen to protect). Their new ride got its tires slashed, roof caved in, and it wasn't even in the driveway over half the time.
Arizona doesn't have a second round pick this year (BMW purchase), so I really expect them to try to trade down from #13. I don't have that option here at AP, so I've got to make this pick count. Other needs for the Cards include an inside linebacker, wide receiver and another corner to couple with Patrick Peterson, but none of these needs trumps tackle. Arizona actually released both of their starting tackles this offseason, but resigned Levi Brown, the least disappointing of the two. Brown could play either side, so that's not an issue for my pick. It's got to be the best tackle remaining on the board.
So, with the 13th selection in the AP Community Mock Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select:
Riley Reiff, Tackle, University of Iowa.
He's a day one starter at a position of need. May well be able to lock down the left tackle position for the next decade in the desert. Kevin Kolb certainly approves of this pick. How about you?
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)