Sunday, 18 January 2009

Copy the Cardinals? Arizona heading to the Super Bowl

The Arizona Cardinals today reached their first Super Bowl in franchise history, defeating the Philadelphia Eagles 32-25 in a dramatic NFC Championship game. Kurt Warner put in a veteran performance, Adrian Wilson lead the team in tackles. But the defining factor was surely wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald who caught nine passes for 152 yards and three touchdowns. In the process, he set a post season record with 419 receiving yards - eclipsing none other than Jerry Rice.

It's often said that the NFL is a copy cat league. Will the Seahawks look to mimic the Cardinals by drafting a big play receiver in this year's draft? Seattle has a veteran quarter back who has been to a Super Bowl, they have proven they can lean on a passing game in 2007 and have struggled on the east coast. Getting a dynamic target for Matt Hasselbeck could add to the similarities.

Aaron Weinburg at Next Season Sports compares Michael Crabtree to Fitzgerald and finds a number of similarities. Fellow columnist Jeff Richards counters the argument suggesting Seattle should look elsewhere.


Misfit said...

Of course if Crabtree is anything like either Boldin or Fitzgerald I'd love the selection.

Another thing the Cardinals have, as well as the other teams contending for their conference titles, is something else we need to add: an elite Safety.

Of course, few nationally talk about Adrian Wilson but Dawkins, Polomalu, and Reed get plenty of press and rightfully so. Dawkins is on the downside of his career, though.

That being said, who are prospects Seattle realistically has a shot at getting through the draft, Rob?

One guy that intrigues me is Rashad Johnson, FS, Alabama. Could he be around at 3.04?

While the team has recently praised Brian Russell for his leadership and being a 'gritty veteran', he should be the first starter replaced on defense by new coach Jim Mora, Jr. He also fits the mould of a Tim Ruskell player: All SEC first-teamer. Speed. Heady player.

Also, Rob, are there any possibilities through FA to add Russell's replacement?

MTJHoyas said...

Adding onto that, Saban said he is the smartest player he has ever coached. 11 picks in the last 2 years. I think he is this year's Lofa Tatupu in regards to his size taking more attention than his instincts, intelligence, and his ability to flat out play causing him to slip/fall under the radar. If he is in fact available at 3.04, I think you have to pull the trigger assuming safety is still a void needed to be filled.

Anonymous said...

Atogwe from the Rams can be a great pick up in the FA as well...

Rob Staton said...

Rashad Johnson is an intriguing prospect. Good potential but the downside is that he misses a lot of tackles. He could be around in the 3rd or 4th round. The highest rated safety is William Moore from Missouri, he could be a first round pick or early second rounder. Patrick Chung from Oregon is an option but perhaps not a great scheme fit. I've put a web address to see college talent scouts review of him:

Listing some other guys, there is Michael Hamlin (no relation I believe) of Clemson, Derek Pegues of Miss. State and Louis Delmas from W. Michigan. All could go around the same range as Johnson.

In terms of free agency, there are a few options (some less realistic than others). It seems apparent that the Seahawks still have trust in Brian Russell, so I'd be suprised if they used free agency to bring in a safety. A younger guy in the draft seems more likely to me. I've put a web address below listing this years free agent defensive backs: