Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the Arizona Cardinals, at No. 5 overall.
With the fifth overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select Cam Newton, quarterback, Auburn.
Jess Root of RevengeOfTheBirds.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Cardinals, and checking out Revenge of the Birds for all of your Cardinals needs.
Jess Root explains: Newton was not the number one choice for the team, as most would probably imagine. It just happened to be, though, that their top four picks went one through four in the draft. Based on the available talent and team needs, Newton was the best option.
Ken Whisenhunt loves the physical traits and the arm strength, and was encouraged by Newton's workout at his Pro Day, where he ran a few extra drills for the Arizona coach specifically.
Arizona needs help on the offensive line, in the pass rush at outside linebacker, at quarterback and in the secondary, but with Miller, Peterson and Gabbert all off the board, Newton was the highest on the team's board. Another consideration would have been Nebraska CB Prince Amukamara, but the team feels that the need at QB and the upside of Newton makes this selection worth the risk.
Dan Kadar reacts: Everyone seems to think that no matter who is available in the draft, that Arizona is going to sign a free agent quarterback. The name discussed the most is Marc Bulger, who really hasn't done much since signing a huge deal with the Rams in 2007. The holes on the Cardinals' roster are starting to show, so it would be wise to start filling them with young, impact players. There is no bigger hole than quarterback, and no player who can make an impact like Newton. With Von Miller and Patrick Peterson gone, Newton needs to be the pick. [Cam Newton Scouting Report]
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|3||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||scouting report|
|4||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||scouting report|
|5||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||scouting report|
|6||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||scouting report|
|7||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn|
|7||San Francisco 49ers|
|14||St. Louis Rams|
|17||New England Patriots|
|18||San Diego Chargers|
|19||New York Giants|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs|
|24||New Orleans Saints|
|28||New England Patriots|
|30||New York Jets|
|32||Green Bay Packers|