— Internet News

Quick impact? Cards expect early picks will help from Day 1

Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury is confident that the team’s first two selections in this year’s NFL draft – Tulsa linebacker Zaven Collins and Purdue receiver Rondale Moore – will have long and productive professional careers. He also believes those guys can help from Day 1 in the desert. For a team built to win now, that’s an important trait. The Cardinals are trying to break a playoff drought from 2015.

The franchise nearly made the postseason last year but finished a disappointing 8-8 after losing five of its previous seven games. “We knew we had to get better,” Kingsbury said Saturday. “None of us were pleased with how that thing ended last year. We wanted to improve through the draft, and (general manager) Steve (Keim) made it crystal clear to the coaching staff and personnel department that those first two picks needed to play early and a lot.

“That was the mission, and I feel good with where it’s at.”


The Cardinals grabbed Collins with the No. 16 overall pick on Thursday and reeled in Moore at No. 49 on Friday. Arizona spent much of the later rounds filling out defensive depth, particularly in the secondary.

In the fourth round, the Cardinals traded up to get Florida cornerback Marco Wilson and added Duke defensive end Victor Dimukeje and Central Florida cornerback Tay Gowan in the sixth. In the final round, they picked Cincinnati safety James Wiggins.

Only two of the team’s seven selections were offensive players: Moore and Penn State center Michal Menet, who was picked with the team’s final selection in the seventh round.

Before the draft, the Cardinals were busy in free agency to help their offense, adding seven-time Pro Bowl receiver A.J. Green and running back James Conner. They also traded for Oakland center Rodney Hudson.

tight end, but generally, there aren’t any huge holes.

“I feel fantastic about them,” Kingsbury said. “A.J. Green’s been one of the most productive receivers in the league over his tenure in Cincinnati, and we can’t wait for him to get out here and get a fresh start with (quarterback) Kyler (Murray).”


Collins had one of the best reactions of the entire draft when he found out the Cardinals had selected him midway through the first round.

After announcing his name, the Tulsa linebacker put his head in his hands and slowly slid off his chair onto the floor. He eventually stood and shared an emotional hug with his mom, Haley.

Haley Collins had to take money out of her 401K just so her son could travel to showcase football camps in high school so that the lightly recruited high school prospect could search for a Division I scholarship offer.

Molly Aronson

I'm an award-winning blogger who enjoys all things creative but is especially passionate about lifestyle design. I blog over at mehlogy.com I love that I get to share my passion for healthy living, fashion, fitness, and travel with readers from all over the world.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button