Cardinals turn to draft boards -- plural

Evaluating personnel ranked as a strength for former Cardinals coach Dennis Green.

Larry Fitzgerald, Darnell Dockett, Deuce Lutui, Karlos Dansby, Antrel Rolle and Antonio Smith were among the high-quality players the team drafted when Green was influencing the process.

Green is gone and fourth-year coach Ken Whisenhunt has helped the Cardinals become a playoff team. But the team still relies on a personnel system the team adopted when Green was head coach.

The Cardinals rank all draft prospects on one board. They rank 120 players separately based more on how those players might fit their schemes. The current team might value a good 3-4 linebacker more than a slightly better 4-3 linebacker.

"For instance, we have a player that we consider to be a very highly ranked player on the big board," Whisenhunt told reporters Monday. "He may not be a good fit for us so he may be ranked -- if he was in the top five on the big board, he may be 12 or 13 on our 120 board because he doesn’t fit for us as well."

The Cardinals could still draft that player, but the 120 board would remind them to reconsider the fit.

"We are repeatedly going through the exercise of need vs. best player available," general manager Rod Graves told reporters, "but we are lining that 120 board based on how we would select those players if they were there."

The second list stops at 120 players because that figure has been sufficient in past drafts.