NFL.com Staff | Tags: 2011 NFL Draft, Arizona Cardinals, Christian Ballard, Denver Broncos, Edmond Gates, Kris Durham, Miami Dolphins, Mike Mayock, Minnesota Vikings, Quinton Carter, Sam Acho, Seattle Seahawks
NEW YORK — A few notes, thoughts and observations from Radio City Music Hall as Round 4 of the NFL draft unfolds.
- The Cardinals passed (again) on a quarterback with the 103rd overall pick, but they did take Texas LB Sam Acho. He played down at Texas, but with Darnell Dockett and Bryan Robinson inside, NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock expects Acho to play up in Arizona. “He’s a bit of a tweener, but I love his intelligence and intangibles,” Mayock said.
- The Vikings added depth to the “Williams Wall” at No. 106 with Iowa DT Christian Ballard, who might prove to be one of the best value picks in the middle rounds. According to Mayock, who had Ballard at No. 70 overall, most teams rated him with second-round skills.
- Georgia WR Kris Durham was the first player drafted — at No. 107 overall by the Seahawks — who didn’t attend the NFL Scouting Combine.
- The Broncos continue to load up on defensive players as they transition to a 4-3 defense. After using three of their first four picks on defensive players — LB Von Miller, FS Rahim Moore and LB Nate Irving — the Broncos’ first Day 3 pick was Oklahoma S Quinton Carter. “I like his combination of range and ball skills. The talent and the skill set is there.” Mayock said of Carter.
- The Dolphins continued their run of offensive players by adding one of the draft’s fastest players, Abilene Christian WR Edmond Gates, at No. 111 to complement Davone Bess and Brandon Marshall. “This is a guy who takes the lid off of a zone defense,” notes Mayock, who rated Gates No. 63 overall. The Dolphins have used all three picks on offensive players, building around QB Chad Henne.
– Frank Tadych