Petrino photo: Tim Haag/CardinalSportsZone.com Strong photo: livestream7.com
The Louisville Cardinals had a school record 10 players selected in this past weekend’s NFL Draft. They had the second most of any team, behind Florida State’s 11 picks. Regardless, that looks great for the program. But who do you think should get the most credit? The guy who coached them last season? Or the guy who brought most of those guys to UofL and developed them?
Just for the record, when I refer to Bobby Petrino or Charlie Strong in this, it obviously includes their whole staff as well. Clearly guys like Todd Grantham and Clint Hurtt have a lot to do with the success of those head coaches, but for the sake of time, I will just refer to Petrino and Strong.
Let’s take a look at the 10 draft picks and try to figure out who is most responsible for them getting drafted…
It was a very eventful weekend for the city of Louisville as well as the University of Louisville football program. If you are like me, you were focused on the Derby festivities, but kept an eye on the NFL Draft at least. The Kentucky Derby is what this city is known for, and I was lucky enough to have tickets, so of course that was where my attention was. But I also get mobile alerts, and somehow my phone was working at Churchill Downs, so I was aware when former Louisville players were getting drafted, which was a plus.
In all, a school record 10 players from UofL were drafted. Florida State had the most players with 11. On top of those 10 for the Cards, four (so far) have also signed free agent deals and will have a chance to make a team.
Here is just a quick rundown of where the players were selected.
Over the last few days, there have been plenty of posts on the NFL Combine with information on former Louisville players and how they performed. That is what happens when you send 11 players up to Indianapolis for the event. Here are links to all of the posts from CSZ regarding the NFL combine…
B.J. Dubose participated in two of the tests at the NFL Combine, and actually hurt himself during one of them. He pulled his hamstring while running the 40 yard dash. He was clocked at 5.06 seconds, but obviously that number is a little high because of his injury near the end of the run. He also benched pressed 225 lbs for 26 reps, which was good for 5th overall among linebackers.
Arm Length: 33″
Weight: 284 lbs
Hands: 9 3/4″
Analysis from NFL.com
This year’s East-West Shrine Game will take place on Saturday, January 17 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. Instantly having flashbacks to the Beef ‘O’ Brady’s Bowl game in 2010 and leaving there being so excited to have a 7-6 record on the season.
This year’s game will include 6 former Louisville Cardinals playing for the East. And according to this article from cbssports.com, four of those six have been standing out at practices.
It’s getting to be that time where the national publications release their preseason college football polls. There will be many different ones of course. This one is from Lindy’s, who have the Cards at #31 on their countdown. I would expect this to be about where most magazines and other media outlets have the Cards, somewhere around that #25 mark. Many factors will contribute to that. Yes there is a lot of talent back, but the uncertainty of a new QB, replacing 3 first round NFL Draft picks, and everything you already know about.
Here is what Lindy’s says about the Cards in 2014…(They mention Robert Clark, but of course he has transferred to Samford.)
From ESPN.com’s Andrea Adelson, who talks about the different defense that Louisville will play this season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There are holes to fill across the Louisville defense, one that quietly ranked as one of the best units in America a year ago.
But that is not the only reason this group is undergoing an entire overhaul during the spring. Defensive coordinator Todd Grantham has changed the base defense to a 3-4 and started shifting players around to positions better suited for them. The lone returning starting lineman from a year ago, Lorenzo Mauldin, will move to outside linebacker, filling a hybrid rush end role that will better utilize his athleticism.
Sheldon Rankins, a backup defensive tackle the last two seasons, has emerged as a leader at end but can play nose guard, too.
“He’s been dominant,” Grantham said.
Plenty more moves have been made: B.J. Dubose, who has played end and tackle, has found a home at end this spring; Redshirt freshman James Hearns has moved from linebacker to end; redshirt freshman Chucky Williams is leading the charge to start at one safety spot after starting his career at cornerback.
Previous position breakdowns:
Today we continue the position breakdowns for the 2013 football season and focus on the Defensive Line. There is a lot of talent and depth at this spot. If they can stay healthy, and some need to get healthy first, watch out! Let’s see who we have here…
6’4 243 lbs
Mauldin has moved from defensive end to tight end and now back to defensive end since arriving at UofL. What does that mean? He is not only a team player, but versatile. You don’t just switch positions unless you are skilled enough to do it and selfless enough to sacrifice for the team.