With the 13th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2012 NFL mock draft, the Arizona Cardinals select Iowa offensive tackle Riley Reiff. Latif Masud is serving as the Cardinals' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
The Arizona Cardinals right now sit in an interesting spot. On the one hand, they are a quarterback away from having a very competent to potentially great offense, and that quarterback may or may not be Kevin Kolb or John Skelton. On the other hand, the Cardinals have been quietly stockpiling their defense for a couple of years now and are really a pass-rushing outside linebacker away from having one of the most talented units in football.
Going into this pick, I did my fair share of research into Ryan Tannehill and his potential since it was a foregone conclusion that Robert Griffin III and Andrew Luck would be long gone by the time I made my selection. Initially, I didn't feel that the 13th spot was too high for Tannehill given that he is a quarterback, but the more research I did, the more I felt as if he didn't really add anything to the Cardinals. The Cardinals already have a reliable starter with upside in Kolb and a project player in Skelton. In hindsight, it made more sense to roll with those two for one more season before making a move at quarterback.
That meant to me that I was going to go after a defensive end/outside linebacker with this pick, and I immediately had my eyes on Quinton Coples and Melvin Ingram with drafting offensive line help as the backup option. I felt pretty confident that at least one of them was going to make it to the 13th spot given the amount of talents available at other positions, but it ended up that both of them were gone by the time I was on the clock.
From the players left on the board, I initially fiddled with the idea of drafting Nick Perry with this pick, but I realized it was simply too high for a potential project player, so I decided to go find the Cards some offensive line help. From the players that I felt would remain at this pick, I thought David DeCastro would be the most talented available, but he ended being snagged with the sixth overall pick. However, I didn't mind that at all since it ended up that Riley Reiff, thought by most draft gurus to be the second best tackle in the draft, had dropped into my lap.
While Reiff certainly has some weaknesses, he is in many ways exactly what you look for in a left tackle. At 6-6, 313 pounds, he is just about the perfect size for a left tackle, and his diverse background in playing tight end in high school, along with being on both the track and golf teams are probably what helped develop his overall athletic abilities. On top of that, the only real red flag that Reiff seems to have is a minor arrest for public intoxication back when he was a freshman (after he made the police chase him for 20 minutes through Iowa City). Overall, he's more than good enough for the 13th spot.
Check out the 2012 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.