Grading the Draft: Arizona Cardinals

nfl's picture

Tony Pauline

Draft Analyst Writer

The consensus belief before the draft had the Cardinals taking a top-rated receiver or quarterback Patrick Mahomes with their first pick. Once those options were off the board when the Cardinals were called to the clock, they looked to the other side of the ball.

1(13)

Haason Reddick

ILB

Temple

2(4)

Budda Baker

S

Washington

3(34)

Chad Williams

WR

Grambling State

4(8)

Dorian Johnson

OG

Pittsburgh

5(13)

Will Holden

OT

Vanderbilt

5(36)

T.J. Logan

RB

North Carolina

6(24)

Rudy Ford

S

Auburn

UDFA Signings: Trevor Knight, QB, Texas A&M; Drico Johnson, S, Central Florida; Ryan Lewis , CB, Pittsburgh; Ricky Seals-Jones, WR, Texas A&M; Cyril Noland-Lewis, S, Oregon State; Krishawn Hogan, WR, Marian; Carlton Agudosi , WR, Rutgers; De'Chavon Hayes, DB, Arizona State; Pasoni Tasini, DL, Utah; Tre'Von Johnson, LB, Weber State; Collin Bevins, DT, Northwest Missouri State; Ironhead Gallon, LB, Georgia Southern; James Summers, RB, East Carolina; Sojourn Shelton, CB, Wisconsin; Steven Wroblewski, TE, Southern Utah; Lucas Crowley, C, North Carolina; Jonathan McLaughlin, OL, Virginia Tech

Haason Reddick, who wasn’t even listed by scouts entering the 2016 season, watched his quick ascent up draft boards end when the Cardinals chose him with the 13th selection. In time this should be a great pick for the Arizona defense, as Reddick can play a multitude of positions in the Cardinals’ 3-4 alignment. It also offers the franchise options in the future as Deone Bucannon could become a free agent after the 2018 season.

Budda Baker was terrific value in Round 2. One of the most complete safeties in the draft, Baker is a vicious run defender with great ball skills. Poor measurables knocked him out of Round 1 but Baker adds depth to an already talent-laden Cardinals secondary.

As much as I liked the team’s first- and second-round choices, Chad Williams in Round 3 was one of the biggest reaches in the draft. I like Williams’ reliability, and he ran faster at the combine than most expected, but receivers such as Amara Darboh and Josh Reynolds were both rated higher and available to Arizona.

As I mentioned at the start of the second day, Dorian Johnson was medically red-flagged by a number of teams but could end up as a fourth-round steal for Arizona. He's a nasty mauler with a good degree of scheme versatility.

Offensive tackle William Holden was another solid pick a round later. He's a terrific developmental lineman with the ability to play on the left or right side.

They may have hit paydirt with T.J. Logan, the team's other fifth-round choice.

In my opinion Logan was the premier third-down back in this draft. He has the speed and agility to turn the perimeter, creates yardage and is a terrific pass catcher out of the backfield. Logan, who also has potential as a return specialist, will be a great complement to bellcow David Johnson.

Rudy Ford is yet another potential steal. Ford has excellent size and terrific athleticism and flashes a complete game. He must pick up the physicality of his play but has great upside.

The Cardinals signed a ton of players after the draft and finally addressed the receiver position. I'm not surprised Ricky Seals-Jones wasn’t selected in the draft. He's a big-bodied pass catcher with the ability to dominate opponents but drops too many passes and shows too much inconsistency. He has upside as does Kris Hogan of Marian, another big-bodied possession wideout.

Analysis: Third-round pick aside, I thought the Cardinals did a tremendous job and selected value through six rounds. They filled several needs with good prospects and in the end should receive a lot of production from this selection of players. Grade: A-