Grading the Draft - Arizona Cardinals

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Chris Tripodi

Draft Analyst Writer

The Cardinals entered the draft as one of many teams in need of a quarterback despite signing Sam Bradford in the offseason, but it wasn't a sure thing they'd get one at No. 15. The way things turned out, they may have gotten the best of the bunch.

Round 1 (No. 10 overall): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Round 1 (No. 47): Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Round 3 (No. 97): Mason Cole, OC, Michigan

Round 4 (No. 134): Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham

Round 6 (No. 182): Christian Campbell, CB, Penn State

Round 7 (No. 254): Korey Cunningham, OT, Cincinnati

UDFA: Alec Bloom, TE, UConn; C.J. Duncan, WR, Vanderbilt; Dennis Gardeck, LB, Sioux Falls; Frank Ginda, LB, San Jose State; Will House, OL, Southern Nazarene; A.J. Howard, S, Appalachian State; Alec James, DE, Wisconsin; Chad Kanoff, QB, Princeton; Matt McCrane, K, Kansas State; Airius Moore, LB, NC State; Deatrick Nichols, CB, South Florida; Owen Obasuyi, DT, Hampton; Matt Oplinger, LB, Yale; Jonathan Owens, S, Missouri Western; Austin Ramesh, FB, Wisconsin; Trent Sherfield, WR, Vanderbilt; Tavierre Thomas, CB, Ferris State; Jalen Tolliver, WR, Arkansas-Monticello; Zeke Turner, S, Washington; Andrew Vollert, TE, Weber State; Brant Weiss, OL, Toledo; Corey Willis, WR, Central Michigan

Josh Rosen was our No. 1 quarterback but ended up being the fourth signal caller taken, and it only cost Arizona a third-round pick and a fifth-round pick to swap spots with the Raiders and move from No. 15 to No. 10. Rosen is the most accurate and NFL-ready quarterback in this year's class, and the only real on-field questions about him surround his durability; his 2016 season ended due to shoulder surgery, and he was concussed twice in 2017. His personality wasn't a fit for all teams either, but Arizona obviously felt comfortable with his character and ended up with the best quarterback in the draft at a bargain price as a result.

Arizona found some help for Rosen and added to its barren receiving corps by taking Christian Kirk in Round 2. An explosive playmaker who runs great routes and is a threat to score any time the ball is in his hands, Kirk should produce immediately and take over as Rosen's security blanket in the slot once Larry Fitzgerald retires.

Offensive linemen are important for any offense, particularly one with a quarterback who has an injury history, which makes Mason Cole a solid selection near the end of the third round. Cole played both left tackle and center at Michigan and has the look of a future starter at the pivot once he improves his playing strength.

Chase Edmonds came off the board slightly earlier than expected, but Arizona needed a viable backup with David Johnson coming off a season-ending injury. Edmonds' versatility and receiving ability make him a nice stylistic fit in the desert and should allow the Cardinals to spell Johnson to keep him healthy and fresh.

Arizona finally addressed its defense in the sixth with Christian Campbell. Campbell is a solid athlete with nice size (6-feet, 195 pounds) who flashed at times but needs work on his overall game to play a role. Korey Cunningham is a small-area tackle with limited athleticism and upside.

Deatrick Nichols and Andrew Vollert were interesting signings after the draft.

At 5-foot-9, Nichols' height works against him, but he has slot potential and shows a nice closing burst to the ball in zone coverage. Vollert is a consistent move tight end with good athleticism who needs to improve his strength both as a blocker and in contested situations.

Analysis: Drafting Rosen alone, considering his talent and the minimal cost to acquire him, is enough for this draft to be a home run for the Cardinals. They made solid picks the rest of the way as well, and losing two non-premium picks in a trade to get their franchise quarterback -- which left them with only six selections -- shouldn't be held against them. Grade: A-