When the Arizona Cardinals finished their selections of the 2011 NFL Draft, because of their first round pick, cornerback Patrick Peterson, Arizona got good initial grades. In fact, ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper, Jr. gave Arizona a B overall.
He also gave Arizona originally an A- for value because Peterson was his number one guy and he fell to number five.
He recently regraded the draft (you will need an Insider account to read the entire thing) and the Cards got a slight increase.
He noted that Peterson is "the real deal," and spoke of his defensive improvement. Likewise, the selection of Sam Acho and David Carter were praised:
I gave the Cards an A-minus for value because Peterson was No. 1 on my Big Board going into the season. He needed refinement at corner, but his improvement was steady from Week 1 through Week 17, and he's right there with Devin Hester already as one of the most dangerous return men in the league. Ryan Williams was lost in the preseason, and Rob Housler was a nonentity, but Sam Acho was a nice fourth-round find (at a need spot). He had seven sacks and became a starter. David Carter added a little depth in the sixth. This draft class could be better, but it has a couple of good stories to fall back on.
The final regrade? A "B." The sad thing is that the grade could have been even better had Williams not had gone down for the year.
Another thing that was a bummer was the fact that both Kevin Kolb and John Skelton struggled at hitting Housler. Housler did drop some, but there were several times in the season when Housler was open down the field and the quarterbacks simply could not get him the ball.
in the end, at least after one season, it is hard to argue Kiper's grade. So far, the draft has been good. While Williams got hurt, the only player not to contribute this season was Quan Sturdivant, who spent the season on the practice squad.
Do you agree? Would you give the Cards' 2011 draft class a "B," or would the grade be different?