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Which Cardinal Rookies Were "Steals"?

I was given a copy of Optimum's Scouting 2013 Draft Guide. Here's the breakdown.


It's summertime, which means I have no school, which also means I have nothing better to do with my time then browse cyberspace looking for something, anything, at this point of the offseason to write about. I recently came into contact with a very nice read from Optimum Scouting... Their 2013 NFL Draft Guide. This gave me an idea to look at each rookie who the Cardinals drafted, or signed, and see where they ranked in the draft guide... Let's get it started.

1) Jonathan Cooper- OG, North Carolina

Ranking(s): #11/100 Top 100, #2/35 OG

Grade: 9.4 (Impact Player)

We all know Cooper is essentially a lock to start week one. He was drafted to make an immediate impact and he seems primed to do so. I honestly like him over Warmack so I'd have put him as the #1 OG in the draft.

2) Kevin Minter- ILB, LSU

Ranking(s): #14/100 Top 100, #1/25 ILB

Grade: 9.3 (Difference Maker)

In the Cardinals first two rounds, the nabbed the number two rated Guard in the draft, with the number one rated Inside Backer in the draft. But you do have to take into account that the Cardinals traded back in the second round and got him... He was likely passed on due to his size.

3) Tyrann Mathieu- DB, LSU

Ranking(s): #25/60 CB

Grade: 5.9* (Depth/Fringe Rotational Player)

*Grade Heavily Based on Off-Field Concerns*

Mathieu is the big name essentially of the Cardinals draft. Soon as he was drafted, the spotlight turned on him and the Cardinals. Not in recent history (Okay maybe for a few years) had the Cardinals taken a player with Mathieu's history. This showed the willingness of this Coaching Staff/ Front Office to win and get the best player, even with a history of problems.

4a) Alex Okafor- OLB, Texas

Ranking(s): #41/100 Top 100, #8/50 DE

Grade: 8.4 (Fringe 1st Rounder)

We got Okafor in the 4th round, which is a surprise due to how much he was climbing the "experts" draft boards. He'll be making that switch from a 43 DE to a 34 OLB, similar to that of which former Texas teammate and current Cardinal teammate, Sam Acho made.

4b) Earl Watford- OG, James Madison

Ranking(s): #20/35 OG

Grade: NONE

He'll likely make the roster, over Webb but both players are ranked 19th (Webb) and 20th (Watford) in their positions. Watford looks and sounds the part of a solid Offensive Guard in the NFL.

5) Stepfan Taylor- RB, Stanford

Ranking(s): #93/100 Top 100, #7/50 RB

Grade: 7.4 (Fringe NFL Starter)

We took him earlier than Ellington and we all said "okay it make sense". I'm ecstatic about this selection for two reasons. Reason #1... He's the reason the Oregon Ducks weren't in the National Championship Game, and reason #2... He's a tremendous athlete and will give Jim Harbaugh a run for him money this season.

6a) Ryan Swope- WR, Texas A&M

Ranking(s): #19/65 WR

Grade: 7.0 (Early Mid Rounder/Role Player)

Swope was considered by many a second day talent. He had the speed, the size, and the hands to be successful in the pro level. However his history of concussions was a concern to many teams, and the Cardinals finally picked him up in round six.

6b) Andre Ellington- RB, Clemson

Ranking(s): #87/100 Top 100, #4/50 RB

Grade: 7.5 (Fringe NFL Starter)

I think a lot of us liked this pick, but scratched our heads a little bit. We just drafted a RB in the round prior to, with Stepfan Taylor. In hindsight picking up Ellington made sense. Ryan Williams is a liability, and Rashard Mendenhall is only signed to a one year deal.

7) D.C. Jefferson- TE, Rutgers

Ranking(s): #19/35 TE

Grade: 5.6 (Worth Draft Pick/Fringe Roster)

I think he makes the roster. Arians likes his TE's, so Jim Dray, Jeff King (if healthy), D.C. Jefferson, and Rob Housler all make the roster. If Kory Sperry outperforms Jefferson, he'll head to the PS.

Tony Jefferson- S, Oklahoma

Ranking(s): #75/100 Top 100, #6/50 S

Grade: 7.8 (Fringe NFL Starter)

Now I still want to know why, he passed by all 32 teams for seven rounds... Was he just forgotten about? Or is there something else out there? I think if he plays his cards right, and works his tail off, Bell loses his job to Jefferson by midseason.

Dan Buckner- WR, Arizona

Ranking(s): #33/65 WR

Grade: 5.6 (Worth Draft Pick/Fringe Roster)

I agree with this. During his tenure in Texas he was a highly touted player... Until he had his athletic scholarship revoked and he was kicked off the team. He came to Arizona as a walk-on and earned "Scout Team Offensive MVP"... Such a prestigious award. However his only playing time in Arizona came when Rich Rodriguez took over as HC and turned the offense from the aerial attack of Nick Foles, to the read option of Matt Scott.

Jamaal Johnson-Webb- OG, Alabama A&M

Ranking(s): #19/35 OG

Grade: NONE

I find his ranking interesting, which we'll get into in a few more names. If you read my Projected Offensive Roster, you'll see that I had Webb making the roster. That's changed since then, and I have him on the PS.

Dan Giordano- OLB, Cincinnati

Ranking(s): #37/50 DE

Grade: NONE

I like him, I mean anyone with this kind of beard is an instant HOF in my book... In all seriousness though. If we put him on the PS for a season, and give him a try in 2014, I think he could actually be a really solid player in the NFL.

Joe Caprioglio-OT, Colorado State

Ranking(s): #32/44

Grade: NONE

He's far from even being considered for a roster spot, let alone a scout team position, but even making it onto this draft guide, which a few players failed to do, is solid.

Kenny Demens- ILB, Michigan

Ranking(s): 20/25 ILB

Grade: NONE

I don't see much from him. Just a camp body.

So what does ROTB believe? Did the Cardinals have an excellent draft on Paper, or are we just drinking the Kool-Aid?

Also, if you're interested in acquiring a copy of this Draft guide, go ahead and head over to my profile for my email and send me a quick email and I'll send the guide to you.

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