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2015 NFL Draft grades: Arizona Cardinals make heads scratch with 2nd round pick, get high mark for 3rd round

Quick grades on the two picks from Friday.

David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

Day 2 of the NFL Draft is done, and again it means there must be grades. For the Arizona Cardinals, it was an interesting day. Their second round pick was a bit of a surprise, as they took edge player Markus Golden, a player some projected to be taken in the fourth or fifth round. Then, in the third round, they selected the very productive small school running back David Johnson.

How would I grade these two picks?

Markus Golden: C

When Bruce Arians and Steve Keim addressed the media at the conclusion of the third round, they both gushed about Golden. They compared him to both LaMarr Woodley and James Harrison. They spoke of his motor, passion and relentless play. That is very good.

He very well might become a very good player and get his share of sacks. Heck, I buy into it. But he is a little undersized and isn't particularly fast, so he is not as athletic as I thought the Cardinals would want. He does, though, fit somewhat the mold of the OLBs they like -- bigger and versatile. With a guy like Owamabge Odighizuwa still on the board, I thought he would be a better fit.

I don't hate the pick. After hearing Golden and then Arians and Keim, I am excited about what he could bring. But thinking realistically, I can't give it anything higher.

David Johnson: A

I love this pick. He was a guy I liked for Arizona in the third round. He is big and fast. He can catch the ball very well. While Seth Cox would criticize his lack of physicality, he is built to do short yardage better than anyone they currently have. Plus, because he is able to change direction well and catch the ball, the offense would not have to be drastically changed if he had to fill in for Andre Ellington.

He will be just what Arizona wants and needs in the backfield.


This is easy. One C and one A makes for an even B for Day 2. Very good, but not great. Needs met, but a couple of questions remain with the positions they filled.

What grade would you give Day 2?