Draft grades will rule the Internet for a few days. People are looking for reactions to the players their teams picked. They want to know who "won" the draft. It's a hard task to grade a draft class that hasn't even seen the field, but we all do it. ESPN's Mel Kiper graded each team's draft and he was not a huge fan of what the Arizona Cardinals did.
How does he grade a draft? He looks at what talent was available on the board at the time of the pick. He uses the grades he gave players (since he doesn't know the teams' draft grades for players). He uses how well the teams moved up and down the board.
An A is exceptional, a B is good, a C is average, and it continues like that for the other grades.
Kiper gave the Cardinals a C+.
The Cardinals were a team many of us saw taking Melvin Gordon if the Wisconsin RB were available at No. 24, in part because the roster really doesn't have any gaping holes in spots you typically target with premium picks. Turns out, it was never even close with Gordon. D.J. Humphries was a bit of a reach on my board, but I can understand the pick as they look for competition at right tackle. General manager Steve Keim has made improving the O-line a priority from Day 1, and he wants to continue improving there. They needed to add a pass-rusher, and they got Markus Golden in Round 2, then Shaq Riddick in Round 5. I don't see quite the same ability in Golden, but the need there was certainly addressed. David Johnson has a chance to help them right away at running back. He has good size and also offers good hands. I wouldn't be at all surprised if he breaks out in one of the next two seasons. J.J. Nelson is a miniature burner and could be someone to watch in the return game -- he'll run under 4.3, which he needs to since he's under 160 pounds. It was going to be hard to add a player who was sure to be an immediate starter, which is a credit to the state of the roster, but I didn't like the value too much with either of the top two picks.
Basically, Kiper felt there was better talent available in the top two rounds and isn't sold on Markus Golden as an answer to the pass rushing problems the Cardinals have had.
Do you agree with Kiper? Was the Cardinals' draft slightly better than average?