The 2016 NFL Draft was not the shining moment of Steve Keim's general manager life, at least as of yet.
Keim took a chance on the talented and quirky Robert Nkemdiche, then on day two, with his loan pick in round three, reached deep into your draft guides for Brandon Williams.
The running back turned cornerback took his lumps in 2016, expectedly so, and underwhelmed for the most part in his rookie season.
Now, none of this is write off the 2016 class, that would be foolish at this juncture.
However, if you asked most Arizona Cardinals fans, any mulligan given out for the Arizona Cardinals 2016 NFL Draft would be for either Nkemdiche or Brandon Williams. However, Pro Football Focus saw things a bit differently:
Actual pick: Evan Boehm, C (Round 4, pick 128)
New pick: Alex Lewis, G
Again, rookie line help outside of Round 1 was thin, but Lewis (Round 4, pick 130) performed well at guard -- struggling only when asked to play left tackle after injuries struck the Ravens. At guard, he allowed only one sack in five starts and eight total QB pressures, without being flagged.
PFF had raved about the Cardinals pick up of Evan Mathis, so to see them want to get a guard that would play for the Cardinals post Mathis injury is interesting. The thing is, the Cardinals plan was never to have to play a rookie guard, since they did invest in Mathis.
The Cardinals with Brandon Williams, however, needed production right away and didn’t get it.
Now, this isn’t to say that long term Williams will not work out, but if you are giving a mulligan out for 2016, wouldn’t a corner make more sense? Especially since they thought so little of Marcus Cooper?
Who could they have had instead of Williams?
If you are giving a mulligan, wouldn’t you want to address the position of a player that was given every chance to perform and wasn’t ready as opposed to a player who was never expected to contribute in 2016?