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Arizona Cardinals 2017 Draft Class Review

Haason Reddick and Budda Baker have bright futures with the Cardinals

NFL Draft Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Round 1(13): Haason Reddick, DE/LB, Temple

PFF Grade: 47.6

Reddick played outside linebacker for the majority of 2017 after Markus Golden suffered a season-ending injury in week four. He had several missed sacks and struggled to consistently create pressure off the edge as a direct result for being undersized.

He was originally drafted to play inside linebacker and so it isn’t fair to say that he’s a bust with his limited snaps at the position. He has all of the athletic traits to succeed on the inside.

Keep in mind he was not asked to drop back in coverage at Temple and never played inside linebacker in college either.

Cardinals new Defensive Coordinator Al Holcomb developed Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis into one of the top linebacker duos in the NFL. Reddick should be a very exciting player to watch in 2018.

Round 2(36): Budda Baker, S, Washington

PFF Grade: 84.5

Made the Pro Bowl as a rookie on special teams. Accumulated 71 tackles, one sack, two forced fumbles, and seven pass defensed in 2017. His effectiveness in dime and nickel packages on blitzes was astounding.

Nothing more has to be said.

He was phenomenal as a rookie and is expected to be a full-time starter next season. With great defensive minds in Cardinals Head Coach Steve Wilks and Defensive Coordinator Al Holcomb, he could be in for a bigger and even more impressive 2018 season.

The trade with the Chicago Bears was worth it.

Round 3(98): Chad Williams, WR, Grambling State

PFF Grade: 64.0

Williams played in only 98 offensive snaps during the season. I can see why Steve Keim selected him. He ran a fast 40 yard dash (4.43 seconds) and benched 21 reps during his Pro Day. Unfortunately, he was unimpressive in the preseason. He only had 64 scrimmage yards during the regular season. It seems as though this pick was a reach but again, his limited snaps didn’t help him. With Jaron Brown, John Brown, and Brittan Golden scheduled to be free agents, he should have plenty of opportunities to prove himself in year two.

He only made the 53-man roster in 2017 because he was the Cardinals third-round pick.

Round 4(115): Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh

PFF Grade: N/A

Johnson was considered to be a steal in the fourth round and thought to be Mike Iupati’s replacement for the future when drafted. Unfortunately, he did not live up to the expectations. He was cut by the Cardinals as a result to his struggles throughout the preseason and training camp. If his liver condition wasn’t concerning enough, his 21 bench reps made him one of the weakest offensive line draft prospects of his class. The bench press is one of the most important drills at the NFL Combine for offensive linemen. He signed a reserve “future” contract with the Carolina Panthers. The fact that he couldn’t survive preseason cuts shows, once again, the problems with Cardinals scouting.

Round 5(167): Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt

PFF Grade: 44.3

Holden was forced to start five games after the Cardinals lost both of their starting tackles for the season. He played both offensive tackle positions and some guard in 2017.

He was beaten by edge rushers one too many times though. He has athletic limitations but played well in the season finale against the Seahawks to warrant another look.

The success that new Offensive Line Coach Ray Brown had while coaching with the Panthers makes Holden’s future look bright. Brown had success with former undrafted free agent Andrew Norwell and development of Trai Turner and Daryl Williams into Pro Bowl caliber players is something to keep in mind.

Round 5(179): T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina

PFF Grade: N/A

In the Cardinals preseason opener, Logan looked very fast as both a running back and kick returner.

Although he suffered a wrist injury during the opener that kept him out the entire season, he has made a full recovery and is expected to be the Cardinals primary kick returner in 2018. He should have a role on offense as well, with his natural ability to catch the ball.

Round 6(208): Rudy Ford, S, Auburn

PFF Grade: N/A

He was active for 10 games and made five special team tackles. Did not play a single defensive snap. Landed on IR with a knee injury.

Will be fighting for a roster spot in 2018.