The last several years the productivity of the Arizona Cardinals draft classes has been tied to a single player, sometimes two if they are fortunate, in the first year of that class.
For instance, David Johnson was really the only bright spot for the 2015 class in 2015, but then Markus Golden emerged as a wonderful secondary pass rusher for the Cardinals and D.J. Humphries put together a nice stretch of games and all of a sudden the 2015 class looked great.
It is not fair or even productive to grade a draft in year one and it is even worse to do so the weekend of the draft. However, that doesn’t stop anyone.
Now, we get the re-grades of the initial grades.
That is what Mel Kiper Jr. is doing today with a re-grading of the 2017 NFL Draft. Kiper gave the Cardinals a “B” post draft and after a year he has dropped them... to a staggering C+.
From the article:
Haason Reddick... had an up-and-down season playing inside and outside ‘backer. He had 32 tackles, 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles but looked out of place at times on the edge. I think he’s better served in the middle... The gem of this class was undoubtedly Budda Baker, who made the Pro Bowl as a special-teams player (16 tackles) and had 58 tackles, a sack and two forced fumbles in only 484 defensive snaps...
I thought wide receiver Chad Williams was a reach on Day 2, and he had only three catches. Will Holden got a handful of starts at offensive tackle. Fourth-round pick Dorian Johnson didn’t even make the roster out of camp. Undrafted tight end Ricky Seals-Jones is an intriguing size/speed talent who had 12 catches.
You really can’t disagree with much of this. The Cardinals don’t know what they have in Reddick yet, but that was their own doing.
Budda looks like a potential special player and everyone else is an unknown. The drop in grade was likely Dorian Johnson, who was just a bust from the draft time. A big man who can’t move with health issues should have been a no go from the jump.
I feel like this is an exercise in futility, but the fact not much changed in Kiper’s grade means that he seemed to have pegged the Cardinals draft correctly.
What grade would you give the 2017 Draft Class after one season?
2017 Draft Class Grade
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