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Five takeaways from the Arizona Cardinals 2018 Draft

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Coming out of the 2018 NFL Draft, here is what I learned about the Arizona Cardinals under Steve Keim and Steve Wilks.

NFL: Arizona Cardinals-Josh Rosen Press Conference Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Rosen belongs: If people are going to doubt Josh Rosen now, let me get this out of the way, this article won’t be for you. In my opinion, the Cardinals got the exact player I wanted, but I thought it was an impossible scenario, because like Rosen, I thought he’d be a Jet. They lucked out. Trust me, they were able to get the most pro-ready QB in the draft, and he MIGHT end up ROTY.

Rosen belongs in this league, and on this team, his accuracy and ability to throw under pressure makes him a find for the Cardinals. He’s an underrated technician, someone who’s not known for his athleticism, but he’s still someone who can move the chains with his feet. I’m not saying he has pinpoint accurate, but he’s accurate. I saw that they traded up for Rosen, I screamed like a little girl who got a pony for her birthday.

Bold predictions: I’m not willing to say he’ll start over Sam Bradford, it’s just not a bet I’m willing to take, just because what’s the point of paying Mike Glennon so much to be a third-string QB? I’d say when Bradford shows concerns from injuries (maybe he starts 16 games?), and Mike Glennon shows that inaccuracy, I’d say Rosen starts week 7. Want bold? Here ya go. 11 wins this season, with Rosen rising to rookie of the year candidate (my favorite? Tre’Quan Smith), and the Cardinals facing the Rams in the playoffs. Maybe...probably, I’ll be way off.

2. Small school: Good job Justin Higdon, you kind of exposed us to Chase Edmonds, I overlooked Edmonds in the pre-draft process, and the league probably did too. At the end of the day, Arizona ended up with a backup running back with feature back capabilities. He’s not going to be a feature back in the near future, nor will he overtake David Johnson, but with his receiving ability, DJ with Edmonds could become a nice 1-2 combo. Seriously, add to that T.J. Logan has similar receiving ability, what do you do when 2 or 3 running backs are on the field, and you’re able to run or pass on any down?

So, what does this mean for Elijhaa Penny? I think this might indicate two things. A. Penny might be viewed as a fullback in this system, and if he’s able to become a better pass-catcher, I think that brings on my next point. B. As our boy Seth pointed out, they also signed Austin Ramesh of Wisconsin as an undrafted free agent. I think that both Penny and Ramesh are signaling the trend towards a fullback featured system. I automatically assume that it would go something like this:

RB:

1. David Johnson
2. T.J. Logan
3. Chase Edmond
4. D.J. Foster

FB:

1. Elijhaa Penny
2. Austin Ramesh

3. No defense: We all expected different things from this draft, although I think the end result was nearly perfect, I would have never envisioned it as the Cardinals drafting five offensive players and only one defensive player. Let’s be real, if you tell me that before the draft, it would be hard to like that kind of draft. But after seeing that the first three were high quality offensive players at a position of need, and then the fourth round pick seemed like BPA to the max, it is hard to get upset.

The one player they drafted on defense was a kid who had a lock down type of year with limited game time experience. I think he could be a starter eventually, I just don’t know how highly they view Brandon Williams. Yet, Campbell is the type of cornerback Steve Wilks tends to develop into a starter.

4. Kirk not a first rounder: Seriously, Josh Rosen and Christian Kirk. Great value for where they got them. I am as big of a fan of Kirk as any receiver in this draft, I just thought it was impossible for us to at all get Kirk without a trade-up being involved,maybe even a trade-back from 15.

Also, don’t get mixed up with his body size, he wasn’t just drafted to be a slot receiver. I have a very good feeling on how much of a workload Christian Kirk will be able to grab in his first season. High IQ for both Rosen and Kirk. I look into my crystal ball and see a great rookie season... 45 catches 750 yards, 8 touchdowns, 16.5 ypc.

5. The line get’s an upgrade: Mason Cole and Korey Cunningham are being brought in with some intentions. Admittedly, I didn’t know who Cunningham was, but I’m very confident in Mason Cole. A tall, lanky center whose versatility makes him a value pick. Seriously, Mason Cole could be a starter this year, this could be the first year where multiple draft picks are starters on a Cardinals squad.

If Korey Cunningham (when I study his tape more) can surprise some people, who knows, maybe Cunningham could be the future right tackle. Honestly, this is just me being nice, I have no idea if Cunningham is good or not. I’m just doing some math. Andre Smith is lukewarm, maybe Cunningham can be consistent? Shoot for the stars kids.

Recap: Great draft in my opinion. Everyone can make bad assessments of every draft, I chose to see some great things from this one. The undrafted free agents they grabbed look pretty good as well, I foresee a certain kicker having his job taken away from him this year. Go Cards!