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Cards Acing Picks in Nashville

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Arizona Cardinals Introduce Kyler Murray Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Good morning gang. I thought you might be interested in PFF’s evals of the Cardinals’ picks. There some good info here.

I love all 4 picks. I had QB Kyler Murray rated as the #1 prospect in the draft. CB Byron Murphy as a mid 1st rounder. WR Andy Isabella as a late 1st, early 2nd. And Zach Allen an early to mid 2nd round pick.

Someone likened the Cardinals’ 1-2 punch of Kyler Murray and Byron Murphy to Baker Mayfield and Denzel Ward and I think that pretty much sums up how excited I am about these players.

I never thought the Cardinals would be able to get a 1st round pick for Josh Rosen. Neither did Seth. I hoped they would get a Day 2 pick and all I cared about was the Cardinals hitting a home run with that pick. Thus, to get a quick and productive WR like Andy Isabella was the home run i was hoping for. In my mind, in terms of isabella’s talent and fit in Kingsbury’s offense, the Cardinals got a 1st round pick for Rosen.

I am surprised that the Patriots chose N’Keal Harry over Andy isabella, simply because Isabella fits their slot WR prototype to a tee and the Pats were disappointed they weren’t able to get Danny Amendola back when he signed with Matt Patricia and the Lions. But, i have to give the Pats credit for seeing the upside in Harry, who is not only a tough, physical competitor, but is a player with great character.

Up until the Senior Bowl, Zach Allen was projected as a 1st round pick in many mock drafts. However, you may not know this, but Allen suffered a bad knee sprain late in the season and he tried like crazy to get back to full-strength for the Senior Bowl and the Combine. Having seen every one of the Allen’s games at BC, i can assure you that what you may have seen at those two venues was not Allen at full strength. He ran a 5.0 40 at the Combine which dropped his stock, but he plays faster than that. I have rarely seen an edge player rack up the number of tackles that he does in a game. He is brilliant at stringing out plays and he has very good lateral quickness. He has superb hands and he is a master at batting down passes. This kid relishes playing a physical, smart brand of football.

I think the Cardinals set a team draft record that likely will never be broken as all 4 of their top 4 picks wore single digit numbers in college: 1-Murray, 1-Murphy, 5-Isabella, 2-Allen. All PRIME numbers baby, and all 4 of these kids are football junkies, grinders and ballers. How many times throughout his post draft interviews did Kyler Murray mention “hard work” as his mantra?

What’s impressive about these selections are the personal connections the Cardinals have with all 4 of them:

Murray---Kingsbury

Murphy---Budda, Christian and Zeke

Isabella---coaches David Raih and Spencer Whipple (isabella’s OC at UMass)

Allen---been training in Arizona and bonding with defensive line coach Chris Achuff

Here are the PFF evals:

Pick 1

Arizona Cardinals – QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma

Arizona nails the first overall pick, selecting PFF’s No. 1 overall player in the 2019 class. Murray is a game-changer, far and away the best signal-caller and best overall player in the 2019 NFL Draft.

  • Highest overall grade in the 2019 quarterback class in 2018
  • Highest passing grade in the 2019 quarterback class in 2018
  • Second-highest passer rating under pressure in the quarterback class in 2018
  • Highest passer rating from a clean pocket in the quarterback class in 2018

Pick 33

Arizona Cardinals – CB Byron Murphy, Washington

After a full night to mull over trading the 33rd overall pick, the Cardinals’ brass decided to stay put and take the highest-ranked player still on our big board and our No. 6 overall player in Washington CB Byron Murphy. He is a local Arizona product and represents the Cardinals’ biggest investment at the cornerback position since Patrick Peterson.

  • Highest overall graded corner in the draft class
  • Highest coverage grade in the draft class, regardless of position
  • Tied for 3rd in class with 13 pass breakups last season
  • 20th in passer rating allowed

Pick 62

Arizona Cardinals – WR Andy Isabella, Massachusetts

After selecting Kyler Murray No. 1 overall, the Cardinals decided to move on from second-year QB Josh Rosen by shipping him to Miami for the No. 62 pick and took UMass WR Andy Isabella. Andy Isabella is a wide receiver prospect that we felt was a first-round prospect. He is a speed player who instantly adds a weapon for the Cardinals new QB and offensive system.

  • 1st YPRR among WR 4.15
  • 1st explosive plays among WR (39)
  • 1st overall grade by WR in PFF era
  • 1st receiving grade among WR

Pick 65

Arizona Cardinals – Edge Zach Allen, Boston College

The Cardinals add to their pass-rush with the addition of Zach Allen. The Cardinals’ defensive coordinator Vance Joseph can now get creative with his usage of Terrell Suggs, Chandler Jones, Brooks Reed, and Zach Allen on obvious passing downs.

  • 4th overall grade among edge defenders.
  • 6th pass-rush grade among edge defenders.
  • Led FBS with 9 Batted Passes in 2018.

As for Pick 103:

I think the Cardinals are going to stick with the BPA on their board and I am going to guess it is either WR Kareem Butler (whom Kliff Kingsbury knows well from the Big 12) or Kelvin Harmon (whom Steve Keim knows well from North Carolina St.). They have been wanting to add a big WR to their stable of receivers.

There should be some good offensive line choices still available at the beginning of the 5th round. Keep an eye on Alabama’s C Ross Pierschbacher or Georgia’s Lamont Gaillard or Notre Dame’s Sam Mustipher.