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Mike Clay’s Post-Draft Position Rankings

NFL: Combine Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Background: Mar 1, 2022; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Arizona Cardinals coach Kliff Kingsbury during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee

ESPN’s Mike Clay recently posted his post-draft position rankings. Let’s take a close look at how he rates and ranks the Cardinals position groups. As you can see, I made an attempt to ask Mike why he rates the Cardinals’ safety group, considered by a number of us as being worthy of a top 3 ranking in the NFL, as below average.

If you would like to check out Ourlad’s current depth chart for the Cardinals, they do a super job:

  • QB: 2.9 (10th) —- FAIR (This is right about where Kyler Murray has graded thus far)
  • RB: 1.3 (22nd) —- FAIR (The depth behind James Conner is uncertain, as of yet)
  • WR: 3.8 (3rd) —- ENCOURAGING (Hopkins’ absence affects this high of a ranking)
  • TE: 3.4 (6th) —- FAIR (Who would have thought a year ago that TE would be graded this high? And there is potential for this group to ascend into the top 3)
  • OL: 1.5 (28th) —- QUESTIONABLE (18th in pass blocking, 31st in run blocking, per PFF, but 5th in pass blocking and 24th in run blocking in 2020 —- 4 of 5 starters remain)
  • DI: 2.4 (14th) —— FAIR (J.J. Watt is a significant factor here)
  • EDGE: 1.3 (24th) —- FAIR (Unproven youth behind Markus Golden)
  • LB: 3.0 (9th) —- ENCOURAGING (Clay must see the potential of Simmons/Collins tandem)
  • CB: 0.1 (32nd) —-FAIR (no proven veteran on roster as of yet)
  • S: 2.0 (17th) —- QUESTIONABLE (The Cardinals’ pass coverage struggles are affecting this grade, no question. But, Budda Baker is a 2nd team All-Pro and Jalen Thompson is an ascending talent who has not gained national attention as of yet —- if one asks WRs and TEs around the league what safety tandems are the most intimidating, one would imagine that Budda Baker and Jalen Thompson would garner a number of votes)
  • Total Ranking: 17th
  • Offensive Ranking: 9th
  • Defensive Ranking: 26th
  • These overall rankings are reasonable, considering the Cardinals young talent is still developing. If the young talent emerges this year, then those rankings could look a whole lot different this year.

What are your reactions to Mike Clay’s rankings?