Thursday, May 5, 2011

NFL Draft Team Grades-Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals had needs everywhere, and they did their very best to address those needs. Strangely enough, they avoided their biggest need when they failed to move on a QB. Here is a look at who they drafted, followed by grade for value of pick.

Round 1, Pick 5
Patrick Peterson, CB/KR

Labeled by some as the next Deion Sanders, I am not nearly as sold. He has more value immediately as a kick return man, as he is one of the best coming out of the college game at that spot. In my opinion, his coverage game is not as great as everyone is making it out to be, and you may be upset when he doesn't provide the pick numbers that you may look for out of him. That being said, the Cardinals showed restraint by using this pick on a player who can give them some value, rather than overspend on an overrated QB in this slot.
Grade: B+

Round 2, Pick 6
Ryan Williams, RB
Virginia Tech

Williams certainly looks the part of a top tier back, but he has an injury history, and was not at top speed last season. He only rushed for 481 yards in 2010, so the Cardinals are banking on production, and not overrall productivity, which is usually a mistake this early in the draft. Not a fan of this pick, as it is high risk, but could potentially (there's that word) high reward if healthy. Not sold.
Grade: C

Round 3, Pick 5
Rob Housler, TE
Florida Atlantic

Housler, strangely enough, is not a household name, even in South Florida. He is a receiving TE, but has the size to be a decent blocker. He finished second in receiving for the Owls in 2010, and the Cardinals can use every bit of help that they can get in their passing game, and Housler could be a viable option coming off of blocks to get open in the mid to short yardage passing game. This is an underdog pick, and was using some outside of the box mindset. I like it.
Grade: B

Round 4, Pick 6
Sam Acho, DE

The Cardinals scored huge in my opinion by having the opportunity to grab this guy in round 4, and they grabbed him and scored. Acho led the Longhorns in 2010 with 15.5 TFLs and 8 sacks. If used right and allowed to work in a rotation, Acho could be the steal of the draft for the Cardinals. Acho should be highly productive early, and as time goes on, he could develop into a pass rush specialist and potential long time starter.
Grade: A+

Round 5, Pick 5
Anthony Sherman, FB

Many teams were high on Sherman, and so the Cardinals grabbed him in the 5th with the fear that he would not be available in the 6th. This is another interesting selection, being that the NFL does not favor the use of the FB, and Sherman does not translate well to the H-Back role which is more favored these days. Sherman only carried the ball 4 times in 2010, so he is a block only player that will probably have to prove his worth on special teams just to crack the squad. Kind of a reach, even in the 5th round.
Grade: C-

Round 6, Pick 6
Quan Sturdivant, LB
North Carolina

Sturdivant is a good player. Not great, but good. He finished 3rd on the team in tackles in 2010 for the Tarheels, and finished the season with 8 TFLs, but had only 3 sacks. Not a pass rusher bby any means. Solid in run support, but will have to learn to be a special teams ace to have value here. The jury is out, but there were worse picks here. He could surprise and wind up being a steal here. Potential is the word.
Grade: B-

Round 6, Pick 19 (From Buccaneers, Eagles)
David Carter, DT

Capable of playing some big games, and had this huge sack as shown against Washington State in 2010. High motor guy, and he brings a fire to the field. Finished 6th in tackles at DT for UCLA last season, when the Bruins won only 4 games. Finished with 5 TFLs, and 3.5 sacks, but was under utilized by a clueless coaching staff. If used properly, he could have good value here.
Grade: B

Round 7, Pick 46 (Comp Selection)
DeMarco Sampson, WR
San Diego State

Sampson finished with 1220 yards off of 67 receptions and scored 8 times in 2010. He has very intriguing speed, as he tested out at 4.41 in the 40 at the combine. Had a history of injuries before last season, but he blasted his way out of the box in 2010. Had he not had the injury history, he would have gone higher. Potentially a huge value pick here.
Grade: A

Potential Surprises
Sampson, Carter

Potential Flops
Williams, Sturdivant, Sherman

Sure To Be Stars

Will Be A Star In Time

Sure To Flop

Final Team GPA
3.0...Solid B

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