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The Arizona Cardinals selected eight players in the 2022 NFL draft last week. Draft grades have varied, but the team believes it got great value.
Using consensus rankings compiled by The Athletic, formulated by the big boards of 82 draft analysts, we can see that six of the Cardinals’ draft picks were selected below their big board ranking.
Two of their Day 3 picks are massive steals, based on the rankings, while two were massive reaches. One of their players did not even make the consensus top 300.
Below is a list of each player the Cardinals drafted and the quantitative value of their selection. A positive number means they were drafted after their consensus ranking, while a negative one suggests the team selected him too early.
Round 2: TE Trey McBride
Pick value: +3
McBride was the No. 52 prospect on the consensus list and drafted 55th overall by the Cardinals.
Round 3: EDGE Cameron Thomas
Pick value: +21
Thomas was ranked 65th on the consensus list. The Cardinals selected him No. 87 overall.
Round 3: EDGE Myjai Sanders
Pick value: +8
Sanders was ranked 92nd on the consensus list. He was selected by the Cardinals with the 100th overall pick.
Round 6: RB Keaontay Ingram
Pick value: -58
The Cardinals drafted him with the 201st pick. He was ranked No. 259. He was a massive reach, based on the consensus rankings.
Round 6: OL Lecitus Smith
Pick value: +58
Smith didn’t get drafted until the Cardinals snapped him up with the 214th pick. He was ranked 156th overall. The Cardinals were legitimately surprised he was on the board.
Round 7: CB Chris Matthew
Pick value: >-46
Matthew did not make the top 300 in the consensus list. The Cardinals selected him with pick No. 244.
Round 7: LB Jesse Luketa
Pick value: +96
Luketa didn’t get selected until the 256th overall pick. He was No. 156 on the consensus list. This is a massive value.
Round 7: OL Marquis Hayes
Hayes ends up being the greatest value of the class. He was selected No. 257 overall by the Cardinals, who used their final draft pick. He ranked as the No. 140 overall player
Overall numbers for draft class
Combined pick value: +270
The Cardinals had a combined player value of +32 after Day 2.
That plunged into negative numbers with the selection of Ingram, and Matthew was a massive reach. His negative value can’t be quantified exactly because he wasn’t on the consensus top 300.
Assigning a -46 to Matthew and adding the -58 for Ingram, the Cardinals were -104 for just those two players.
However, with large values for Luketa (+96), Smith (+58) and Hayes (+127), they end up with a very high final value number at +270, with is an average of 33.8 slots below their consensus rankings.
This says the Cardinals had a good draft. Now we need to see as they develop whether or not the rankings were correct.