Wait, the Cardinals had an awful draft?
The general consensus about the Arizona Cardinals in the 2023 NFL draft has been that they nailed it. They acquired talent and then leveraged their picks to acquire more next year.
In draft grades you can find all over the Internet, the Cardinals almost universally get As and Bs.
Not everyone is a fan of what they did, though.
The Sporting News’ Vinnie Iyers gave the Cardinals a ‘D’ for their draft and ranked them 31 out of 32 teams.
The Cardinals went into trade down mode to stockpile for new coach Jonathan Gannon and new GM Monti Ossenfort, but this is very underwhelming outside of Ojulari and Williams, including a bit of a forced luxury pick in Johnson (prompted by Kyler Murray). Wilson, Gaines and Tune were shaky selections in the middle, with a mild rebound from Pappoe and Clark.
Apparently, Paris Johnson is a “forced luxury pick.”
Sure, the Cardinals have four players who could start at left tackle (Johnson, D.J. Humphries, Kelvin Beachum and Josh Jones). However, Johnson has played the right side of the line and has played guard. He will fit somewhere.
Most of the All-Pro linemen this past season were left tackles in college.
And while Murray wanted Johnson to be the pick, let’s not pretend that he hasn’t given suggestions before and been ignored. Murray didn’t force the pick. He’s thrilled about it, though.
Gaines should not be considered a shaky pick in the fourth round, considering this analytical tidbit.
This seemingly out-of-pocket grade prompted this meme from PHNX’s Bo Brack.
We've unmasked the @sportingnews writer that gave the Arizona Cardinals a "D" NFL Draft grade https://t.co/vCejmLWW18 pic.twitter.com/VkBeC0J3cz
— Bo Brack (@BoBrack) May 2, 2023
We’re not sure if general manager Monti Ossenfort kicked this guy’s puppy or something, but to give Arizona an initial draft grade of a ‘D’, it feels like something else is going on.
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