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Draft Grades – Arizona Cardinals

Tyrann-Mathieu

I’m going to be looking at the fantasy repercussions of the 2013 Draft and giving out a few grades and rankings. The grades mostly focus on fantasy-relevant positions, but I’ll also be examining overall positional value and strategy. It goes without saying that there’s an informational gap between what the teams have at their disposal and what I have. On the other hand, the great thing about being an outsider is that the informational gap often runs the other direction as well.

No. 19 Arizona Cardinals                              Grade: C-

The Cardinals draft was all over the place. If you’re an Arizona fan, it’s kind of a question of which news you want first.

The Good News – Jonathan Cooper may be one of the best guard prospects ever, and the Cardinals were desperate for upgraded offensive line play. The Bad News – Arizona selected a guard at No. 7 overall.

The Good News – Arizona made a low-risk pick in Kevin Minter to solidify a position of need at inside linebacker. The Bad News – Arthur Brown and Jon Bostic have superior physical profiles and might have offered more playmaking next to Daryl Washington.

The Good News – Tyrann Mathieu was a dominant SEC defender. The Bad News – The Honey Badger is a huge risk, and that’s even before you factor in an athletic profile (small/slow) that raises red flags about his ability to make plays at the NFL level.

The Good News – Alex Okafor and Ryan Swope count among the best selections in the draft.

The Bad News – Stepfan Taylor and Andre Ellington count among the worst.

Stepfan Taylor had the worst mark on the Explosion Index of any draftable back. Ellington lacks NFL size. As Frank pointed out yesterday, “That’s called diversity.” Both backs were very poor in Football Study Hall’s adjusted POE, which belies the suggestion that they play better than they time.The worse news is that these picks raise questions about the health of the two guys already on Arizona’s roster. Rashard Mendenhall and Ryan Williams both have big time upside, but if they’re hemorrhaging carries to Taylor and Ellington it’s the ultimate lose-lose (lose).

Postscript: I am thankful the Cards managed to avoid buying the Mike Glennon lottery ticket.

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