Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Cardinals an A. ESPN’s John Clayton and Sports Illustrated’s Don Banks both list the Cardinals as one of the draft’s winners.
Oh, that 2006 draft really set the table for the dominant Cardinals team you see today.
As draft grades continue to pour in from various different sources it is important we remember one easily forgettable fact: No one knows how any of these players will turn out.
Kiper’s grade, in 2006, was based largely on the Cardinals’ first round pick.
“The Cardinals’ QB of the future, Matt Leinart, fell into their lap at No. 10 (I had Leinart as the third best player in the draft). Guard Taitusi “Deuce” Lutui (second round) and TE Leonard Pope (third round) were great picks.”
One out of three would make a Hall of Fame hitter in baseball, but it does not help in building a football team.
Clayton mused about the Cardinals, normally a bad luck team, finally receiving some good fortune, starting with the signing of Edgerrin James.
“Twice this offseason they struck gold. They headed into free agency without the intention of paying big money for a running back. But with a surprising $17.5 million increase in the salary cap, the Cardinals were able to sign Edgerrin James. Then, Matt Leinart was gift-wrapped for them at No. 10.”