The Arizona Cardinals didn’t make any blockbuster moves during the 2014 NFL Draft.
They didn’t draft any flashy players or make any big trades. And if any of the Cardinals’ seven picks are able to make an impact as a rookie, it will likely come in a role that isn’t glamorous or easy to see.
All of that contributed to NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock calling the Cardinals’ draft class “solid but not sexy.”
Still, solid is where the foundation of good teams and successful franchises lie. Here’s a closer look at each of the Cardinals’ 2014 selections:
1st round (No. 27 overall)
Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State
Bucannon, a 6-foot-1, 216-pound safety, brings a level of physicality that may have been lacking in the Arizona secondary.
Bucannon ran a 4.48 40-yard dash and measured a 36.5-inch vertical at the NFL Combine, and intercepted six passes as a senior to go along with a Pac-12 Conference-high 114 tackles.
2nd round (No. 52 overall)
Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Niklas landed on the Notre Dame campus as a linebacker, but the 6-foot-7 tight end has the potential to emerge as a real threat. Though he’s still raw as a receiver, Niklas caught 37 passes for 573 yards and six touchdowns for the Fighting Irish.
3rd round (No. 84 overall)
Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina
Martin is another Cardinals draftee with extreme athleticism but without the results to match. The 6-foot-6, 265-pounder is expected to play the Cardinals’ hybrid defensive end/linebacker position, where he should be effective against both the pass and run.
3rd round (No. 91 overall)
John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State
Brown brings the Cardinals’ receiving corp something it has desperately lacked — elite speed. The 5-foot-11 Brown ran the second-fasted 40-yard dash time among receivers at the NFL Combine at 4.34 seconds, which was third-fastest among all players.
Brown hauled in 61 passes for 1,198 yards and 14 touchdowns as a senior, and could also spell Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu in the return game.
4th round (No. 120 overall)
Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech
Thomas is likely the most intriguing prospect in the Cardinals’ draft class. He’s a physical specimen at 6-foot-6, 260 pounds, and let quarterbacks in three categories at the NFL Combine — the 40-yard dash, vertical jump and broad jump.
But while Thomas is off the charts athletically, his on-field performance hasn’t matched. He never completed 60 percent of his passes in his three years as a starter, and his touchdown-to-interception ration was almost even. But Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians held a private workout with Thomas earlier this offseason, and likely felt he can get the QB past his accuracy issues.
5th round (No. 160 overall)
Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama
Despite lasting until the fifth round, Stinson may be able to contribute immediately on the Cardinals’ defensive line. The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder started for a pair of national championship teams, though he made just two tackles for loss and one sack as a senior.
6th round (No. 196 overall)
Walt Powell, WR, Murray State
Powell is a 5-foot-11, 187-pound receiver who put up solid numbers over his career despite an apparent lack of elite athleticism. Powell ran a 4.63 40-yard dash at the NFL combine, but ran a 4.44 at his pro day.
Powell made 96 catches for more than 1,200 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in his best year at Murry State.