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ESPN gives Arizona Cardinals a C+ in 2018 draft regrade

(AP Photo/John Amis)

After drafting their potential franchise quarterback in the first round, the Arizona Cardinals finished the 2018 season as the worst team in the NFL and with a lot more questions than answers.

One of those questions has been whether or not the Cardinals did well in the 2018 NFL Draft.

Looking at the team’s 2018 draft class, ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Cardinals a C+ grade in his draft regrade.

Along with his grade, Kiper provided some insight:

This is a tough one. Arizona was the league’s worst team in 2018, and it was a one-and-done year for coach Steve Wilks. And yet the Cardinals got production out of their rookies. Day 2 picks Christian Kirk (43 catches, 3 TDs) and Mason Cole (played 99.9 percent of offensive snaps at center) were solid. Running back Chase Edmonds (fourth round) and linebacker Zeke Turner (undrafted) got some snaps, and so did offensive linemen Korey Cunningham (seventh round) and Colby Gossett (sixth round; cut by Vikings), if only because Arizona’s offensive line was devastated by injuries.

Even with missing the last four games of the year with a broken foot, rookie receiver Christian Kirk ranked fifth among all rookies in receiving yards (590) and tied for fifth among rookies in receiving yards per game (49.2).

After starting camp as the backup to center A.Q Shipley, rookie center Mason Cole became the only member of the Cardinals offensive line to start all 16 games of the season.

The Cardinals also selected cornerback Chris Campbell in the sixth round, however he was waived in early September. Campbell signed a deal to join the New Orleans Saints’ practice squad last October.

Fast forward to 2019 and there is no doubt that the most talked about topic in Arizona sports is whether or not the Cardinals will draft Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray with the No. 1 overall pick. However, where would that leave quarterback Josh Rosen?

Rosen didn’t exactly light up the league in his first season, but he did show potential. The 22-year-old threw for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions in 14 games.

Kiper gave his thoughts on the 2018 first round selection:

But if the team isn’t sold on quarterback Josh Rosen, how could I be? I’m surprised to see so many folks down on the former UCLA star this offseason. He is super talented and didn’t get a ton of help in Year 1. There’s no doubt he struggled, though, and he looked out of his depth far too often. Still, are the Cardinals really going to trade him after one year of evaluating him on a terrible team? We knew he needed some time to develop, and he’s still just 22. Besides, if Arizona trades Rosen and drafts Kyler Murray No. 1, Murray is going to struggle behind that offensive line, too.

Kiper also gave the Cardinals a C+ grade in his post-draft grade back in April 2018.

The rest of the NFC West did not see any massive changes in grades from Kiper either.

The San Francisco 49ers moved up from a B- to a B, the Seattle Seahawks moved up from a C+ to a B and the Los Angeles Rams kept the B- they were originally given.

This year, the Cardinals own 11 draft picks, including the No. 1 overall selection.


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