ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cards’ draft looks even better after one season

Jan 12, 2012, 4:28 PM | Updated: 4:49 pm

It’s always fun after any NFL Draft to peruse the
internet and read the endless grades experts
hand out to the teams in the league for the players they
selected.

But does anybody really know how these players will adjust
to the pro ranks and actually help their team? The answer
to that question is a resounding ‘no’.

That’s why it’s refreshing when draft experts revisit what
happened on draft night, and assign new grades for teams
based on what actually happened on the football field.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. did just that, and the Arizona
Cardinals
received a slightly higher grade for their draft night
activities after one season.

Kiper originally gave the Cards a B- for a draft that
included 5th overall pick Patrick Peterson out of LSU and
running back Ryan Williams from Virginia Tech.

After the season, Kiper gave the Cardinals a B. Why?

What isn’t debatable, however, is that
Peterson is the real deal. I gave the Cards an A-minus for
value because Peterson was No. 1 on my Big Board going
into the season. He needed refinement at corner, but his
improvement was steady from Week 1 through Week 17, and
he’s right there with Devin Hester already as one of the
most dangerous return men in the league.

Peterson is headed to the Pro Bowl as the NFC kick
returner after tying an NFL record with four punt returns
for touchdowns. He was also the only rookie on the AP All-Pro Team released earlier
this week.

Of course, Williams was unable to help the Cardinals’
revisited grade because he suffered a ruptured patellar
tendon
in his right knee in the
preseason and spent the year on injured reserve.

Kiper also lauds fourth round pick Sam Acho, who had
7
sacks and cracked the starting lineup at outside
linebacker midway through the season, and 6th round pick
David Carter (16 tackles, 1 sack) for adding depth.

Check out Kiper’s entire regrading of the 2011 NFL
Draft here
(must be an ESPN Insider).

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