ARIZONA CARDINALS

Trade grades: Opinions mixed on Cardinals’ deal for Kenyan Drake

Oct 29, 2019, 6:02 AM
Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball  against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas ...
Kenyan Drake #32 of the Miami Dolphins runs with the ball against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 25, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals had one of two choices: Acquire a running back via a trade or sign one off the free agent market.

The team elected to go with the former option and dealt a conditional sixth-round pick for Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake on Monday. According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, that pick can become a fifth-round pick.

Arizona didn’t have many other options, given that running backs David Johnson (ankle), Chase Edmonds (hamstring) and D.J. Foster (hamstring, placed on IR Monday) are all injured going into a short week in which the team will host the 49ers on Thursday Night Football.

The Cardinals did sign two free agents last week — Alfred Morris and Zach Zenner — so the question now is whether the Cardinals could’ve added to their injured running back group and get a better cost-benefit than what came with trading for Drake, who is a pending free agent. It seems we’ll never know.

With that context in mind, here’s what other football voices are saying about the Cardinals’ trade with Miami:

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell: C-

Barnwell gave the Cardinals a worse grade than the Dolphins, who earned a B in his book. He admitted the Cardinals just needed to “field a full team” after having so many injuries at the running back position.

Is “now” really all that important for the Cardinals, though? It’s hardly as if Drake is expected to swing things on Thursday against an undefeated 49ers team, with San Francisco coming into town as an eight-point favorite. The Cardinals then get 10 days before a trip to play the Buccaneers and a rematch against the 49ers before their bye. It’s unclear whether Edmonds or Johnson will be ready for the Bucs, but with two weeks before that game, I’m not sure the Cardinals realistically know whether they’ll need Drake to shoulder a heavy workload for that contest.

CBS Sports: A-

Written by Jeff Kerr, CBS Sports’ trade grade gave the Cardinals a good mark.

A deal like this had to be done for the Cardinals, given the state of the running back position. […] The Cardinals struck fast in order to acquire Drake, who was the Dolphins’ leading rusher with 55.1 percent of the snaps this season, but not used properly in Miami. Drake was averaging a career low 3.7 yards per carry in 47 carries, having just 174 yards and no touchdowns this year. This is behind the Dolphins offensive line, so it’s hard to examine how effective Drake has been, but he’s a starting caliber running back.

Sports Illustrated: B-

Sports Illustrated’s trade grades weren’t too harsh on the Cardinals, but didn’t give the team overwhelming praise, either.

Oddly aggressive despite their 3-4-1 record, Arizona is looking to immediately replace the production they’ve lost at the position due to injuries. Drake is better than what is out on the free agent market right now.

A conditional sixth that can turn into a fifth, according to NFL.com, might be a little bit high if Drake ends up lighting it up this year, however, it’s obvious that GM Steve Keim is working to quickly legitimize this experiment with Kliff Kingsbury. The team is better than many expected at this point already.

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals head coach Kliff Kingsbury talks with quarterback Kyler Murray (1) during the sec...
Arizona Sports

Report: Oklahoma to target Cardinals’ Kingsbury for head coaching job

The Arizona Cardinals hired Kliff Kingsbury ahead of the 2019 season after he was the head coach at Texas Tech.
17 hours ago
Anquan Boldin #81 of the Arizona Cardinals runs with the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers durin...
Sam Graveline

Former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin named semifinalist for HOF Class of 2022

Among the 26 players who were named semifinalists for the Hall of Fame's class of 2022, former Cardinals WR Anquan Boldin made the cut.
17 hours ago
Colt McCoy #12 of the Arizona Cardinals looks to pass against the Seattle Seahawks during the secon...
Arizona Sports

Colt McCoy’s pair of wins starting for Arizona Cardinals: By the numbers

There are a handful of notable numbers to take away from Colt McCoy's two wins as a starter for the Arizona Cardinals.
6 days ago
Chandler Jones #55 of the Arizona Cardinals reacts after his tackle against the Seattle Seahawks du...
Tyler Drake

By the numbers: The Arizona Cardinals’ dominance during their 9-2 run

There's no doubting the Cardinals' success so far in 2021. A closer look at Arizona's impressive play through 11 games.
5 days ago
GLENDALE, ARIZONA - JULY 30: JJ Watt #99 of the Arizona Cardinals talks to Chandler Jones #55 durin...
Arizona Sports

Cardinals’ J.J. Watt pays for funeral costs of Waukesha parade victims

Cardinals' J.J. Watt paid honor to the people of the Waukesha parade tragedy in Wisconsin by covering the funeral costs for all six victims.
3 days ago
Arizona Cardinals players celebrate after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 23-13 at Lumen Field on No...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ 2021 road success vs. NFC West rivals that of teams past

The Arizona Cardinals haven't left anything up to chance when it comes to playing on the road in 2021, especially against the NFC West.
3 days ago
Trade grades: Opinions mixed on Cardinals’ deal for Kenyan Drake