Arizona Cardinals get positive grades following 2022 NFL Draft
Although the Arizona Cardinals did not make a selection in the first round of the 2022 NFL Draft, the acquisition of wideout Marquise Brown has caused fans and analysts around the league to weigh in.
The Cardinals decided to go against drafting for need, but rather talent in Colorado State tight end Trey McBride in the second round.
Arizona ended up drafting positions of need such as cornerback and edge rusher in the later rounds of the draft.
Let’s take a look at what analysts had to say of the busy three days in the draft for Arizona.
CBS Sports’ Cody Benjamin called the Cardinals “clear winners” of the draft day deal between Arizona and the Baltimore Ravens.
They may or may not be in good long-term standing with QB Kyler Murray, but here’s a great way to fast-track a resolution: get the young signal-caller an old friend from their college days, not to mention one whose deep speed should enable Arizona to once again boast one of the game’s most explosive passing offenses. Just 24, Brown is an ascending talent out wide, improving his yardage total over his three NFL seasons. He’s also under a reasonable contract through 2023 thanks to the fifth-year option, and even if he were to request an extension a la A.J. Brown down the line, Arizona could afford to make him their long-term No. 1.
Benjamin went on to mention that with the departure of Christian Kirk, it was vital for Arizona to go out and get another wideout.
Luke Easterling of DraftWire was not overly impressed with Arizona’s moves, but thinks the team got better over the weekend.
He listed the biggest steal of the draft as defensive end Cam Thomas (No. 87 overall) in the third round but found the biggest reach to be the acquisition of Brown.
Dealing the No. 23 overall pick in a deal for Brown was a risky move, presumably to heal tensions with QB Kyler Murray, but the Cardinals followed it some solid draft picks in the early rounds. TE Trey McBride was a great value in the 2nd round, and gives Murray another well-rounded weapon. Thomas was Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year twice, while fellow third-round EDGE Myjai Sanders has tons of upside.
NFL.com thought the Cardinals knocked the three days out of the park.
Chad Reuter gave Arizona a B+ grade for the first day, but A grades for days two and three.
Arizona traded for Marquise Brown, a college teammate of Cardinals QB Kyler Murray, on Thursday night. If Brown becomes a consistent playmaker, the swap will be a savvy move. McBride will contribute as a strong receiver and blocker while Thomas and Sanders were also good Day 2 picks to bolster the front seven.
The Cardinals parted with their fourth-round pick in a 2021 trade to select cornerback Marco Wilson and sent their fifth-rounder to Philadelphia for tight end Zach Ertz. Those moves will pay dividends, as will picking Ingram to work his way through traffic as a complement to James Conner. Smith and Hayes will compete for playing time at guard as rookies. Luketa will do the same at edge rusher. He isn’t the biggest or fastest player but adds needed depth and will contribute on special teams.