ARIZONA CARDINALS

ESPN’s Kiper downgrades Arizona Cardinals’ 2013 draft class

Jan 23, 2014, 8:06 PM | Updated: 8:06 pm

The Arizona Cardinals got some pretty impressive contributions from their 2013 draft class.

In fact, ProFootballFocus.com rated Arizona’s haul as the most productive of any team’s last season, highlighting the seasons put forth by Tyrann Mathieu and Andre Ellington.

But not everyone is as bullish about what the Cardinals accomplished last season with regards to their eight selections.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr., who gave the Cardinals a solid B after the draft, downgraded them in his “Regrading the 2013 NFL draft” piece.

An ESPN Insider piece, Kiper is now giving the Cardinals a B-.

Summary: If not for Mathieu, this class would take a big step back, but there’s still a lot of promise, and health played a big role when it comes to early impact. Losing Cooper for the season before he got a chance to show what he was capable of was a big blow early, but he projects to start in 2014 and provide a big upgrade at guard. Minter wasn’t as needed as we thought he’d be because Karlos Dansby played so well, but he didn’t really play at all. Ellington showed he can be a big part of the offense, not only rushing for 652 yards but also catching 39 passes, and qualifies as a big steal. Mathieu was a stud, and the hope is he can come back from his knee injury and pick up where he left off. The grade slides a notch just because of the questions going forward, but the team took a big step forward, and rookies played a role.

The only NFC West team not to get downgraded by Kiper was the San Francisco 49ers, as they maintained their B grade.

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