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, 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.

Presented By
Western Governors University

Arizona Cardinals

Arizona Cardinals D.J. Humphries...

Vincent DeAngelis

Cardinals’ OT D.J. Humphries talks Marvin Harrison Jr., recovery from torn ACL

Arizona Cardinals offensive tackle D.J. Humphries expressed that he thinks Marvin Harrison Jr. is too easy to miss in the 2024 NFL Draft.

4 hours ago

Malik Nabers speaks with reporters at 2024 NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Cardinals add Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., in Lance Zierlein’s latest mock draft's Lance Zierlein zigged instead of zagged on Monday, mock-drafting Malik Nabers, not Marvin Harrison Jr., to the Cardinals at No. 4.

5 hours ago

Jacob Cowing runs the 40-yard dash at the NFL Draft Combine...

Tyler Drake

Projecting where Arizona Cardinals could draft NFL Combine standouts

A look at some of the combine standouts who could fill a Cardinals' need and how they could realistically find their way to Arizona:

8 hours ago

Notre Dame offensive lineman Joe Alt runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine, Sunday, Mar...

Tom Kuebel

Cardinals could trade up to pick OL prospect in the 2024 NFL Draft

After an impressive showing by the offensive lineman at the 2024 NFL Draft Combine, the Cardinals might have to trade up from pick No. 27 to get a top prospect.

1 day ago

Rome Odunze...

Alex Weiner

How did Rome Odunze measure at NFL Draft Combine after meeting with Cardinals?

Before taking the field to run the 40-yard dash, Rome Odunze met with several teams sitting atop the draft, including the Cardinals.

2 days ago

Olumuyiwa Fashanu...

Jesse Morrison

NFL Draft OL prospect Olu Fashanu had ‘smooth meeting’ with Cardinals, Jonathan Gannon

One of the top prospects in the NFL draft, offensive tackle Olumuyiwa Fashanu seemed interested in the Cardinals at the NFL combine.

2 days ago

ESPN’s Kiper downgrades Arizona Cardinals’ 2013 draft class