By the time NFL Commissioner Roger Goddell stepped up to the podium to announce the 13th overall pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, nearly everyone in America was sure the Arizona Cardinals would take a quarterback. Instead, the Cardinals went a different route altogether and chose a defensive player, Temple linebacker Haasan Reddick.
This move was surely one of the biggest highlight surprises in the draft for Cardinals fans, for the network, as well as for the league. Of course, only due time and the young rookie’s performance on the field will dictate the actual value of this move. Fans will just have to wait and see.
“Literally within the first minute of him being in our room, you could feel this infectious personality that he had,” said GM Steve Keim. “This smile. This way that he had about him. This kind of tough edge yet at the same time you could tell he had some presence to him.”
Arizona Cardinals 2017 NFL Draft Review
The Cardinals went all-in in this draft. Showing no evident concerns for the future of the team, each and every pick made by the Cardinals organization was predicated on the “now”. Time is of the essence with this unit, with Coach Bruce Arians and his staff, as well as, with aging veteran players on the team. The window of opportunity is closing fast.
Below is a look at the rookie prospects and the value they may bring to the team.
The best player picked from the draft lineup for the Cardinals would have to be Haasan Reddick (round one, 13th overall). Coach Arians described his speed coming off the edge as “unbelievable”. Reddick is a difference-maker and has been compared to Von Miller of the Denver Broncos. Reddick has also shown the ability to make an impact on defense right out of the gate.
The Head Scratcher award would have to go to the guard out of Pittsburgh, Dorian Johnson (fourth round, 115th overall). The Cardinals picking Johnson isn’t much of a head scratcher, but the fact that he fell all the way to the fourth round in the draft, did make a few people scratch their heads.
Rumor of a possible liver condition kept teams from having very little to no interest in the prospective guard. Judging by his playing results at Pittsburgh, Johnson should’ve been picked up as early as the second round. Johnson will do well in a Cardinals uniform.
The Cardinals deciding to select Reddick, in the first round, instead of a quarterback, was a surprise. But maybe the most surprising move by the team was when they traded up to grab Washington safety Budda Baker. A versatile player on defense, last year at Washington, Baker finished with 70 tackles, three sacks, and two touchdowns. The Cardinals grabbing Baker was a steal.
Speaking of steals, the biggest steal from the draft for the Cardinals has to go to their pick in the third round (98th overall). “And the Arizona Cardinals select…Grambling, wide receiver Chad Williams.”
At 6-foot-1 and 204 pounds, the second team FSC All-American finished last season with 90 catches for 1,337 yards and 11 touchdowns. Not too shabby for a college kid. He just might be a viable replacement for Michael Floyd?
Most Likely To Turn Heads In Training Camp
In the fifth round, with the 179th pick in the draft, the Cardinals selected North Carolina running back T.J. Logan. At 4.37 seconds, Logan ran the fastest 40-time among running backs at the NFL Combine. He is versatile. Logan runs, catches passes, and he returns kicks. Logan is definitely a player most likely to turn heads in training camp.
Also picked up by the Cardinals were Vanderbilt offensive tackle Will Holden (picked #157, fifth round) and Auburn safety Rudy Ford (picked #208, sixth round). Though they were not mentioned earlier does nothing to take away the talent these two players could provide to the team. With the versatile ability to block on the left or the right and create gaps, Holden will supply the necessary depth the Cardinals need on the offensive line. And Ford could very well become the cornerback flanked on the other side of Patrick Peterson in the backfield.
With each pick maybe adding just one more step towards greatness, the Cardinals were very conscientious in their decisions. Looking at their progress in the draft and the valued prospects they’ve selected (at least for the upcoming season), the Cardinals organization appear to have made great improvements to the team. As far as grading the team for their draft efforts, the Cardinals receive an A.