Wednesday, June 29, 2011

2011 Draft grades

5th pick - Patrick Peterson CB.  Only three times have the Cardinals picked who I wanted in the first round.  The first time was Antrel Rolle.  The second, Matt Leinert.  I'm not sure if I'm happy about that or not, but there it is.  The third time was Patrick Peterson.  Landing the best player in the draft at the 5th spot is unlike the Cardinals.  Usually they land the 63rd ranked player around the 5th spot.(Wendell Bryant anyone?)  Peterson is one of the rare freaks in sports that should change the way the position is played.  He's big and physical and athletic.  Some say he'll end up being a safety like Rolle.  For now he's the perfect compliment to DRC.  Where DRC can guard the speed WR, Peterson can guard the physical one.  I love this pick.  Grade:  A+.

38th pick - Ryan Williams RB.  I'm a little kid when it comes to drafts.  I was working during the second round of this one and on a break had my friend read the 2nd round picks in order so I could predict and grade them as he read each.  I couldn't believe Akeem Ayers was still on the board when he got to the Cards.  (I'm still smarting from when they drafted Beanie Wells over Rey Maualuga in 2009.)  So I was excited to hear the Cardinals could actually address a glaring need with a guy who fell almost 20 spots to them.  He was an easy steal.  And then they turned back into my Cardinals.  Explain this to me.  They already only run the ball 36% of the time with Timmy and Beanie, who share the load.  Throw in The Hyphen and you have a crowded backfield.  So their brilliant plan is to draft another one?  Each of them will get, what, 5 carries per game?  What the heck?  And even on top of that, when are they going to learn the RB are a dime a dozen.  You don't even have to draft them. (See Legarrette Blount and Arian Foster for further details)  Oh, and RB's only last like 3 years anyway.  I hate drafting RB's this early.  In spite of all that, I actually like this Ryan kid.  He's determined and tuff, if not small.  He also doesn't fit this "running system" as he's more between the tackles.  The Cards seemed to like to run outside last year.  He actually did grade out well(88), so this is a high grade pick.  But they absolutely ignored need.  That's myopic. Grade: D

69th pick - Rob Housler TE.  After passing on a quality LB in the 2nd, I was sure that they wouldn't do it again in the 3rd.  Especially with Justin Houston on the board, (a projected 2nd rounder, top 50 player).  Why do I always underestimate the Cardinals?  Of course they pick the TE a round too early that can't block or catch with his hands.  Housler is a major athlete, and when he gets the ball he will leave most LB's in the dust.  But he can't block the run.  Another indication that Coach Whiz is being stubborn and gonna throw, throw, throw.  Even though they currently don't have anyone to throw the ball.  If he can learn to block, (his strength grade indicates he can) he will be a quality tight end.  Right now he's a tall WR who lines up at TE.  He will be a poor man's Vernon Davis.  Grade: C-

103rd pick - Sam Acho DE.  I love this pick.  As far as the draft is concerned, he's a steal.  He was projected to go in the 3rd or even late 2nd.  He both fills a need and he grades out high.  A high quality pick.  As far as his play, he's actually not great at any one thing.  He is that consistant guy who seems to be in the right place at the right time.  He won't blow by many lineman, but he will take the correct angles in pursuit and will bring stability at his position.  He reminds me of Michael Bankston.  Not sexy, but consistant.  His greatest asset is off the field.  He is a respected and loved leader on his team and is a servant to communities both in and out of America.  This is a high quality guy.  Great pick.  Grade: A

136th pick - Anthony Sherman FB.  Drafting a FB not named Mike Alstott is never interesting.  This guy is a solid, yet exclusive blocker in a system that doesn't really use one very well.  However he looks to be a special teams dynamo which I'm all for.  Those guys are always underrated.  Grade: C

171st pick -Quan Sturdivant ILB.  Somewhere out there Rod Tidwell is screaming, "That's my word!"  At least he's staying in the Cardinal family.  This guy is more than a name though.  Projected to go 2 rounds earlier he falls into the Cards lap in the 6th.  He is heady and tuff.  He isn't quick or even extremely athletic.  But he will beat you to the spot with smarts.  Normally, you question whether a 6th rounder will make the team.  This guy might start at some point this year.  Grade: A

184th pick - David Carter DT.  Not a bad backup.  Although I see them sticking with veteran to back up Dan Williams, so I'm not sure if this guy makes the team. Grade: D

249th pick - DeMarco Sampson WR.  Sometimes I think the Cards should trade their 1st three picks for a plethora of late rounders.  They seem to draft better in the late rounds.  DeMarco is a solid pick.  He's a good guy with good athletic ability and loaded with confidence.  He was the 2nd in a tandem at SDSU with Vincent Brown, so its possible we haven't seen all from him yet.  This guy has some good upside.  He will have a fight on his hands to crack this WR roster though.  I hope he makes it. Grade: B

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