Arizona Cardinals' Overall Draft Grade Conservatively Good

By Greg Archuleta

The one thing you can say about the Arizona Cardinals’ offseason is that the organization remained true to its word.

Other than the courtship of Peyton Manning, the Cardinals said they were not going to go wild pursing free agents. Then, they said they weren’t going to reach for a player in the NFL draft just to fit a need.

After passing on help on the offensive line the first two days of the draft, Arizona found some potential steals in the later rounds, starting with Mississippi offensive tackle Bobby Massie with the No. 17 pick in the fourth round of the draft on Saturday.

Some draft analysts had Massie going as high as the second round, and the Cardinals finally broke a two-year drought in getting help on the line.

Arizona kept up the offensive line parade, getting University of Washington guard Senio Kelemete in the fifth round and Boise State’ tackle Nate Potter in the seventh.

Presbyterian’s Justin Bethel wen to the Cardinals in the sixth round. He played safety in college but is listed as a cornerback at the NFL.

The Cards also signed quarterback Ryan Lindley out of San Diego State in the seventh round. Lindley left the Aztecs with the most career passing yards in school history.

About the only question about the final day of the draft was Arizona’s decision to take three offensive linemen, rather than use one of the picks at defensive end or rush outside linebacker.

It’s the same question raised about Oklahoma’s Jamell Fleming, the Cardinals’ second-round choice because he became the ninth cornerback on the Cardinals roster.

Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd, Arizona’s first-round pick and the No. 13 overall, filled a need and made veteran wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald happy with his selection.

So give the Cardinals an A for their honesty about following through on their offseason plans, as well as catering to their best player’s wishes.

In the draft itself, Arizona gets a B-minus, with a chance to move up to the B-plus, A-minus area if one lineman or more finds a job on the starting line. The inability to produce a second-round pick through a draft-day deal prevents the Cards from improving their hindsight draft grade to the solid A range.

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