Grading Every Pick Of Arizona Cardinals' 2016 NFL Draft

By Anthony Blake

Fans knew coming into the 2016 NFL Draft that the Arizona Cardinals would be without their second-round pick as a result of the trade with the New England Patriots that netted them the elite pass rusher they’ve been lacking in Chandler Jones. That means every grade in this draft should get a serious bump just due to this massive upgrade, but the fact that the Cardinals totally aced the draft doesn’t hurt matters either. Here’s how each pick grades out for a team on the cusp of a Super Bowl run in the NFC.

Grading Every Pick Of Arizona Cardinals\' 2016 NFL Draft
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Round 1, No. 29 Overall: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Round 1, No. 29 Overall: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss Credit: Getty Images
Even without the dominance displayed by Nkemdiche in rookie minicamp, the Cardinals hit a total home run here. Only the potential off-field issues keep this from being an A+.

Grade: A

Round 1, No. 29 Overall: Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss

Even without the dominance displayed by Nkemdiche in rookie minicamp, the Cardinals hit a total home run here. Only the potential off-field issues keep this from being an A+.

Grade: A

Round 3, No. 92 Overall: Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M

Round 3, No. 92 Overall: Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M Credit: Getty Images
Given the lack of depth at corner, this pick filled a big need. Williams has the raw tools necessary to succeed, but he must refine his skills to become a steady player. As a sub-package guy in year one, he has time to figure things out.

Grade: B

Round 3, No. 92 Overall: Brandon Williams, CB, Texas A&M

Given the lack of depth at corner, this pick filled a big need. Williams has the raw tools necessary to succeed, but he must refine his skills to become a steady player. As a sub-package guy in year one, he has time to figure things out.

Grade: B

Round 4, No. 128 Overall: Evan Boehm, C, Missouri

Round 4, No. 128 Overall: Evan Boehm, C, Missouri Credit: Getty Images
Some graded Boehm as the second-best center in this draft class, so the Cards may have landed a potential starter here in Round 4. He should push AQ Shipley for the job in year one and be a great building block for a solid line.

Grade: A-

Round 4, No. 128 Overall: Evan Boehm, C, Missouri

Some graded Boehm as the second-best center in this draft class, so the Cards may have landed a potential starter here in Round 4. He should push AQ Shipley for the job in year one and be a great building block for a solid line.

Grade: A-

Round 5, No. 167 Overall: Marqui Christian, S, Midwestern State

Round 5, No. 167 Overall: Marqui Christian, S, Midwestern State Credit: Getty Images
DJ Swearinger has been underwhelming during his NFL career, so Christian could come in and push for playing time as a box safety as a rookie. This kid’s a hard hitter who will also help out on special teams.

Grade: B

Round 5, No. 167 Overall: Marqui Christian, S, Midwestern State

DJ Swearinger has been underwhelming during his NFL career, so Christian could come in and push for playing time as a box safety as a rookie. This kid’s a hard hitter who will also help out on special teams.

Grade: B

Round 5, No. 170 Overall: Cole Toner, OT, Harvard

Round 5, No. 170 Overall: Cole Toner, OT, Harvard Credit: Getty Images
This quick-footed tackle out of Harvard brings flexibility and depth to a Cardinals line that will have some free agency questions looming next offseason. At worst, Toner is a decent backup piece moving forward.

Grade: B-

Round 5, No. 170 Overall: Cole Toner, OT, Harvard

This quick-footed tackle out of Harvard brings flexibility and depth to a Cardinals line that will have some free agency questions looming next offseason. At worst, Toner is a decent backup piece moving forward.

Grade: B-

Round 6, No. 205 Overall: Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Round 6, No. 205 Overall: Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana Credit: Bob Stanton-USA TODAY Sports
Miller has opened some eyes already with his ball-hawking performances in rookie minicamp, so he brings plenty of promise to the Arizona secondary. That unit will have a lot of depth to work with in 2016 and beyond.

Grade: B+

Round 6, No. 205 Overall: Harlan Miller, CB, Southeastern Louisiana

Miller has opened some eyes already with his ball-hawking performances in rookie minicamp, so he brings plenty of promise to the Arizona secondary. That unit will have a lot of depth to work with in 2016 and beyond.

Grade: B+

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