NFL Draft Insiders
The 2017 NFL draft is over, and it's time to review how your favorite team fared. Where did it reach? Did it get a potential steal in Round 5? Is there a bust waiting to happen?
ESPN Insider's draft experts break down each draft class, starting with Mel Kiper Jr.'s grade, Todd McShay's favorite pick, and Scouts Inc.'s analysis on how each player fits into his new team.
Mel Kiper's Draft Grade: B
Kiper: With the top three QBs off the board at No. 13, Arizona stuck with a position of need and got versatile linebacker Haason Reddick, a former walk-on and superb athlete who absolutely nailed the pre-draft process. He had a great week at the Senior Bowl, and was one of the MVPs of the combine, running a 4.52 40 with a 36 -inch vertical and 11-foot-1 broad jump. He's probably an inside player in the Cardinals' 3-4, but he can get after quarterbacks from outside linebacker, too.
Arizona gave up three picks to trade up for Budda Baker, but I love the player. He might have been a top-15 pick if he had been bigger -- he's only 5-10, 195. The comparison I made before the draft? Tyrann Mathieu. Now Arizona has both of them, and after losing Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger, a plug-and-play safety was needed. Baker has cornerback-type cover skills, and he's not afraid to tackle. He could be Arizona's slot corner. I'm going to make an early prediction and say he ends up on my Rookie Big Board next season.
Trading up for Chad Williams was a reach -- I pegged him as a late-Day 3 guy. Amara Darboh and Mack Hollins were among the wideouts higher on my board, and there are some off-field concerns, as Williams was arrested last May for possession of marijuana and possession of a firearm with drugs. Dorian Johnson was my No. 5 guard and a three-year starter on the right side. T.J. Logan was my top-ranked kick returner.
The lingering question over this class is the Cardinals' not getting a quarterback and having no potential long-term starter who could replace 37-year-old Carson Palmer, but other teams traded up in front of Arizona, so I can't fault them for holding steady. I would've liked a potential replacement for Calais Campbell, as well.
|5/179||T.J. Logan||RB||NORTH CAROLINA|
Todd McShay's favorite pick
Dorian Johnson, G, Pittsburgh (pick No. 115)
Guard was a big need for the Cardinals after losing Earl Watford in free agency and seeing Evan Mathis retire. Arizona selected Johnson with the additional fourth-round pick they received from Carolina to move down 21 slots in the third. Johnson is a plug-and-play starter for Arizona: He's an elite run-blocker who has the arm length to get even better in pass protection. Johnson finished his career with 40 consecutive starts and took his game to another level in 2016.
Scouts Inc. on 2017 class
1 (13) Haason Reddick, ILB, Temple | Highlights
What he brings: A versatile linebacker who can line up all over the front seven. Reddick brings excellent value on third downs with his ability to hold up in coverage and rush the passer from various positions. He will also make an immediate impact in the special-teams phase. -- Kevin Weidl
How he fits: Adding Reddick next to Deone Bucannon gives the Cardinals a versatile player and two young, rangy inside linebackers to anchor their defense for years. Defensive coordinator James Bettcher will be able to move both these guys around on passing downs. While the Cardinals have more pressing needs, Reddick is an excellent value at 13. -- Steve Muench
2 (4) Budda Baker, S, Washington | Highlights
What he brings: Baker is undersized with average ball skills, but he displays an above-average blend of burst, change-of-direction skills and instincts in coverage. Plus, he's an effective open-field tackler willing to step up in run support, and he's an outstanding special-teams player. -- Steve Muench
How he fits: With safeties Tony Jefferson and D.J. Swearinger gone in free agency and Antoine Bethea turning 33 in July, the Cardinals needed another young playmaker at the position. Arizona now has added two of the more versatile defenders in the class with its first two picks in Baker and Haason Reddick. -- Kevin Weidl
3 (34) Chad Williams, WR, Grambling | Highlights
What he brings: Williams is average sized with above average top-end speed and ball skills. He also eased concerns about the level of competition he faced at Grambling with a sold week at the Senior Bowl and a big game at Arizona in 2016. -- Steve Muench
How he fits: Larry Fitzgerald is still productive but turns 34 this year, the effects of the sickle-cell trait slowed John Brown last season and Arizona released Michael Floyd, so adding a young receiver here makes sense. There's a lot to like about Williams' top-end speed, making him a good fit for the Cardinals. -- Steve Muench
4 (8) Dorian Johnson, OG, Pittsburgh | Highlights
What he brings: Johnson is a tough and reliable guard who plays on his feet with quality balance. He has adequate inline power as a run-blocker who moves his feet well to sustain blocks. He also shows good flexibility and quick feet in pass protection. Johnson has a chance to add immediate depth to an NFL team and could quickly develop into a starter. -- Kevin Weidl
5 (13) Will Holden, OT, Vanderbilt | Highlights
What he brings: A taller OT prospect with shorter arms (33 1/4 inches), Holden has quick feet and good hands, which allow him to overcome his lack of ideal length. He's a quality positional blocker in the run game, but he can continue to improve strength in his core and lower body. -- Kevin Weidl
5 (36) T.J. Logan, RB, North Carolina
What he brings: Logan is an undersized change-of-pace runner who has quality vision, excellent top-end speed and flashes the quickness to create yards on his own. He also brings strong versatility in the passing game and as a returner on special teams. -- Kevin Weidl
6 (24) Rudy Ford, S, Auburn | Highlights
What he brings: Ford is better against the run than he is in coverage, even though he has outstanding speed and he's on the smaller side for a box safety. He's a straight-line player who closes well, but he looks tight in space and has average ball skills. -- Steve Muench
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