Over the course of May, both Joe Marino and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today, I start with the Arizona Cardinals.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|179||RB||TJ Logan||North Carolina|
Best Value: OG Dorian Johnson, Pittsburgh
The Cardinals walked out of the fourth round with one of my top 25 players in the Draft. Johnson had a liver issue flagged during medical re-checks in April; which then scared away potential suitors early in the draft.
But for a team like Arizona, who is in dire need of interior reinforcements, adding Johnson in the fourth is a total steal. His physical blocking abilities and be relied upon to open many holes for RB David Johnson and his length as a pass protector will serve him well.
Worst Value: OL Will Holden, Vanderbilt
Just because it’s a need doesn’t make it a good pick. Will Holden at 157 was a player I wasn’t highly enamored with. I personally felt Holden was a marginal NFL player, yet the Cardinals made him a middle selection.
The fact that I’m openly discussing the 157th overall selection as a bad value should tell you all you need to know regarding my thoughts on this class. Arizona has a strong crop of potential difference makers but Holden is a player that needs to play with more physicality. Should Holden find more push, he can be a quality swing tackle.
Could Surprise: S Budda Baker, Washington
Baker was my 6th rated player on the board entering the 2017 NFL Draft. The physical ability and versatility is undeniable. So how exactly does a high profile player like Baker qualify as a “could surprise” candidate?
Baker, along with Haason Reddick, figure to be early impact players for the Cardinals. I’m expecting high returns for the Cardinals and I’m expecting them early. Baker’s draft value was drummed down on account of his size profile. I’m thinking he’s going to make some teams sorry for passing on him in 2017.