2011 NFL Draft Results: How Will the Cardinals Draft Picks Fit in Next Season
The Cardinals said themselves that they weren't taking needs if a player they drafted was going to be a reach. Instead, they took the best available player on their board.
Case in point, Patrick Peterson. Peterson will be starting at cornerback next season opposite Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Cornerback wasn't a huge need, but with Peterson at number five (and maybe the best player in the draft) the Cards couldn't pass on him. He could possibly have an all pro season as a rookie.
In the 2nd round they took Ryan Williams, the running back from Virginia Tech, who they had rated as the 15th overall player in the draft. Again, running back was not a need, but if they had him rated that high and he was sitting at number 38, why not take him?
This signals the end of Tim Hightower to me, so expect Williams to get the bulk of the carries along with Beanie Wells.
Tight end (a need area) was the pick in the 3rd round as Robert Housler of Florida Atlantic was selected. He is a pass catching tight end who could see the field next season in passing situations.
Sam Acho was maybe the best pick for the Cardinals due to getting him in the 4th round when he has 2nd or 3rd round talent. The defensive end from Texas will play outside linebacker in the 3-4 scheme. I expect him to start right away and have a very solid season.
Anthony Sherman was picked in the 5th round to help out at fullback. This position has been dreadful for the Cardinals, and Sherman should be able to fight for the starting spot.
With two 6th round picks, the Cardinals selected Quan Sturdivant, an inside linebacker who will help with depth and could see some action. Their next pick was David Carter to help with depth on the defensive line.
The Cardinals last pick in the 7th round was Demarco Sampson who will provide receiver depth and could help in the return game.
Overall, the Cardinals filled some needs, but drafted players who can step in and play now or provide solid depth.
The draft did signal that the Cardinals will have to pursue a trade for a quarterback or sign a free agent. As soon as a new CBA is in place, I expect to them to go at this immediately
Overall Grade: B+
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