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Cardinals, 2021 NFL Draft

Arizona Cardinals 2021 NFL Draft Grades For Every Pick

The Arizona Cardinals look ready to make the playoffs after the draft. With a budding star quarterback in Kyler Murray and great talent around him, they are built for a playoff run. Arizona finished 8-8 on the season and just weren’t ready for a run last season. Murray had a phenomenal season as he took a major jump from year one to year two. The Cardinals will be a team to fear for a long time if he takes another jump this season.

The offseason was great for the Cardinals as well. They brought in a superstar pass rusher J.J. Watt. Watt has had injury issues but is still a very elite player in the NFL. He could be the transforming piece that they have been coveting on the defensive side of the ball. Although they lost running back Kenyan Drake in free agency they replaced him with James Connor. It is yet to see if that will be an upgrade or downgrade but Connor will bring a different style of running to the offense.

Round 1

Linebacker Zaven Collins: B+

The defense gets stronger in Arizona. After drafting Isaiah Simmons in the first round last season the Cardinals draft another defensive player this year.

Collins could transform the defense as he is a very talented and versatile player. He has the athleticism to be a good coverage linebacker which will make it easier for him to have production right away. Collins has the range to make plays all across the field. His frame also makes him an effective pass rusher. Collins and Simmons playing together could make the defense great for the future.

Round 2

Wide receiver Rondale Moore: A-

Moore isn’t the most talented receiver in the class but he may be the fastest. Head Coach Kliff Kingsbury will find a unique and great way to utilize Moore in the offense. If he stays healthy he will be a deep threat target for Kyler Murray for years. Moore will be a gadget-type player that will make Arizona’s offense even scarier. He could also be a returner for the Cardinals if they wanted to use him there. With DeAndre Hopkins already at receiver Moore shouldn’t be matching up with opposing teams’ best corners. This offense has the potential to be historically elite next season.

Round 4

Cornerback Marco Wilson: B

With Patrick Peterson leaving the team in free agency they needed to get a corner. Wilson is a corner who has great speed and played well at Florida. He is an explosive corner and is great at jumping routes. With good size and strength Wilson will translate well to the NFL. He sometimes lets his emotions get the best of him but if he cleans that up he can make an instant impact. His injury history is a little concerning but the talent is undeniable and in the 4th round this is a steal.

Round 6

Defensive End Victor Dimukeje: C+

The Cardinals add a depth edge rusher in the 6th. Dimukeje may be transitioned to an outside linebacker in Arizona’s defensive scheme. He was a very productive player in college as he posted 21.5 sacks but will likely not get much playing time. He is a very powerful player who plays with great intensity on every snap. Dimukeje’s ability to win at the point of attack makes him a very fundamentally sound player. With J.J. Watt, Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, and more on the pass rush it will be tough for him to get snaps early but when he does he can make a difference.

Cornerback Tay Gowan: C+

Arizona gets their second corner of the draft. It is obvious they need depth at the position which led them to take Gowan. He played almost extensively on the outside in a press scheme in college. He will likely not play right away but could develop into a starter for the future.

Round 7

Safety James Wiggins: D+

This pick doesn’t make a lot of sense for Arizona. They have a ton of depth at the safety position and they took more in the 7th round. He is a raw talent but he could improve and develop into a decent backup.

Offensive lineman Michal Menet: C+

Another development player for the Cardinals. With Rodney Hudson at starting center, Menet has a great opportunity to learn behind him. It may take him a few years but Menet could be a potential starter for the Cardinals in a few years.

While it wasn’t the best draft, the Cardinals made some improvements and will look to be a playoff team next season.