PFF write ups on the Cardinals Draft Picks

Cards Czar

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8). LB/S Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
As much as Kyler Murray wanted CeeDee Lamb, he has to be happy with Simmons on his squad because guys like Simmons don’t come around often. By now we all know how versatile he is — he was one of just three FBS players to record at least 100 snaps on the defensive line, in the slot, in the box and at free safety, and he was the only one of three to have any kind of success. Heck, he was the only off-ball linebacker and safety who posted 80.0-plus grades against the run, as a pass-rusher, as a tackler and in coverage. Play him like Derwin James and Jamal Adams and prosper.

72). OT Josh Jones, Houston
This is like taking candy from a baby for the Arizona Cardinals — they got the 14th-best prospect on our draft board at the 72nd overall pick. Josh Jones is going to be an immediate upgrade on the Arizona Cardinals offensive line. He has the most advanced hand usage of anyone in the draft class, and pass-rushers had no answer for Jones all year long in 2019. He allowed only two hurries on 325 pass-block snaps and not one sack or hit. He actually posted the highest single-season grade we have ever given to a Group-of-5 tackle at 93.4. And he did that with virtually no technique. Just imagine what he will be with the right coaching.

114). DI Leki Fotu, Utah
Leki Fotu is almost certainly going to be a run stuffer in the NFL, but he doesn’t bring much in the pass-rush. He had just 19 pressures on 298 pass-rushes in 2019 en route to a 61.0 pass-rush grade. Fotu was one of college football’s most physically dominant interior defenders in 2019 — his size, length and burst are quality.

131). DT Rashard Lawrence, LSU
After going Leki Fotu earlier, the Cardinals go back to the well at interior defender with Lawrence. Lawrence isn’t going to look out of place on an NFL field, but it’s tough to say he’ll ever be anything better than average. He has graded between 70.0 and 80.0 in each of the past three seasons for the Tigers.

202). LB Evan Weaver, Cal
Weaver has been one of the most prolific tacklers in college football over the past two seasons at Cal, and he has been an all-around productive player in the middle of that defense. Athletically, though, it’s hard to see him meeting the threshold to be a quality starter. That will be an uphill battle, but he should contribute immediately on special teams.

222).RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
Benjamin is electric with the ball in his hands — especially in an open field — but he doesn’t have the power behind him to carry an NFL workload. The fact that he never takes what's there is maddening to watch at times, and that style isn’t going to do him any favors in the NFL.



Link with Full Draft: https://www.pff.com/news/draft-pffs-live-analysis-of-the-2020-nfl-draft
 

TheCardFan

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ARIZONA CARDINALS
Round 1 (8): LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Round 3 (72): T Josh Jones, Houston
Round 4 (114): DI Leki Fotu, Utah
Round 4 (131): DI Rashard Lawrence, LSU
Round 6 (202): LB Evan Weaver, Cal
Round 7 (222): RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State

Day 1: Simmons’ versatility has been well documented, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less impressive. He played 100 or more snaps in 2019 at linebacker, strong safety, free safety, slot cornerback and edge defender. On top of that, he did everything that you could want a defender to do well, earning grades of 80.0 or higher as a run defender, pass rusher, tackler and coverage defender. He will probably end up playing primarily at linebacker in the NFL and figures to become one of the top coverage players and athletes at the position.

“Simmons’ ability to blur the linebacker/safety positional designation is going to be a defensive coordinator’s best friend at the next level. Simmons is the definition of what you want in a modern linebacker.” — PFF’s Mike Renner

Day 2: The Cardinals didn’t have a Round 2 selection, but we’ll give them a pass considering they used that pick to steal away Deandre Hopkins from the Houston Texans. Any time you can add the second-most-valuable wide receiver in the NFL per PFF WAR over the last five seasons for that kind of compensation, you pull the trigger. Hopkins adds an elite, do-it-all option for Kyler Murray that Arizona was lacking as Larry Fitzgerald continues to get up there in age.

Josh Jones — PFF’s fourth-ranked offensive tackle and 14th ranked prospect overall — fell all the way to the Cardinals at 72nd overall, a high-end prospect at tremendous value who fills a need. Jones has plenty of starting experience stemming from his time at Houston, playing 600 or more offensive snaps and earning grades of 65.0 or higher in each of 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. He really elevated his game this past season, though, with an overall grade of 93.4 that ranked second to Penei Sewell among all qualifying FBS offensive tackles.

Day 3: The Cardinals made beefing up the interior of their defensive line a priority on Day 3 with selections of both Leki Fotu and Rashard Lawrence in Round 4. Fotu, in particular, has some intriguing qualities as a nose tackle, namely his massive size and long frame. His ability to move the line of scrimmage suits him well in the run game where he picked up an 83.4 grade in 2019, but he’s extremely limited as a pass rusher at this point. There’s a good chance he continues to improve in the NFL.

Draft Grade: A+
 

TheCardFan

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Agreed but the last two drafts have been so much better. It sucks to think that if we would have been drafting like this more consistently, we would have had much different results/better players but its a start. The downside to that is we wouldn't have drafted Murray.

I don't see a Reddick, Brandon Williams, Chad Williams, Troy Niklas, Kareem Martin, or Logan Thomas. I see solid players that will provide quality depth and potentially a few impact players.

These were solid. Risky on the WR's last year but we will see.
 

football karma

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I wish they’d do draft grades 3 years later. That’s when you really can judge them.

it seems there are three measurements of the draft:

1. did you get a good return on the capital you had during the draft?

2. did the players you take address your roster needs?

3. The "three years later, did you pick good players"?

it seems Keim did well on 1 and 2.

we will see on 3 -- i was just reflecting on how we were all gushing about last years draft, and i think we are all bit more reserved now on it
 

CardNots

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Agreed but the last two drafts have been so much better. It sucks to think that if we would have been drafting like this more consistently, we would have had much different results/better players but its a start.

always good to remember we had immensely better positioning in the last two drafts.
 

GuernseyCard

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What KEIM did with 2020 draft capital:

ARIZONA CARDINALS
Round 1 (8): LB Isaiah Simmons, Clemson
Round 2: Traded to Texans for D. Hopkins (WO)
Round 3 (72): T Josh Jones, Houston
Round 4 (114): DI Leki Fotu, Utah
Round 4 (131): DI Rashard Lawrence, LSU
Round 5: Traded to Miami for K. Drake (RB)
Round 5: Supplemental: drafted J. Thompson (S)
Round 6 (202): LB Evan Weaver, Cal
Round 7 (222): RB Eno Benjamin, Arizona State
 

Zeno

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Agreed but the last two drafts have been so much better. It sucks to think that if we would have been drafting like this more consistently, we would have had much different results/better players but its a start. The downside to that is we wouldn't have drafted Murray.

I don't see a Reddick, Brandon Williams, Chad Williams, Troy Niklas, Kareem Martin, or Logan Thomas. I see solid players that will provide quality depth and potentially a few impact players.

These were solid. Risky on the WR's last year but we will see.

I would believe every team believes they aced the draft. How the media and armchair draft gurus grade the draft is admittedly fun but I am sure a lot of those grades will prove to be inaccurate in just a few years time. Last year we got rave reviews from PFF and aside from Murray it wasn’t anything special, but even now is too soon to judge those kids—we all expect improvement from Murphy & the WRs at least and I am hoping Gaillard makes a big jump in year 2 from inactive to contributor.

It is nice however to see the Cardinals choices not get torn to shreds on draft day like we’ve seen previously.
 

Reddog

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Agreed but the last two drafts have been so much better. It sucks to think that if we would have been drafting like this more consistently, we would have had much different results/better players but its a start.
I’m no Keim apologist, and he deserves his rep for past drafts but on the draft thread someone made a comment that BA was obviously making the personnel decisions for the Bucs so maybe he carried at least a little of the responsibility for some of the Cards recent draft failures.
 

pinetopred

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Know a couple Packer fans yesterday they just kept complaining we got players from schools that I didnt even know had a football program lol. All I could say was welcome to what I was feeling the last couple years this is the first draft in years I saw every draft pick play even saw a Houston game, but yeah I'm sure Packers front office guys were happy with their picks or wouldn't have selected them.
 
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