Arizona Cardinals 2013 NFL Draft Recap

Posted by Brad On May – 6 – 2013
"Jonathan Cooper"

Matt Kotozian – USA TODAY Sports

Arizona Cardinals


Steve Keim took as over GM this year and has done a bang up job of filling some holes on the roster. He didn’t go out and sign any splash free agents but made moves that make sense for this team.

The Cardinals defense was solid in 2012 and Keim added Matt Shaughnessy, Lorenzo Edwards, Jasper Brinkley, Antoine Cason, Yeremiah Bell, Jerraud Power, Frostee Rucker and traded for Javier Arenas.

The offense was another story in 2012. It started with poor quarterback play. The Cardinals signed Drew Stanton, tendered Brian Hoyer, and traded for Carson Palmer. There is no long-term solution in place for the Cardinals but Palmer’s presence should bridge the gap until they can find a young signal caller. In addition to the quarterback position, Keim picked up Rashard Mendenhall off the scrap heap in the hopes that he can be the productive back he once was.

Much of the 2013 NFL Draft would be spent on addressing offensive needs, although they would add three quality defenders that could play significant time in 2013.

After the break, check out a pick by pick analysis of the Cardinals 2013 NFL Draft selections.

Round One, (7) – Jonathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina

The Cards felt good enough with the rotation of Levi Brown, Bobby Massie, and Nate Potter that they didn’t deal up the draft for one of the big three tackles. Instead they spent their first pick on a plug and play guard that fits Bruce Arians scheme to a tee. Cooper has the ability to immediately impact the offensive unit in both the run and pass game.

Round Two, (45) – Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU

Daryl Washington is an excellent middle linebacker but he will be facing a league suspension for four games and has run into legal trouble this week. Minter was our top rated ILB, getting him at No. 45 is a steal in our book as he can step in immediately and affect the game. He’s an average athlete that finds ways to be around the ball at all times.

Round Three, (69) – Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU

Risk vs. reward. The Cardinals and Steve Keim are taking a huge risk by taking Mathieu in the third round. This is a perfect landing spot for the ‘Honey Badger’ as he will be surrounded by former teammates in Minter and Patrick Peterson. He hasn’t played in live action in well over a year and will need to play his way back into football shape.

Round Four, (103) – Alex Okafor, DE/OLB, Texas

I’m not sold on Alex Okafor but where they got him represents excellent value. I think he was best suited as a base end but will have to transition to playing on his feet in Arizona. With the 103rd pick in the draft, this was a great pickup for Keim as there’s a ton of upside with Okafor as a pass rusher.

Round Four, (116) – Earl Watford, OG, James Madison

Watford carried a third round grade for us. He was impressive at the East-West Shrine game and has the goods to contribute early in his career. Don’t be surprised when Watford challenges Daryn Colledge early in his career.

Round Five, (140) – Stepfan Taylor, RB, Stanford

Taylor, undoubtedly, fell due to mediocre athleticism. His speed won’t overwhelm but he rushed for 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons for Stanford. His experience in a pro-style offense and power running ability should make him a contributor earlier than expected.

Round Six, (174) – Ryan Swope, WR, Texas A&M

We had a third round grade on Swope. His history of concussions were the reason he falls into the laps of the Cardinals with the 174th pick. Swope can play inside or outside for the Cardinals. If he can stay healthy he was one of the steals of the draft.

Round Six, (187) – Andre Ellington, RB, Clemson

There were quite a few that had high grades on Ellington. He carried a sixth round grade for us as I failed to see the goods to be more than change of pace back in the league.

Round Seven, (219) – D.C. Jefferson, TE, Rutgers

D.C. Jefferson is an intriguing TE prospect that failed to ever produce at Rutgers with any consistency. Jefferson has the skills to be a productive TE in the league and should get an opportunity in Arizona as he’ll get a shot to compete for the backup job behind Rob Housler.

UNDRAFTED FREE AGENT SIGNINGS: Jaron Brown, WR, Clemson – Dan Buckner, WR, Arizona – Javone Lawson, WR, Louisiana Lafayette – Michael Rios, WR, Marist – Tyler Shaw, WR, NW Missouri State – Matt Summers-Gavin, OT, Cal – Jamaal Johnson-Webb, OT, Alabama A&M – Joe Caprioglio, OT, Colorado State Padric Scott, DT, Florida A&M – Dan Giordano, DE, Cincinnati – Kenny Demens, ILB, Michigan – Korey James, LB, Wyoming – Ronnie Yell, CB, San Jose State – Javon Harris, S, Oklahoma – Josh Hill, CB/S, Cal Prentiss Waggner, CB/S Tennessee – Tony Jefferson, S, Oklahoma

Steve Keim scored in year one in the draft. He took some calculated risks with Tyrann Mathieu staying on the straight and narrow and Alex Okafor making the successful transition to playing on his feet. In both cases, the players were good values and it won’t cost the Cardinals too dearly if they don’t pan out.

By all accounts the Cardinals were one of the winners of the draft. I think they scored two sure-fire starters in Cooper and Minter. In addition to those two, they found some great value picks that could turn into impact players.

If Tyrann Mathieu can keep his nose clean, this draft could be a coup for Keim in year one of his tenure as Cardinals GM.

Keim did enough on both sides of the football for the Cardinals to be, at least, respectable in a very tough division. I fully expect the Cardinals to remain competitive and should be drafting later in the 2014 NFL Draft than this year. This team still has some question marks, particularly at quarterback where a long-term solution is needed.

Link to current depth chart

Be Sociable, Share!
  • John Steppling

    very solid draft for cards. Minter was a bit of steal, swope a steal, and watford good value plus they got a promising developmental OG in that kid from Alabama A&M, johnson-webb who frends from the south tell me is a giant, long long arms, and just very raw. Its not an A plus draft, but at least a Bplus from the looks of it.

    • bradc11

      Very good draft. Johnson-Webb is a monster…only saw one game but it was clear he was a man. If I were to assign a grade, I would have given it a B+ as well.

  • John Steppling

    funny too that tony jefferson didnt get drafted. Why did chase thomas , jefferson, chris faulk all not get drafted?

    • bradc11

      For Faulk, it was definitely health concerns with the knee. Jefferson was drastically overrated by the media…really struggled in a lot of aspects and should have stayed in school. Chase Thomas probably should have been drafted but isn’t anything special. Had a late round grade.

  • Archives

  • Follow nflfuture on Twitter