Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Jonathan Cooper (North Carolina) is introduced by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell as the number seven overall pick to the Arizona Cardinals during the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

Rival Update: Arizona Cardinals Draft Evaluation

Over the next couple of days, I’m going to be taking a look at the drafts of the division rivals of our Seattle Seahawks, and giving my opinion of their drafts. Obviously, it’ll take a couple years before we know how this draft will fully work out. This is just my impressions based on my pre-draft evaluations of these players.

Lets start by looking at Arizona. The Cardinals draft wasn’t sexy, and that’s why it’s not getting the positive press that other teams are getting. As we in Seattle know, that’s usually a good sign. I should say up front that I like what the Cardinals did, and I think they’re going to be much improved in 2013.

Best Picks

This one is an easy; 1st round pick Jonathan Cooper and 4th round pick Earl Watford. Both are offensive guards, and both are likely to start from day 1.

Cooper is an outstanding player who was worthy of an early round 1 pick. Watford is an underrated player in my opinion, and one that I thought would be taken late in round 2 or early in round 3.

Both of them are big upgrades for what was the worst O-line in the NFL a year ago.

Worst Pick

3rd round pick Tyrann Mathieu was a wasted pick in my opinion. His talent doesn’t match the media hype surrounding him. He also hasn’t played football in a year, which is never good.

Mathieu reportedly failed 12 drug tests during his time at LSU, and no-showed on at least 2 teams (including Seattle) who wanted to meet with him prior to the draft. This guy clearly doesn’t get it, and I doubt he lasts in the league.

Unfilled Needs

It hard to fault the Cardinals here. They had less pick than needs in this draft, leaving them with a few areas of the team that went unaddressed.

The draft didn’t fall in a way for them to get one of the top LTs, but they do still need one. I’m not impressed with the either of the late round RBs they drafted, which mean that I think they still lack a franchise HB. I also believe the Cardinals should have found a safety in this draft class. 

Overall Impressions

This was the draft that the Cardinals needed. They got 2 new starters in their area of biggest need. They also addressed a couple other positions where they needed upgrades, and did so without trading away picks or badly reaching for lesser talented players.

This is a good start for the new regime. They still need to find their quarterback of the future, but at least now they know that they should be able to keep that QB upright when they do finally find them.

If I were a Cardinals fan (which I’m obviously not) I’d be very pleased with this draft. As a Seahawks fan, I’m not sure that I like a draft like this that help the Cardinals become stronger.

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Tags: Arizona Cardinals Features Jonathan Cooper Seattle Seahawks

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