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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  • Hawkman54

    Thank you for this story line- having an update from a Hawks supporter is always a good thing-

    • 12thMan_Rising

      you’re very welcome. I was worried that since it’s not about the Seahawks that most people wouldn’t care.

  • Nate Tayloe

    Cards fan here. Thanks for the opinion from someone with the opposite love of the cards that I have.

    You’re assessment seems to be that of the more pessimistic cardinals fans. We think Honey Badger won’t mess up here because he dates a coaches daughter and Patrick Peterson is one of his best friends. We also are a little higher on our RB’s since we view them as insurance for Williams and Mendenhall. We are hoping our poor running was our play calling and OLine’s fault rather than bad RB play. I personally think a good OLine makes every RB better, and there are very few that have made it to Canton on their talents alone with out the help of a good line/blocking scheme.

    Quality writing, I’ll probably lurk here to help keep up with the rest of the division

    • 12thMan_Rising

      I can see why Cards fans would think that. The local fans tend to be more optimistic than someone from the outside would be. It’s true here in Seattle too.

      I find it interesting that my views are in-line with the pessimistic Cardinals fans, and yet I still really like this draft class for AZ. It makes me wonder just how euphoric the optimistic AZ fans are.

  • Snapa

    Nice to read your thoughts. Card fan here. Looking for insight on the division. I also thought that that Arizona would pick safety in the 3rd. Losing both safeties is a big deal and I don’t know why Kerry Rhodes hasn’t signed with anyone. Odd. My guess for the draft was Warmack Minter and Shemarko Thomas, unless Travis Kelce or Barret Jones was still there.
    The Honey Badger is a risk, and third round is high, I thought 4th round until I read a couple of the Niner Nation posts that we lobbying for a 2nd round pick.
    He has a first round highlight reel. A number of Cardinal fans are against him, they think marijuana is an addictive drug. Silly retirees. Breaking the rules and letting your teammates down is the issue. Tyrann no-showed for Seattle and Houston. Interesting that the Hawks wanted to interview him, but you think he is a poor pick, Hmm. No doubt not showing up to an interview was seen as another maturity issue in Seattle, but I don’t think he wanted to play there or in Houston. I believe he thinks he knows what he needs and he believes he will get that in Arizona. Still its a high pick for a nickel back that returns punts.