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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Jess Root

Cardinals get A-minus from Touchdown Wire for 2023 draft

Now a week afterward, we get to take a look at what the perception of each team’s work is in the 2023 NFL draft. Generally speaking, the Arizona Cardinals’ draft class and maneuvering within the draft to acquire picks for next year has been graded highly.

Touchdown Wire’s Doug Farrar graded all 32 teams’ draft classes and he liked what the Cardinals did.

He gave them an A-minus in the draft.

The Cardinals traded down with the Texans from the third pick, getting a ton of draft capital in the process, and they took Johnson, the best true left tackle in this class. He’ll be a Day 1 protector for Kyler Murray, and he’s got a ton of potential with a few technical fixes. New head coach Jonathan Gannon ran a ton of five-man fronts as the Eagles’ defensive coordinator, and if he’s going to do that in the Valley of the Sun, he has his speed end in BJ Ojulari, who has a ton of speed and bend around the edge. Garrett Williams and Kei’Trel Clark are nice additions to an iffy cornerback room, and Michael Wilson is a bigger (6-foot-2, 213 pound) receiver who almost looks like a tight end at times. Owen Pappoe is a good speed linebacker, and Clayton Tune is a fascinating guy on tape — his top 20 highlights make you think he’s going to be an NFL starter someday, and then, there’s a lot of randomness.

Arizona came into this process with perhaps the NFL’s worst roster, and they did their best to reinforce that roster with not only talent now, but more draft capital in the future to get back to relevance. You might like a bit more interior defensive line work in this draft, but not a bad haul at all.

The one area the Cardinals seemed to neglect was the clear need at center, but even fourth-round pick Jon Gaines, who played mostly guard at UCLA, can play center.

They couldn’t address every hole on the roster, but they addressed many, even for depth.

If you add in the picks they got for next year without giving up any future assets, it was just a fantastic draft.

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Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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