A second-guessing of the Arizona Cardinals’ 2016 draft picks
A look back at who the Arizona Cardinals drafted and alternative players who possibly could have been better choices
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda.
We’ve all done it. Have you ever purchased something at the local shopping mall or maybe over the Internet and wished you got the other item you wanted?
It’s not crazy to think the Arizona Cardinals’ front office may have those exact same feelings at the completion of each annual draft.
This article is a look back at this year’s draft, who the Cards drafted and who may have been better choices at where they picked. Obviously we won’t know which picks will have panned out until a decent amount of football has been played. But let’s give it a try anyway.
Round 1 (#29) DT Robert Nkemdiche alt.pick: Edge rusher Noah Spence (#39 to Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Leading up to the draft Spence seemed to be a popular choice for the Cards in quite a few mock drafts. Like Nkemdiche, Spence also had some character questions. Although drafted in the 2nd round many draft experts had him as a 1st round talent. While Nkemdiche may be the better all-around player, if a pure pass rusher is what GM Steve Keim wanted then Spence may have been the better choice.
Round 3 (#92) CB Brandon Williams alt.pick: QB Connor Cook (#100 to Oakland Raiders)
With cornerback being a position of need the Cardinals took one that has only played there for one season. Cook would’ve represented a bridge to the future at QB for whenever Carson Palmer decides to call it quits. There are leadership questions surrounding Cook but he also exhibits an above average arm, good size and also ran a pro style offense at Michigan State. He was impressive throughout the spring with the Raiders according to reports.
Round 4 (#128) C Evan Boehm alt.pick: CB Rashard Robinson (#133 to San Francisco 49ers)
Hard to argue with the selection of Boehm. There’s been glowing reports on him, so much so that the rookie seems to have a legitimate shot at the starting center position. But for the sake of this piece Robinson may have been a good pick at this spot as well. He has the size and length the coaching staff covets in their corners. Doesn’t hurt that he’s a defensive back from LSU given the success they’ve had with Patrick Peterson and Tyrann Mathieu.
Round 5 (#167) S Marqui Christian alt.pick: G/T Spencer Drango (#168 to Cleveland Browns)
While Christian won the Cliff Harris award (given to the small college Defensive Player of the Year) safety is a position that Arizona is already pretty stacked at. Drango is an intriguing offensive lineman who can play both the guard and tackle positions and would’ve been a solid depth addition.
Round 5 (#170) T/G Cole Toner alt.pick: P Drew Kaser (#179 to San Diego Chargers)
While drafting a punter is not the norm, a combination of Kaser being the real deal and current punter Drew Butler bombing for the second season in a row should’ve had them considering it. They did bring in undrafted Garrett Swanson to push Butler but he’s not the prospect Kaser is. One strength of Toner is his versatility, he can play tackle or guard, so they did address the offensive line depth after all.
Round 6 (#205) CB Harlan Miller alt.pick: CB Maurice Canady (#209 to Baltimore Ravens)
With Miller the Cards got good value late and possibly one of the steals of the draft. He’s more experienced at CB than 3rd round pick Williams and put up pretty impressive numbers in college. Canady also put up good numbers in school and is a little bit bigger than Miller so he too would’ve been a fine choice.