The Arizona Cardinals 2016 draft class is dangerously close to becoming one of the National Football League’s worst ever
The scouting department of the Arizona Cardinals is far from perfect. For fans to think that every player they recommend is going to make it in the NFL would be ludicrous. Evaluating college kids is far from an exact science.
All of that being said, it appears as if the Cards did an exceptionally-bad job drafting prospects in 2016. A possibility exists that by the end of this year, the club will have not one draftee from that group remaining on the roster. It’s a slight chance mind you, but the fact that there’s even a shot of that becoming a reality is an embarrassment for Arizona’s talent seekers.
As it stands now, only three of general manager Steve Keim’s six selections from ’16 are still with the team. What’s even more concerning, is that not one of those three has made any kind of mark on the league since becoming Cardinals.
2016’s first-round pick, Robert Nkemdiche, has been the most disappointing. The defensive tackle has a grand total of 12 tackles to his credit since he became a professional. New head coach Steve Wilks has praised the 6’4″, 296 pounder, but it would not be a total surprise if the franchise’s patience has worn thin.
The third-rounder from ’16, cornerback Brandon Williams, is currently a favorite to start opposite Patrick Peterson in the Cards’ secondary. If you think you’ve heard that before, you have. Williams failed miserably at the post as a rookie, and has done nothing since then that would guarantee that he’ll even survive this year’s final cuts.
Evan Boehm, 2016’s fourth-rounder, was expected to take the starting center job away from A.Q. Shipley. That hasnt happened, and now the University of Missouri product is struggling as a guard. Arizona’s selection of versatile offensive lineman Mason Cole during the third round of last month’s draft could spell the end of Boehm’s time in the desert.
Keim’s other three offerings from the ’16 draft have already been jettisoned. The first of two fifth-round picks, safety Marqui Christian, was released a couple of weeks into that year’s regular-season. The second of the fifth-rounders, offensive lineman Cole Toner, lasted with the Cardinals only until September of 2017.
The Cards’ last pick in ’16, sixth-rounder Harlan Miller, had gone back and forth from the practice squad to the active roster three times. The defensive back was cut for the fourth, and possibly final, time this past week.
It should be noted that the organization’s second-round pick from 2016 was used to acquire sackmaster Chandler Jones. At the moment, that trade is by far the best thing associated with that draft. A draft that is dangerously close to being considered one of the worst in NFL history.