Major network gets it right about the Arizona Cardinals 2023 rookie class

It’s no secret that the Arizona Cardinals 2023 rookie class excelled and provided a fresh difference from what fans were used to during the Steve Keim era.

Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (70)
Nov 26, 2023; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Arizona Cardinals offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. (70) / Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
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Given the productivity of some of the Arizona Cardinals youngest players selected in the 2023 NFL Draft and the rookies they brought on afterward, you knew that some networks would praise them. And per Aaron Schatz of ESPN, the Redbirds took the ninth spot when they ranked all 32 classes based on productivity in 2023. 

The only real knock on the Cardinals class after looking through Schatz’s rankings is that they lacked rookies who showed superstar potential, putting them behind teams like their division rival, the Los Angeles Rams, for example. However, we still can’t take away from the fact that many in the 2023 class more than impressed around the NFL universe. 

ESPN gets it right in their take on the Arizona Cardinals rookie class

While nobody in the Cardinals rookie class posted anything above solid play, that’s all they need at this point. You can take a star player or two, but if it comes at the expense of draft busts or below-average players with all the other picks, it’s not doing much to help a team in most instances. And the Cards avoided that in 2023 with players they drafted and those picked up either as free agents or off the waiver wire. 

It should also put Arizona Cardinals fans at ease that general manager Monti Ossenfort can and will continue to put together strong rookie classes, whether he’s doing so on draft weekend, or if it comes directly after the draft, or even following the preseason. Those picks ranging from serviceable to solid will take this team far if everyone continues to trust the process. 

But that doesn’t mean Ossenfort won’t look to bring in someone with star potential in April. He has a lot of picks in the first three rounds, and that increases the odds that one of them will rise above the others. But if the Cardinals incoming 2024 class remains adequate and they unearth solid starters and role players, then Ossenfort is still doing a better job than his predecessor.

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Source: Best 2023 NFL rookie classes: Ranking all 32 teams' production