Draft season is upon us as free agency quiets down and prospect watch goes into overdrive. But the reality for us is that we’re not that involved in the College side of things, but that doesn’t mean we’re not fans of the draft.
For me though that means reflecting back on drafts gone by to tell you which teams made the best picks and which ones the worst. So as I do every year I’m grading every draft pick from 2009 through to 2011 on the PFF rating scale (-2 to +2), factoring in where they were drafted, injuries and a host of other things.
Up now? Well we’re moving in draft order so it’s the Arizona Cardinals.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
Nor here …
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Daryl Washington, LB (47th overall pick in 2010): Close to a +1.5, Washington is let down by some off the field transgressions and at times a little headless chicken syndrome, which sees him so desperate to make a play that he ends up taking himself out of it. That’s a marginal gripe though because with a +31.4 grade in his 3,449 snaps he’s developed into an extremely good linebacker.
Patrick Peterson, CB (5th overall pick in 2011): There truly aren’t many cornerbacks in the league capable of not just shadowing a team’s top receiver, but shutting them down. So the selection of Peterson has to be considered a homerun for the team even before factoring in some of his punt returning. Just don’t ask him to cover Kendall Wright okay?
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Rashad Johnson, S (95th overall pick in 2009): It’s taken a long time for Johnson to develop into an every down player after a seeming lifetime being a dime safety. But he’s finally become that guy and has proved a solid starter when that was asked of him. That’s a win in round three.
Greg Toler, CB (131st overall pick in 2009): But for injury this could have been so much better. The former fourth rounder always looked the part and earned a +8.3 grade on his 1,337 Cardinal snaps.
LaRod Stephens-Howling, RB (240th overall pick in 2009): A useful part of their backfield rotation who could also split out, “Hyphen” was also a useful enough returner that they got more than their moneys worth for.
0.0: It could have been worse
Will Davis, LB (204th overall pick in 2009): Sixth rounder who would not prove the answer to the team’s pass rush problems, logging a -13.6 grade on 371 snaps.
Trevor Canfield, OG (254th overall pick in 2009): Practice squadder who the Seahawks would steal away during his rookie year.
Andre Roberts, WR (89th overall pick in 2010): An average starter in the third round gets a positive mark from me, so what does that say about Roberts? There have always been excuses aplenty for him (quarterback, buried on depth chart etc etc) but he just hasn’t taken opportunities when they’ve presented themselves.
Jim Dray, TE (234th overall pick in 2010): I don’t expect a lot out of seventh round picks so I can let Dray slide without a negative, despite the fact he offers very little in all phases of the games. Incredibly would play 1,052 snaps.
Anthony Sherman, FB (136th overall pick in 2011): Would go on to have success in Kansas City but was not nearly as handy in his 476 snaps with the Cardinals.
David Carter, DT (184th overall pick in 2011): Carter appeared headed for a regular rotational role as part of the Cardinals’ defensive line. Unfortunately it didn’t work out despite him playing 543 snaps, being released after two years with the team.
DeMarco Sampson, WR (251st overall pick in 2011): Just 92 snaps on offense as a rookie as he failed to make an impression.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Herman Johnson, OG (167th overall pick in 2009): Much was expected of the behemoth guard, but even with the horrible Cardinals line he still couldn’t get on the field.
Dan Williams, DT (26th overall pick in 2010): It’s not so much that Williams is a bad player. He’s a very useful old school nose tackle who plays against 12 or 21 personnel. His career +27.2 grade should show that. But the thing is, you don’t spend a first round pick on a guy to play less than 350 snaps per year.
O’Brien Schofield, LB (131st overall pick in 2010): On the border of earning a negative. Fourth rounder who just didn’t contribute an awful lot, turning 1,088 snaps into a -17.6 grade. Perhaps I’m feeling a tad generous here.
John Skelton, QB (156th overall pick in 2010): Is it harsh to downgrade a fifth round quarterback who would play over 1,000 snaps? I say no because Skelton was so bad on those snaps he was a real drain on the team. A Cardinals career grade of -53.9 should show that.
Jorrick Calvin, CB (202nd overall pick in 2010): If they liked what they saw from him they probably wouldn’t have traded him away before the start of his first regular season.
Rob Housler, TE (69th overall pick in 2011): The Cardinals have desperately tried to get maximum return out of Housler, but his errors after the catch hampered his ability to be a positive influence. A career -24.1 grade on 1,344 snaps is not a good return.
Sam Acho, LB (103rd overall pick in 2011): Consider me just not an Acho fan. He’s played a surprisingly high number of snaps (1,702) and looked anything but a difference maker for the majority of those.
Quan Sturdivant, LB (171st overall pick in 2011): Fifth rounder who would last less than a year with the team.
-1.0: What a waste!
Ryan Williams, RB (38th overall pick in 2011): Do you blame it on injuries? Possibly. But that feels such a long time ago and the team has only seen 142 snaps out of him.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
Beanie Wells, RB (31st overall pick in 2009): It could be worse. There’s no real excuses to be made for Wells. Just not a fit in the NFL he managed to pick up a career -26.1 grade on 1,323 snaps. Nope, he did not help the cause of first round running backs.
Cody Brown, DE (63rd overall pick in 2009): Capping a quite terrible start to their 2009 draft is an edge rusher who wouldn’t make one appearamce on defense. Indeed, he missed his entire rookie year on injured reserve and by the time he was back in contention the team decided to cut him. That’s right a second rounder cut before the start of his second regular season.
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of JaMarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
It was close …
Here are the teams we’ve covered so far:
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