The Arizona Cardinals have had an eventful offseason with rumors surrounding the future of quarterback Kyler Murray. Arizona made it to the playoffs last season, but they were blown out in the Wild Card Round.
The Cardinals made a move in the first round of the draft, sending the 23rd pick to the Baltimore Ravens for wide receiver Marquise Brown and the 100th pick.
Brown is a talented receiver with great speed, which will make the Cardinals’ passing offense even more explosive. He will be a welcomed addition to the offense, especially with star receiver DeAndre Hopkins out for the first six weeks of the season after violating the league’s PED policy.
Arizona will have a tough road back to the playoffs this upcoming season. There are many solid teams in the NFC, and the Cardinals are in a difficult division.
With that said, here are the Cardinals’ draft grades for every pick.
Arizona Cardinals 2022 NFL Draft Grades
2nd round, 55th overall: Tight End Trey McBride: B+
Trey McBride is one of the best tight ends in the draft, but this pick was shocking. There were other players at bigger positions of need that could have been selected.
The Cardinals already have Zach Ertz and Maxx Williams at tight end, which made this pick surprising. However, it makes their offense even better, as they now have a great three tight end set.
Murray will have a ton of weapons at his disposal, making their offense tough for any defense to contain.
3rd round, 87th overall: Defensive End Cameron Thomas: A
With their first selection in the 3rd round, the Cardinals selected Cameron Thomas. Thomas looks to be a promising defensive end but fell in the draft as he didn’t face a ton of NFL-level competition at San Diego State.
However, he seems to have all the tools to be a productive defensive end in the NFL. His versatility allows him to line up at multiple spots on the defensive line to rush the passer. Thomas is great at the point of attack and will be a welcomed addition to the defensive line of the Cardinals.
3rd round, 100th overall: Defensive End Myjai Sanders: C+
Arizona doubled up on defensive end in the 3rd round, selecting Myjai Sanders after Thomas. Sanders was projected to go in the 5th or 6th round, which made this pick surprising. Arizona most likely took him early as a prospect they liked since they didn’t have another selection until the 6th round.
Sanders is a good pass rusher and could slot into the pass rush rotation early on. With Chandler Jones gone, the Cardinals will need to rely on their depth to step up.
6th round, 201st overall: Running Back Keaontay Ingram: B
In the 6th round, Arizona selected running back Keaontay Ingram. Ingram will be a great complement to James Conner as a solid pass catcher. He also improved as a blocker throughout his college career.
Although he was a 6th-round pick, Ingram will have an impact on the Cardinals’ offense this upcoming season.
6th round, 215th overall: Offensive Guard Lecitus Smith: B-
Lecitus Smith was another 6th-round pick for Arizona, providing depth for the offensive line. Protecting Murray is essential, and this move helps them improve in that area.
Smith needs to improve run blocking but is already a solid pass blocker. He will likely be a backup this season but could develop into a fringe starter.
7th round, 244th overall: Cornerback Christian Matthew: C+
With their first of three 7th-round picks, the Cardinals selected cornerback Christian Matthew. Matthew has great size and length but needs to improve his reaction time.
He is a very physical corner and could be a solid depth piece for Arizona.
7th round, 256th overall: Linebacker Jesse Luketa: B
Getting Jesse Luketa in the 7th round was a steal for the Cardinals. Luketa was projected to be selected in the 4th round but fell to Arizona in the 7th.
Luketa is a versatile linebacker that can fit in either a 3-4 or 4-3. He has great strength and should be a solid player for the Cardinals.
7th round, 257th overall: Offensive Guard Marquis Hayes: B+
With their last pick in the draft, Arizona selected offensive guard Maquis Hayes. Hayes was projected to go in the 5th round, making this a good selection.
He has great physical attributes but needs to work on his footwork to be productive at the next level.
The Cardinals are looking to have a bounce-back season, and these draft picks will help them get there.