Over the past few seasons, the Arizona Cardinals have had an extremely tough time scouting and drafting potential breakout rookies.
Last year, in particular, the Cardinals did not do well at all in the draft. After trading away their 1st round pick for WR Hollywood Brown, Arizona was left with just a 2nd rounder, two 3rd rounders, two 6th rounders, and three 7th rounders.
Eric Edholm and Nick Shoot from NFL.com gave the Cardinals a D+ for their rookie performances. The only teams behind Arizona were the Raiders, Rams, and Vikings.
With their first pick in the second round, Arizona drafted TE Trey McBride out of the University of Colorado. Although his reps did improve in the second half of the season, after Zach Ertz got injured, Mcbride did not bring in his 50th yard until Week 13.
After McBride came a string of offensive and defensive linemen, including Cameron Thomas, Myjai Sanders, Lecitus Smith, Jesse Luketa, and Marquis Hayes.
While these picks did end up being a little useful with the string of injuries Arizona suffered, the playing time was limited, and there truly was not much impact made by the group of rookies.
Cameron Thomas did not play in more than 50% of the defensive snaps once all year, Myjai Sanders did record 23 tackles but did not see any consistent playing time throughout the season, Lecitus Smith only played in five games, Jesse Luketa was injured for the majority of the season, and Marquis Hayes stayed on the injured reserve list from before the season even started.
Of course, it still may be too early to judge what these rookies will do for the rest of their careers; however, it is no secret that the Cardinals massively screwed up the draft.
Fast forward to 2023, and their poor draft performance has in some ways resulted in them having the third overall pick. A pick that the Cardinals cannot afford to mess up.
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