The Arizona Cardinals' 2016 NFL Draft earned an A grade from FOX Sports NFL analyst Peter Schrager, who ranked them fifth best among the 32 NFL teams.
I'd feel less comfortable with other teams taking Robert Nkemdiche in the first round, but the Cardinals are a different beast. There's an infrastructure in place, and the people in the building -- from owner Michael Bidwill to GM Steve Keim to head coach Bruce Arians -- are strong enough to handle any potential off-field pitfalls the young man may come across. Tyrann Mathieu is the blueprint. Now Nkemdiche -- whom I had listed as my No. 1 prospect in this draft before the college season started -- just needs to execute. I'm including Chandler Jones -- traded to Arizona in a package that included the Cardinals' second-round pick -- as a part of this draft class and think he'll be an absolute superstar next season. I also think Evan Boehm, a stout center/guard out of Missouri, can contribute right away.
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Best value pick: Evan Boehm, C/G, Missouri, 128th overall
Other reactions from various members of the national media:
Doug Farrar, SI.com: B -- If Cardinals coach Bruce Arians can corral Nkemdiche's talent and keep him on the straight and narrow as he has done with Tyrann Mathieu, the Cardinals got a real steal. (Safety Marqui) Christian is one to watch -- winner of the Cliff Harris Award as the nation's best small-school defensive player last year, he is a concussive hitter. (OT Cole) Toner jumped up in national awareness after a nice week at the Senior Bowl. Overall, the Cards are going on future potential here, as opposed to filling immediate needs.
Pete Prisco, CBSSports.com: B -- Their draft will depend on how well Nkemdiche plays. If he can stay out of trouble, he has a chance to be a star. The risk is worth it for the Cardinals. Adding Boehm is also a good move. Solid haul.
Rob Rang, CBSSports.com: B -- If the Cardinals can light a fire under talented defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, this club's offseason acquisitions of he and edge rusher Chandler Jones could put Arizona in the driver's seat in the NFC West. Powerful and athletic, he could remind Cardinals fans a bit of a young Darnell Dockett, who also entered the league with some character concerns. I like the raw talent of later picks like cornerback Brandon Williams and Harlan Miller, as well as offensive lineman Cole Toner. The only other immediate contributor from this draft is likely to be center Evan Boehm, who fills a significant area of concern for the Cardinals, offering the grit and strength to possibly start as a rookie.
Mel Kiper: ESPN.com: B minus -- Robert Nkemdiche is a top-10 talent when at his best, which means when he's playing with 100 percent effort. When you get that, you have that rare penetrating force from the interior of the D-line. Evan Boehm is a solid addition in Round 4 because he can play either center or guard, and both can be considered need areas for the Cardinals. Marqui Christian is another safety addition -- a need area -- who has a chance to stick.
Vinnie Iyer, SportingNews.com: B -- Nkemdiche was a home run, as the Cardinals are the right team to get him right off the field to the point he can live up to his explosive potential as an upfield player. He's a good complement to veteran addition Chandler Jones in a revamped, more active front. They also took care of their needs for a starting center and versatile secondary depth. Toner can be a starter in a few years.
Lindsay Jones, USA Today: B -- If DT Robert Nkemdiche landed with nearly any other team, the pick probably would have earned a low grade. But not for the Cardinals. This is a perfect fit for both the team. The Cardinals also addressed a weakness on the offensive line by drafting two linemen, including a future starting center in Evan Boehm from Missouri.