Draftseason’s Draft Grade A Day is back! This is where we look at each team’s 2019 Draft class and grade it based on PRODUCTION ONLY! Points will be awarded per round and the scale is determined on the expectation of the round the pick was made. Fractional points are given out as well as bonus points for any player who outplayed their Draft ranking. We will add up the total points to determine the final grade. We will start with the Arizona Cardinals who had the first pick in 2019 and work our way up.
Grading Scale: (total possible per round)
Round 1 – 5 points
Round 2 – 4 points
Round 3 – 3 points
Round 4 – 2 points
Round 5 – 1 point
Round 6 & 7 – 0 points
Pick: QB Kyler Murray, Oklahoma
Analysis: The Cardinals made Murray the no. 1 overall pick and gave the team exactly what they were hoping for. Murray lived up to the hype throwing for 3,722 yards with 20 touchdowns to 12 interceptions for an 87.4 quarterback rating. He also rushed for 544 yards with 4 touchdowns. Murray has all the makings to be a star in this league for a very long time.
Pick: CB Byron Murphy, Washington
Analysis: Murphy started all 16 games for the Cardinals as a rookie. He had 78 tackles, 10 pass breakups, and one interception. He definitely lived up to the first-round hype.
Pick: WR Andy Isabella, UMASS
Analysis: Isabella was active for 15 games with one start. He hauled in just 9 balls for 189 yards and a score. The Cardinals had to be hoping for a bit more from this second-round choice.
Pick: DE Zach Allen, Boston College
Analysis: Allen had a disappointing rookie season. He had just 8 tackles in 4 games. There’s still plenty to be excited about here, but the Cardinals will be expecting a large jump in production in year two.
Pick: WR Hakeem Butler, Iowa St.
Analysis: Butler was placed on I.R. after injuring his hand in the preseason.
Pick: S Deionte Thompson, Alabama
Analysis: Thompson was active for 11 games and started 2. He had 18 total tackles. That’s about what you’d expect from a fifth-round pick.
Pick: WR KeeSean Johnson, Fresno St.
Analysis: Johnson was a pleasant surprise for the Cardinals. The sixth-rounder played in 10 games and started 4 of them. He had 21 catches for 287 yards with one touchdown.
Pick: C Lamont Gaillard, Georgia
Analysis: Gaillard didn’t see any action on game days as a rookie.
Pick: OT Joshua Miles, Morgan State
Analysis: Miles was active for seven games and that is worth a little love in my book.
Pick: DE Michael Dogbe, Temple
Analysis: Dogbe was activated 8 times in 2019. He made 5 total tackles for the Cardinals in those contests.
Pick: TE Caleb Wilson, UCLA
Analysis: Wilson is now the property of the Washington Redskins. The Cardinals don’t feel bad though, as he didn’t accumulate any stats.
FINAL GRADE & ANALYSIS
Final Grade: 14.5/20 73% C
The Cardinals 2019 Draft class could be a franchise defining one for them if Kyler Murray ends up being their long term answer at quarterback. After year one, they have to be feeling good about his chances. He was an exciting player to watch who could keep plays alive with his athletic ability. He threw the ball well and made the Cardinals much more competitive than many figured they would be. Byron Murphy was also a solid choice in the first round. He started every game and played at a high level. Murphy looks to be a fixture in the Cardinals secondary for years to come. The grade was hurt by the team’s choices in rounds 2-4. Andy Isabella was slow to develop and didn’t contribute nearly as much as expected. The same can be said for Zach Allen as he didn’t come close to producing at a Round 3 level. Hakeem Butler’s rookie season was a wash due to injury, but there is plenty of potential there that the Cardinals should be pumped about. They did hit on some late-round picks. Deionte Thompson, Keesean Johnson, Michael Dogbe, and Joshua Miles all showed they can play in this league and should come back much stronger in year two.
This grade will definitely go up over time. Hakeem Butler is a freakish athlete with good size and he could produce right away in 2020. I would also expect Isabella, and Allen to take major steps forward in year two. If those three can contribute more in their second seasons, and Murray and Murphy continue to be solid, this class will be looked back in time as the one that turned the Cardinals around.