May 2, 2023 - Sports

Arizona Cardinals earn a B average for 2023 NFL draft picks

A man in a white suit with a white shirt and a white had with red lettering yells with excitement.

Paris Johnson Jr. was the Cardinals' first-round pick Thursday. Photo: Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Most analysts in the sports media world gave the Arizona Cardinals a middle-of-the-road mark for their picks in this year's NFL Draft.

State of play: Sports Illustrated gave the Cards a B-, CBS Sports and The Ringer gave them a B+, and The Athletic, which didn't use letter grades, ranked them 17th of the 32 teams.

What they're saying: Most analysts were bullish on the Cards' decision to draft Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr., whom they took with the sixth pick after trading down — and then back up — from the third.

  • Ditto for second-round pick BJ Ojulari, a linebacker from LSU.
  • "The story of the Cardinals' 2023 draft is the future draft capital gained, but they also landed the top offensive tackle available," The Athletic wrote, referring to the 2024 draft picks the team got in its trade with the Houston Texans.
  • CBS Sports said Ojulari "can rush the passer with speed, which they need in a bad way," and predicted he could become a 10-sacks-a-season player.

The other side: The Sporting News was unimpressed with Johnson and called the Cards' picks underwhelming outside of Ojulari and cornerback Garrett Williams, whom Arizona drafted in the third round.

  • CBS Sports noted Williams is coming off a torn ACL.

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