Arizona Cardinals: Grading Each Pick Of The 2015 NFL Draft
1 (24): D.J. Humphries - OT, Florida
Tackle did not look like one of the bigger needs for the Cardinals, as Jared Veldheer is one of the better blindside defenders in the league while Bobby Massie seemed to hold his own, but D.J. Humphries still provides an upgrade on the right side. He is an athletic and talented tackle that has the potential to develop into a high quality starter. Humphries by no means is a bad player, but based off of what they could have gotten here, it was not a great pick.
2 (26): Markus Golden - DE, Missouri
The biggest hole on the Cardinals' defense was definitely edge rusher, but Markus Golden was a bit of a reach. He plays smart and hard, but his pedestrian athletic ability limits his ceiling. Randy Gregory, Eli Harold, and Owamagbe Odighizuwa were all still on the board when they made this selection. Golden still has what it takes to be a quality player, but he cannot be their premier pass rushing threat.
3 (22): David Johnson - RB, Northern Iowa
This is a solid selection, as Davis Johnson has a good physical makeup and his weaknesses are complemented by Andre Ellington, who now looks like he will be splitting carries. Johnson has value both on short-yardage situations and passing downs, but lacks what it takes to be a consistent threat.
4 (17): Rodney Gunter - DT, Delaware State
Rodney Gunter has the size and the strength to work as a defensive lineman in the Cardinals' scheme. Having little experience and having played for a small school, he will have to sit a year or two before he is ready to take on NFL-level talent. This was an unsuspected pick, as few knew who Gunter was.
5 (22): Shaquille Riddick - DE, West Virginia
At 6-foot-6 and 242 pounds, Shaquille Riddick is on the skinnier side of edge rushers, but he has room to add muscle. If he can do that and maintain his burst, he has potential to contribute on defense. He will have to work on his craft, but he can be a situational pass rusher.
5 (23): J.J. Nelson - WR, UAB
Having ran the fastest 40 in the combine with a time of 4.28, J.J. Nelson has one thing that teams cannot teach, speed. Nelson though, is 5-foot-10 and 156 pounds. It may be a stretch to compare him to John Brown, a better one could be Tevin Reese of the 2014 draft, who weighed in at 163 pounds in last year's draft. Nelson has value as a returner, but is probably a few pounds from contributing on offense.
7 (39): Gerald Christian - TE, Louisville
In the 2015 NFL Draft, Gerald Christian received the title of Mr. Irrelevant. Christian is a little small and is not as athletic as one would like, but he has reliable hands. While Troy Niklas is the unquestioned number one tight end for the Cardinals, he may be able to jump ahead of John Carlson and Darren Fells if he impresses in camp.