Beanie Wells gave this team a boost, it lifted them form the running game from last in the league in 2008 to 28th best in 2009. That is not the improvement one would expect from a first round draft pick. It seems this is one of those draft classes that will take a longer time to bloom. A year ago I gave this draft class a B Grade; one year out I might drop it to a B- and wait for the full impact of this class to come into effect.
A quick look at the 2009 Cardinals draft class:
•Round One (31)- Beanie Wells RB
•Round Two (63)- Cody Johnson LB
•Round Three (95)- Rashad Johnson S
•Round Four (131)- Greg Toler DB
•Round Five (167)- Herman Johnson OG
•Round Six (204)- Will Davis LB
•Round Seven (240)- LaRod Stephens-Howling
•Round Seven (254)- Trevor Canfield OG
So Wells had 793 yards rushing s teh Cardinals offense adjusted to not having Edgerrin James. C. Johnson hurt his wrist and spent the season on IR. R. Johnson played in 10 games. Toler plated in 13 games. H. Johnson was inactive for the entire 2009 season. Davis appeared in 11 games and had 9 tackles and 2 sacks. Howling had six carries for 15 yards. Canfield was signed to the practice squad.
So not a ton of production in year one, but this class seems to have a lot of upside. The team could use Cody Johnson at a LB spot, Wells should get better, and the team seems high on Howling as well. After a good 2010 season this draft grade will certainly get bumped up a bit, for right now it doesn’t look as pretty.
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