By John McMullen, NFL Editor
1 (27) - Deone Bucannon, SS, Washington State; 2 (52) - Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame; 3 (84) - Kareem Martin, DE, North Carolina; 3 (91) - John Brown, WR, Pittsburg State; 5 (160) Ed Stinson, DE, Alabama; 6 (196) - Walt Powell, WR, Murray State
Top Picks Analysis: Arizona traded down seven spots and went with safety Deone Bucannon, who was rated as a second-round prospect by most. The choice could mean the Cards are concerned with the health of emerging second-year player Tyrann Mathieu, who tore both his ACL and LCL in December of last season.
Bucannon is bigger and faster than the two top-rated safeties in this draft -- Calvin Pryor and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix -- but he is not as far along. If Mathieu is healthy, though, he and Bucannon could be a top-level pairing on the back end for years.
Tight end Troy Niklas is another talented but raw prospect who would have benefited from another year at Notre Dame. His frame and functional-football strength says he could develop into the best blocking tight end in football but he is a 270-pound guy who wants to be a receiving tight end. Blame the current NFL culture for that.
At 6-foot-6 North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin is a lengthy player who could be the eventual replacement for Calais Campbell.
Best Value Pick: The Cards needed the heir apparent for veteran quarterback Carson Palmer and they got a nice developmental prospect in the fourth round in former Virginia Tech star Logan Thomas. Thomas has a first-round skill set but really failed to develop in Blacksburg. With sound and patient coaching, however, he has the talent to be a starter in this league.
Questionable Call: Arizona saw the safety position as a need but Bucannon, despite his upside as a player, was not worthy of a first-round grade.
Summary: The Cardinals snared three eventual starters in the meat of the draft (Bucannon, Niklas and Martin), and added a solid developmental prospect at quarterback (Thomas).
FINAL GRADE: B
Undrafted rookie free agent signings: WR Kevin Smith, Washington; DL Justin Renfrow, Miami; OT Kelvin Palmer, Baylor; LB Glenn Carson, Penn State; LB Jonathan Brown, Illinois; CB Todd Washington, Southeast Louisiana; CB Brandon Sermons, UCLA; OL Kadeem Williams, Albany; RB Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona; WR Corey Washington, Newberry; G Anthony Steen, Alabama; RB Tim Cornett, UNLV WR Kelsey Pope, Samford; S Craig Loston, LSU; K Chandler Cantanzaro, Clemson
05/12 10:46:10 ET