The Arizona Cardinals had seven selections in the 2015 draft. Here’s a closer look at how their picks have contributed:
2015 draft class:
On the cusp: Johnson is third on the depth chart at running back and is unlikely to be a starter this season. D.J. Humphries, who hasn’t been active this season, is in a position to start next season at right tackle, and the same goes for Shaq Riddick at linebacker.
Undrafted free agents they like: There’s only one undrafted free agent from the 2015 pool of draft-eligible prospects who’s having an impact. LB Alani Fua made the active roster and plays primarily on special teams, although he’s played defensive snaps in four of the Cards’ eight games. The Cardinals also like NT Xavier Williams, but he hasn’t been active this season. Coach Bruce Arians has also praised undrafted linebacker Gabe Martin, who has spent the season on the practice squad.
My take on class: As a whole, the Cardinals’ 2015 draft class has played a significant and immediate role this season, especially Johnson, who’s scored six touchdowns -- three rushing, two receiving and a kickoff return. Nelson has added speed to the Cardinals’ deep cache of wide receivers. Golden and Gunter have helped inject the defense with a fierce mentality at outside linebacker and at defensive tackle, respectively. And to think that there’s still potential sitting on the bench with Riddick and Humphries who can eventually make this draft class one of the Cardinals’ best in recent memory.
Mel Kiper's take on class: You have to grade on a curve here because this was a deep roster before the draft, and given that, I think you're thrilled to see Golden, Gunter and Johnson already playing roles. Johnson, in particular, could be seeing more playing time, but Chris Johnson has been so good he hasn't been needed as much. Humphries is essentially being redshirted, a great luxury to have for a talented but raw high-end prospect who could use the practice reps.