Arizona Cardinals draft wrap-up

TEMPE, Ariz. – A wrap-up of the Arizona Cardinals' draft.

Best move: Drafting Northern Iowa running back David Johnson in the third round could be the difference between a late-season collapse and the Cardinals making a run in the postseason. He’ll come in with an NFL-ready body and has the size to be a bruising back who can get tough yards on third down and near the goal line -- exactly what Arizona needs. The Cardinals were the worst rushing team in the red zone and averaged a league-low 3.29 yards per carry last season. Johnson’s addition should solve that and it also gives the Cardinals enough depth in the backfield to trot out relief for Andre Ellington when he needs a break or if he gets injured again. With Ellington still the focal point of the offense, Johnson doesn’t need to play beyond his limits. Another part of Johnson's game that will keep him on the field is his receiving ability, which Cardinals coach Bruce Arians raved about. Coupled with his tough-nosed running and pass-blocking ability, he’ll be a steadying factor in the backfield.

Riskiest move: While the Cardinals’ brain trust was adamant there weren't any needs this season, finding a pass-rusher was a priority. But drafting Markus Golden might have been the riskiest decision of the draft. He has the tangibles of a productive pass-rusher -- good hands, quick first step, ability to navigate in traffic -- but he’s missing one key trait of all good edge rushers: size. He’s 6-foot-2, and according to ESPN Stats & Information, there wasn't a starting outside linebacker that height or shorter in a 3-4 scheme last season. The two Cardinals' edge rushers who have had eight or more sacks the past two seasons – John Abraham in 2013 and Alex Okafor in 2014 -- were both 6-4. Golden could prove me wrong and turn into an elite pass-rusher, cut from the same cloth as James Harrison, to whom Arians compared Golden, or he might not figure out a way to get past NFL-caliber tackles and chip-blocking. It’s too much of a risk when getting to the quarterback is such a priority.

Most surprising move: D.J. Humphries might have the skills, but when Arizona selected an offensive tackle with the 24th overall pick, a few heads turned. With all the other issues Arizona needed to address this draft, taking a tackle -- a position that wasn’t a high priority -- was unexpected. Bobby Massie, last season’s starting right tackle, wasn’t an elite offensive lineman, but he wasn’t awful, either. When he was beaten, however, it was ugly. Unless there are other wheels in motion behind the scenes, taking Humphries in the first round was the Cardinals’ most surprising move.

File it away: Shaq Riddick will be the next good edge rusher for the Cardinals. He’s 6-6, 260 pounds and still lanky. But after a year in the weight room under the guidance of strength and conditioning coach Buddy Morris, Riddick has the potential to emerge the way Okafor did after his rookie season: bulked up and a force off the edge. Riddick had seven sacks in one year against FBS competition in college. He likely won’t have that success as a rookie. But in a year or two, he could develop into the complementary edge rusher Arizona has been looking for.

My take: It might not have been with the players who got all the attention, but the Cardinals addressed every need -- except cornerback -- that plagued them in 2014. Some picks were projects, some were head-scratchers and some were the right picks, but each will have a role. If they are improvements from their predecessors, then the Cardinals hit a home run. Thumbs up