2022 NFL Draft: Grades for Trey McBride and Every Other Arizona Cardinals Pick

The Arizona Cardinals may have struggled during the stretch run of the 2021 NFL season, especially with injuries plaguing JJ Watt and DeAndre Hopkins. But Kyler Murray, despite some offseason drama revolving around social media, is still in the fold, guaranteeing this team will remain competitive in a tumultuous NFC West — and be even better if it hit on a few picks in the 2022 NFL draft.  

Especially following the offseason departures of Chandler Jones and Jordan Hicks, defense needed to be the theme of the three-day event. Arizona headed into the draft in need of a top-end edge-rusher and had to continue prioritizing the defensive line and secondary throughout the proceedings. 

Wide receiver depth also come into play with Christian Kirk off to the Jacksonville Jaguars, but that was far less of a need after the Cardinals parlayed some of their draft capital into a trade for Marquise Brown.  

2022 NFL Draft picks by Arizona Cardinals

  • No. 55 Overall: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State
  • No. 87 Overall: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State
  • No. 100 Overall: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati
  • No. 201 Overall: Keontay Ingram, RB, USC
  • No. 215 Overall: Lecitus Smith, G, Virginia Tech
  • No. 244 Overall: Christian Matthew, CB, Valdosta State
  • No. 256 Overall: Jesse Luketa, DE/OLB, Penn State
  • No. 257 Overall: Marquis Hayes, G, Oklahoma

No. 55 Overall: Trey McBride, TE, Colorado State

Tight end Trey McBride of the Arizona Cardinals
Arizona Cardinals tight end Trey McBride | Mike Calendrillo/Sportscasting

What can’t Trey McBride do? The reigning Mackey Award winner is a strong blocker at the line of scrimmage and down the field, he has the speed and awareness to find space in the seams, and he’s excellent at reeling in contested catches. With Marquise Brown joining the party in Arizona, adding another pass-catcher might not have needed to be too big a priority, but the talent may well supersede the lack of desire to address the defensive shortcomings midway through the second round.

Grade: B

No. 87 Overall: Cameron Thomas, EDGE, San Diego State

The Cardinals’ first pick wasn’t necessarily made to fill a need, but this one was. Cameron Thomas is a multifaceted edge-rusher who might have short arms but knows how to use them to win battles as a pass-rusher and stay in his lane to stuff runs.

Grade: A-

No. 100 Overall: Myjai Sanders, EDGE, Cincinnati

That’s two straight edge-rushers for the Cardinals, who need a pass-rush presence badly enough that the decision to double-down wasn’t a faulty one. Even if Myjai Sanders is more of a situational player given the high energy with which he explodes off the line, he could take down more than a few quarterbacks in his prime days.

Grade: B-

Day 3 Picks

No. 201 Overall: Keontay Ingram, RB, USC

Ingram is a big back who started his career at Texas before transferring to USC. He has impressive traits, but it’s never translated into all that much production.

Grade: C

No. 215 Overall: Lecitus Smith, G, Virginia Tech

At 6-foot-3 and 314 pounds, Smith is undersized for an NFL guard, but he’s an athletic three-year starter who could find a way to become a solid backup.

Grade: C

No. 244 Overall: Christian Matthew, CB, Valdosta State

Matthew is an intriguing small school prospect. He’s 6-foot-4, played wide receiver in high school, and was fifth in the country in pass breakups in 2021.

Grade: B-

No. 256 Overall: Jesse Luketa, DE/OLB, Penn State

Luketa moved from off-ball LB to a pass-rusher role last season and put up 8.5 tackles for loss. He’s a stand-up pass-rusher project who has the traits to be a rotation guy or even a starter in a few years.

Grade: C+

No. 257 Overall: Marquis Hayes, G, Oklahoma

Hayes has the body to be an NFL guard and plays with a tough mauler mentality. He needs to improve a lot technique-wise before he’s ready to contribute.

Grade: C+

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