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RECAP: Arizona Cardinals' 2016 NFL Draft picks

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Posted at 8:14 PM, Apr 30, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-30 23:14:33-04

The Arizona Cardinals ended up with six picks in this year’s NFL draft. They traded their 2nd round pick to the Patriots, along with offensive guard Jonathan Cooper, in exchange for Chandler Jones, and gave the Eagles their 7th round pick last year when they traded for back-up quarterback Matt Barkley.

So after three days and hours of phone calls, the Cardinals wraped up the 2016 draft with the following players:

   1 (29) Robert Nkemdiche, Defensive Tackle, Mississippi.

   3 (92) Brandon Williams, Cornerback, Texas A&M.

   4 (128) Evan Boehm, Center, Missouri.

   5 (167) Marqui Christian, Safety, Midwestern State.

   5 (170) Cole Toner, Offensive Tackle, Harvard.

   6 (205) Harlan Miller, Cornerback, Southeastern Louisiana.

Here’s the good news: the Cardinals were able to fill a key need at pass rusher when Robert Nkemdiche fell to them in the 1st round due to his marijuana incident that caused him to miss his final game at Ole Miss.

VIDEO: 5 things you should know about Cardinals' first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche

Arizona is hoping for another home run like when the team was able to snag Tyrann Mathieu in the 3rd round of the 2013 draft.

The team’s third-round pick, Brandon Williams, has plenty of upside, but he’s only played cornerback for one season. After three years at running back, the senior from Texas A&M switched to defense just last spring. The Cardinals are hoping he can make the team via special teams. He’ll certainly have a lot to learn when it comes to playing cornerback in the NFL with just one year of experience.

The other “steal” of the draft for Arizona may have come in the 4th round, when the team selected offensive center, Evan Boehm out of Missouri.

The 6’2”, 309-pounder started all 52 games at Missouri, setting a new consecutive starts record for the Tigers. He was a high school wrestling champion and he was one of the top prep recruits coming out of Lee’s Summit West High School in Missouri.

He’s the first center Arizona has taken since 2004. He was offered a scholarship to Missouri while he was still in the 8th grade.

Coach Arians expects Boehm to compete with A.Q. Shipley for the starting center job when the team opens training camp in August.

In the 5th round, the Cardinals turned to smaller schools to help provide depth at key positions.

The team's first pick in the 5th round was safety Marqui Christian out of Midwestern State. Christian becomes the first Midwestern State player ever taken by the Cardinals and just the 7th Mustangs player taken in the draft.

He appeared in 41 games in four seasons with the Mustangs, finishing with 295 tackles, 3 interceptions, 14 passes defensed, 9 tackles for loss, 4 fumble recoveries and 3 forced fumbles. His 295 tackles make him the school’s all-time leading tackler.

Marqui won the Cliff Harris Award this past year as the nation’s top small college defensive player.

With their second pick of the fifth round, Arizona selected offensive tackle Cole Toner out of Harvard. I’m guessing he’s pretty smart!

He is the third Harvard player ever taken by the Cardinals in the draft and is the first Harvard lineman taken in the draft since 1998.

Toner appeared in 33 games in four seasons at Harvard, playing both guard and tackle, and was named a first team FCS All-American.

The final pick for the Cardinals came in the 6th round, and Arizona went back to defense, selecting cornerback Harlan Miller out of Southeastern Louisiana.

Miller played in 47 games for the Lions, finishing with 122 tackles, 11 interceptions, 33 passes defensed and 9 tackles for loss.

In addition to playing defense, Miller returned 26 punts for 294 yards and one kickoff return for 20 yards.

Bottom line, it was a respectable draft for the Cardinals and at this point, I would give them a solid “B”. Of course, none of the speculation means anything until they put the pads on and hit the field in the fall!

We’re looking for at least another 13 & 3 record in 2016 and perhaps a run to Super Bowl 51.