Report Card: Cardinals 2007 Rookie Class

The Cardinals 2007 draft may not have had the headline appeal of last season's rookies, but they still played an active role on the team. But some of the sophomores struggled. The third year could be a make or break season for the 2007 class. Tyson Qualls dishes out grades to these players and provides an in-depth look at Ken Whisenhunt's first draft in the desert.

Honor Roll:

WR Steve Breaston 5th Round, Grade: A+

Caught in an early battle with Early Doucet for the slot receiver position, he rose to the challenge and accomplished more than anyone thought he could. Breaston proved his critics wrong and enjoyed a superb 1,000-yard season. He stepped up admirably in Anquan Boldin's absence and increased Coach Ken Whisenhunt's confidence in him. Breaston posted three 100-yard performances and averaged over 13 yards per catch. While he benefited immensely from Boldin and Larry Fitzgerald's presence, he still managed to produce meaningful numbers when they were not playing.

OL Levi Brown 1st Round, Grade: A

Brown started all 16 games for the Cardinals last season and provided a consistent presence on the front line. His play progressed from his rookie season and he was able to stay healthy for an entire season. If the Cardinals are going to commit to improving their run game in 2009, Brown will certainly be a vital part of that. After a revolving door on the front line, the Cardinals seem to finally be settling down. Brown should benefit from another season with the same core players. While he may have been a bit of a stretch at the fifth pick, he has not done anything to make the Cardinals regret their decision.

Summer School Required: TE Ben Patrick 7th Round, Grade: C- Fighting the injury bug all season long, Patrick never had the chance to hit his stride. He collected 104 yards on 11 receptions in 10 games. His most important contribution was his Super Bowl touchdown reception. Patrick has the tools to be a potent receiver in the NFL, but he needs to stay healthy and develop his blocking ability. The Cardinals had high hopes for him last season, but he failed to deliver. 2009 may be his last chance to show that he deserves to remain on the roster.

DT Alan Branch 2nd Round, Grade: D-

The consummate underachiever, Branch has yet to live up to his run stopping potential. As a behemoth of a man (6'5 332), he has the ability to clog up the middle. His lack of drive has left him stuck at number three on the depth chart and the Cardinals patience is wearing thin. Last season Branch recorded a meager six tackles in four games.

LB Buster Davis 3rd Round, Grade: F

A third round bust, Davis did not last long with the Cardinals. He was cut after showing up in camp out of shape and later bounced around with the Detroit Lions and Houston Texans. Like Branch he has the potential to be a solid player, but his work ethic has remained in question.


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