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Mel Kiper NFL Draft Grades: Winners And Losers Hit Close To Home For NFC West

Mel Kiper of ESPN has released his analysis and grades for the 2011 NFL Draft. As you might expect, Kiper has positive things to say about a couple of local picks and then goes on to question some others. The big winner from the first round of the NFL Draft was the Arizona Cardinals with their pick of Patrick Peterson.

Peterson, according to Mel Kiper's Big Board, was the best football player in the 2011 Draft. It's no wonder then that his review of the fifth pick was glowing.

Arizona feels it can be a contender in 2011 if it has a quarterback. And the Cardinals knew that a rookie quarterback isn't the answer when you're talking about a team with playoff aspirations. So at No. 5 they took the best football player in the draft, and didn't get pulled into the run on quarterbacks...If you want to connect dots, remember that Philly really needs a cornerback, and has a quarterback the Cardinals might want to acquire in Kevin Kolb

Interesting idea that the Cardinals could use Peterson as bait to trade with the Eagles for Kolb. Of course, he might also mean that Peterson makes Dominque Rogers-Cromartie expendable. 

Another team that got high marks for its picks in the early part of the 2011 NFL Draft was the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals took quarterback Andy Dalton but an Arizona guy got a positive mention as well." Add to that mix a really exciting, high-ceiling guy such as (Dontay) Moch, and you have a pretty impressive start," Kiper wrote.

Moch wasn't the only Arizona product getting rave reviews. Kiper called out the New Orleans Saints for praise for among other things, getting "tremendous value" with DE Cameron Jordan from Chandler High.

On the questionable side of the fence, Kiper wondered about NFC West rival Seattle Seahawks choice of James Carpenter. Kiper considered the pick a reach and thought they could have found better value for the offensive line needs.