By Chad Bellin. The Arizona Cardinals added two new faces on Day 2 of the NFL Draft, covering the second and third rounds. Although they skipped over prospects at potential need areas at quarterback and defensive line, by most measures, the Cardinals came away with two intriguing players who figure to make noise in 2017.
Budda Baker, Safety
The Cardinals traded up with the Bears to snag University of Washington safety Bishard (Budda) Baker. Baker is an undersized safety with an oversized motor. While Baker played with two other superstars in the UW defensive backfield, he made enough highlight reel plays to stand out.
For the Cardinals, Baker’s most likely role is as a free safety behind Tyrann Mathieu or as a nickel corner. The biggest concern may be Baker’s ability to maintain the weight on his demure body to play safety in the NFL. Despite those concerns, Baker figures to be an instant and important contributor in 2017.
Chad Williams, Wide Receiver
Having traded out of the middle of Round 3 to get Baker, the Cardinals were left with a late-round compensatory pick. With that pick, they drafted Chad Williams of Grambling.
Williams is an interesting developmental prospect who put up impressive numbers for the SWAC Champions (90 rec., 1,337 yards, 11 TDs). Williams “plays bigger” than his frame, and has impressive straight-line speed. The knock on him is that he is slow to get off the ball, and lacks quickness while running patterns. Williams is athletic enough to overcome these issues in time, but will have to make an impact on special teams to earn that time.
Fantasy Football Outlook
Chad Williams will likely not figure into the top of the Cardinals’ wide receiver rotation in 2017. With Larry Fitzgerald, John Brown, and JJ Nelson already established, Williams will battle for one of the lesser spots on the depth chart. If he’s able to make an impact on special teams, Williams could work his way into more work later in the season. But, he will have to prove he can get off the ball and create separation down the field.
Williams doesn’t figure to have substantial fantasy value in 2017, but is a player to watch down the road.