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Grading trade between Texans and Cardinals involving No. 3 overall pick

Houston moves up to grab a defensive cornerstone.

New Mexico State v Alabama
Will Anderson Jr. of the Alabama Crimson Tide looks on during pregame warm-ups against the New Mexico State Aggies at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 13, 2021 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Update: The Cardinals have moved up from the No. 12 pick to the No. 6 pick, sacrificing the No. 12 pick and the No. 34 pick. Arizona has sacrificed some of its assets from the Houston trade. The Texans still get a B, while the Cardinals drop down to a B+ for now.

The Houston Texans shook up the 2023 NFL Draft in a big way early, trading with the Arizona Cardinals for the No. 3 overall pick. The Texans then selected Alabama Crimson Tide defensive end Will Anderson Jr., securing a young defensive star to anchor that side of the ball for years to come. Here’s what the Cardinals got in return.

Let’s grade this trade for both teams.

Texans: B

The Texans essentially paid three first-round picks (33 is close to a late first) to grab a defensive end and even though Anderson Jr. is a star in the making, that’s a lot to give up. They do get a fourth-round pick back, and they’ll anticipate being decent enough in 2024 to where those picks aren’t as early as the Cardinals want them to be. However, this team is still going to be relying heavily on two rookies at pivotal spots. There’s a scenario where the Texans still finish with one of the worst records in the league and give Arizona a top-3 pick in the 2024 NFL Draft.

Cardinals: A

Arizona didn’t need a quarterback but has plenty of problems elsewhere. This is a haul, and the Cardinals can now address multiple spots instead of putting all their hopes on one player. This isn’t a knock on Anderson Jr., who should be a fantastic player. This is a big return, with a potential top-3 pick in 2024 being the icing on the cake for Arizona. If the Cardinals can have a bounceback campaign in 2023, they could be a strong position to load up on talent to make an even bigger run in 2024.