Our series “32 NFL mock drafts in 32 days” continues with the Arizona Cardinals. Arizona has been busy in free agency as they have brought in some playmakers but also had to say goodbye to a few. Heading to Cleveland for draft day the Cardinals currently have six selections. For a team that finished 8-8 in 2020, the draft is crucial to the Arizona Cardinals.
Kyler Murray looked capable of being a quality starter in the NFL and the Cardinals now need to fit him with weapons and give him a defense that will get him the ball back. DeAndre Hopkins continued to show why he is one of the best wide receivers in the league but the better he gets the more coverage he attracts and the Cardinals need to counter that.
The best way to counter a weapon getting covered is by adding more weapons. A.J. Green will help with that after he signed a deal to become a Cardinal. With Larry Fitzgerald’s future still uncertain, the Cardinals already have two quality wide receivers in the offense. The arrival of Rodney Hudson from the Las Vegas Raiders gives Kyler Murray a veteran at the center position and provides a solid anchor for their offensive line.
The draft will provide the opportunity to bring in a new tight end for the offense as the Cardinals don’t have a bonified starter on the books. A tight end is a great security blanket for a quarterback and it should be high on the priority list for the upper brass of the Cardinals. Other than the tight end position, and maybe the wide receiver group, the attention on draft week should be on the defense.
Arizona Cardinals NFL Mock Draft: Day One
1.16 | Caleb Farley | CB | Virginia Tech
Despite bringing in Malcolm Butler on a one-year deal the Cardinals need to find a replacement for Patrick Peterson in this draft. Caleb Farley is that replacement. The former high-school QB transitioned to wide receiver and then found his calling as a cornerback. In 2019 he racked up plenty of pass deflections and added four interceptions to his resume. After sitting out 2020 due to concerns regarding Coronavirus the talented cornerback is ready to jump into a starting role in Vance Joseph’s defense.
Arizona Cardinals NFL Mock Draft: Day Two
Trade: Cardinals receive 60 and 105. New Orleans Saints receive 49.
2.60 | Carlos Basham Jr. | Edge | Wake Forrest
Haason Reddick has departed for pastures new after the arrival of J.J. Watt. Watt is certainly a dominant player in the league but his career is coming to an end. With their pick in the second round, the Cardinals would do well to find their pass rusher of the future. Carlos Basham Jr. is a three-year starter for the Demon Deacons that has improved year on year. His ability to play anywhere on the defensive line is a huge benefit and his long arms and ability to read plays quickly will allow him to get pressure on any quarterback. A nice addition to play with Watt.
3.105 | Kenny Yeboah | TE | Mississippi
With no real starter in the tight end position, the Cardinals add some competition with their third pick in the 2021 NFL Draft. Kenny Yeboah is a strong tight end who is extremely proficient when asked to block. With Kyler Murray running around and making plays out of the pocket any tight end for the Cardinals has to be able to block.
Yeboah can do that and more. When it comes to receiving, Yeboah is a fast tight end who can create separation to give his quarterback a target. A strong addition to an already solid group of weapons.
Arizona Cardinals NFL Mock Draft: Day Three
5.160 | Darius Stills | DT | West Virginia
Back to the defense and in the fifth-round, the Arizona Cardinals add Darius Stills. In his two-years as a starter, he racked up 9.5 sacks and 19.5 tackles for a loss. A strong player who can play at nose tackle showed that he was capable of getting pressure to any offense in college and will look to continue that as an Arizona Cardinal.
6.223 | Dax Milne | WR | BYU
With DeAndre Hopkins, A.J. Green, and possibly Larry Fitzgerald as your starting wide receivers, the Cardinals have a chance to bring in a young wide receiver who can learn from some of the best in the game. Dax Milne is that man. After having a huge final year at BYU, Milne brings reliability. A trait that all quarterbacks love in their receivers. Toughness, route savvy, and the ability to use the sideline well are all NFL traits and Dax Milne has them all.
7.243 | Ben Mason | RB | Michigan
It’s that time in the draft when even the expert scouts are beginning to scrape the barrel. One position that it can never hurt to bolster in the draft is the running back position. Running backs are asked to do a lot of work and take plenty of hits. Having plenty of options going into the season is a sensible move. Therefore, the Arizona Cardinals bring in Ben Mason. A strong, tough, fierce runner who can come into games and battle for those important yards. Not a starter for the Cardinals but could certainly be useful as a depth option.
7.247 | Darren Hall | CB | San Diego State
After using their first pick in the 2021 NFL draft on a cornerback the Cardinals elect to do the same with their last pick in the draft. Caleb Farley will step right in as a starter and Darren Hall will get some reps whilst perfecting his game. Some valuable depth at one of the most important positions on defense.
Arizona Cardinals 2021 NFL Mock Draft Recap
After addressing their main needs in the first three rounds the Cardinals use their later selections to add some depth to valuable positions. Strong replacements for departing players like Patrick Peterson and Haason Reddick will be valuable for a team battling in a tough division.
So, that is what I think the Arizona Cardinals would do in this scenario, what do you think? Comment below, or on Twitter and let me know!
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