In what direction will the Arizona Cardinals go when they are on the clock with the 16th overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft? They could go with an offensive lineman. They could target a cornerback or even a running back, based on where prospects are projected to be valued.
Draft Wire managing editor Luke Easterling released a new mock draft that covers three rounds. In these projections, the Cardinals go with a lineman to start and then use their next two picks to bolster the defense.
Round 1: Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw
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Darrisaw would make an interesting pick because he might not play as a rookie. The Cardinals have Marcus Gilbert under contract still, Kelvin Beachum as a free agent and they drafted Josh Jones in the third round last year. They believed he was a first-round talent. Jones is probably expected to start in 2021 or at least compete for the job. Darrisaw would potentially allow the Cardinals to let D.J. Humphries go in a year or two, giving them a young pair of tackles, but it wouldn't satisfy any current needs.
Round 2: Northwestern CB Greg Newsome II
Newsome had only one career interception in college and played in only three games in 2020. However, he has the frame to play in the pros at 6-1, 190 pounds. His speed times will matter for evaluation purposes, but he appears to have long speed and good explosiveness. He is a potential starter as a rookie.
Round 3: LSU DL Tyler Shelvin
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Shelvin was teammates with DL Rashard Lawrence, whom the Cardinals drafted in the fourth round last year. It is an interesting selection because they also drafted Leki Fotu as well. Shelvin is huge at 6-3 and 345 pounds. He is a true nose tackle but doesn't have the pass-rush upside that Fotu has. He opted out of the 2020 season but had three sacks and 39 tackles in 2019 on LSU's championship team. Listen to the latest from Cards Wire's Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify. Latest show: