Cardinals land big-time pass rusher in Peter King’s mock draft

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This week is the 2022 NFL draft, which means we will see some final mock drafts. NBC Sports’ Peter King gives us his mock draft of the first round and the Arizona Cardinals land a player that some believe will end up going in the top 10.

For the third year in a row, they get a defensive player. King projects they land Florida State pass rusher Jermaine Johnson.

I think the Cards would love to get another weapon for Kyler Murray, and if I were GM Steve Keim I’d define that weapon differently. I’d be looking just as fervently at the offensive line that put Murray under so much pressure last season; fixing his protection is as important as getting him a home-run threat—especially when there are no more home-run threats left now the way I mock it.

So why Johnson here? Because of the big need to find a pass-rusher two years after the departure of Haason Reddick and a month after the loss of Chandler Jones. I understand the pick, but I’d probably pick Zion Johnson instead.

Perhaps a receiver would be the preferred choice, but King projects that six receivers will be off the board in the first 18 picks. The top three cornerbacks are also off the board.

General manager Steve Keim said the three positional focuses will be pass rusher, cornerback and receiver.

Johnson would be fantastic. He has the size, traits and production and was dominant at the Senior Bowl.

Some mock drafts have him going in the top 10.

He would fill an immediate need and, because of the nature of the position, he could be used rotationally until he can play every down.

For those looking for a receiver, this might be a disappointment. but landing a premier pass rusher with the 23rd overall pick would be an absolute home run of a selection.

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