New Draft Wire mock draft has Cardinals going O-line in the first round

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Jess Root
·2 min read
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The Arizona Cardinals have many offseason needs to fill this year. Some would argue that, while they have players in line to start at the interior offensive line positions, they could use an upgrade over Justin Pugh, Mason Cole or Justin Murray.

It is for this reason that the latest mock draft from Draft Wire managing editor Luke Easterling has the Cardinals going with a guard in the first round of the 2021 draft.

With the 16th pick in the draft, Easterling has them selecting USC offensive lineman Alijah Vera-Tucker.

If you’re a team with a young franchise quarterback, every pick should be tailored toward that passer’s success. For the Cardinals, that means bolstering the offensive line to make sure Kyler Murray doesn’t have to run for his life on every pass attempt. Vera-Tucker is a polished prospect who can step in at multiple positions from Day 1.

The question would be whether the Cardinals would insert Vera-Tucker immediately into the starting lineup. The only lineman they have done that with over the last several years has been Mason Cole, who started out of necessity when A.Q. Shipley tore his ACL in training camp.

Related

Early Cardinals 2021 NFL Draft profile: Alijah Vera-Tucker

If he could start in 2021, it would be a great pick and it does make sense moving forward. However, with some of the players available drafted after the 16th pick in this mock draft, they could also have an immediate and long-term impact. Alabama RB Najee’ Harris comes to mind.

A pass rusher, cornerback, receiver or running back would seem to be the targets for now if they want to have someone to start now and down the line.

Listen to the latest from Cards Wire’s Jess Root on his podcast, Rise Up, See Red. Subscribe on Apple podcasts or Spotify.

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