What could the Cardinals get for trading away the No. 4 overall pick?

The 2024 NFL draft is one month away. Yes, 31 days from Monday, the three-day event will begin. When it’s over, we’ll all take a deep breath as the millions of mock drafts disappear into cyberspace oblivion and the endless speculation ceases.

Of course, between now and the opening of the first round on April 25, the chatter will be nonstop. That’s especially true for Arizona Cardinals and the various trade proposals for the fourth overall choice.

General manager Monti Ossenfort said last week about potential trades: “There will be a big neon sign that says open. I don’t like it blinking; that kind of messes with my eyes. But yeah, we’re always going to be listening.”

Of course, that’s the essential truth for all teams, whether at the top of the draft or later. Last year, there were 44 trades during the draft’s three days.

While it’s widely assumed quarterbacks will go off the board in the first three selections, speaking at the AFC coaches’ breakfast this morning during league meetings in Orlando, Fla. (Cardinals head coach Jonathan Gannon will speak Tuesday), new Patriots head coach Jerod Mayo cast some doubt about where they will go with the No. 3 overall pick.

Noting a trade could happen, Mayo said, “I know everyone likes to think they have the special formula to picking players, but honestly the guaranteed way to win is to accumulate more picks. So if we don’t feel convicted at No. 3, we are willing to [make a trade] as well.”

Jess Root already reported on what Broncos head coach Sean Payton said today at the breakfast. While Payton claimed it was “realistic” that the Broncos could move up from the 12th slot to select one of the highly rated quarterbacks and added that “it’s good to be Monti right now,” he also said it’s “hard to predict what that cost is.”

Naturally, most of that is driven by who is available and how many teams desire certain players, but a look at recent history is an indication.

In 2021, the Miami Dolphins traded the third overall choice to the San Francisco 49ers for the 12th overall selection; picks in the first and third rounds in 2022, which turned out to be Nos. 29 and 101 overall; and a first-round choice in 2023 (29th overall). The 49ers famously picked quarterback Trey Lance, who is now with the Dallas Cowboys.

Last year, the Cardinals were knee-deep in deals, trading down and then back up to pick tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

Like Miami, the Cardinals owned the third pick in the first round, and like the 49ers, Houston had the 12th pick. The Texans already had the second overall choice, so netting the No. 3 pick allowed them to land quarterback C.J. Stroud and defensive end Will Anderson Jr., who were the league’s Offensive and Defensive Rookies of the Year last season.

The Cardinals also sent the Texans a fourth-round pick (No. 105); in addition to the No. 12 overall selection, Arizona received a second-round pick (No. 33) plus first- and third-round selections (Nos. 27 and 90) this year.

Moving down to No. 11 (where the Minnesota Vikings pick) or No. 12 would likely eliminate the Cardinals from landing any of the top three receivers: Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers or Rome Odunze.

A trade to move up is certainly possible, but risky.

Last year, the Cardinals moved from No. 12 to No. 6 and sent the Detroit Lions a second-round pick (No. 34) while also acquiring a fifth-round choice (No. 168) from Detroit.

The question is whether Ossenfort and Co. would be fine with wideout Brian Thomas Jr. or someone else at the position at Nos. 11 or 12, or later in the round, depending on the haul for trading down.

While seemingly most Cardinals fans believe the draft will be a failure if Harrison isn’t landed, the reality is it’s not necessary to select who is perceived to be the best receiver, but rather one of the best.

Consider the 2020 draft, when Justin Jefferson was the 22nd pick in the first round after Henry Ruggs (pick No. 12), Jerry Jeudy (No. 15), CeeDee Lamb (No. 17) and Jalen Reagor (No. 21), and before Brandon Aiyuk (No. 25), Tee Higgins (No. 34) and Michael Pittman Jr. (No. 34).

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Story originally appeared on Cards Wire