Mel Kiper’s latest mock draft has Cardinals taking Purdue pass rusher

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The Arizona Cardinals were eliminated from the postseason on Monday, which locked them into the 23rd pick of the 2022 NFL draft. Now officially in their offseason, we can start looking toward the draft and the many mock drafts we will see for the next three months.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. released a new mock draft this week and he has the Cardinals could with a pass rusher.

His selection for the 23rd overall pick is Purdue pass rusher George Karlaftis.

After a 10-2 start, the Cardinals lost five of their final six games and crashed out in the playoffs, a disappointing finish for a team that once looked like a Super Bowl contender. And I think you can point to J.J. Watt’s shoulder injury in late October as a big reason the defense took a step back down the stretch. Watt is still signed for another season, but his injury history means that Arizona needs to think about a replacement. That’s Karlaftis, a powerful 275-pound end who might be better in a 3-4 defense. He had only 4.5 sacks in 2021, but his pressure numbers were elite, even if he didn’t always get home to the quarterback. He’s really good against the run, too.

Chandler Jones will be a free agent and his future with the team is uncertain. They need a young pass rusher.

He had 14 total sacks and 29 total tackles for loss in three seasons for the Boilermakers. His freshman year was the most productive, when he had 7.5 sacks and 17 tackles for loss.

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