New mock draft simulation has Cardinals making 3 trades

Jess Root
·3 min read

Including this weekend, there are only two left before the 2021 NFL draft and we have another mock draft simulation that goes all seven rounds. In this simulation, we make three trades. The Cardinals trade down twice in the first round and then trade up from the third round to the second round.

In all, they make seven picks in the draft and cover a lot of needs.


Trade No. 1: No. 16 to No. 20

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The Chicago Bears want to move up to No. 16 overall and are willing to give the Cardinals the 20th pick and their third-round pick (No. 83). The Cardinals don't have one in the third round and both the top two cornerbacks and top three receivers are off the board, so trading back makes sense.

Trade No. 2: No. 20 to No. 26

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When the 20th pick comes around, the Cleveland Browns come calling because they want Alabama defensive lineman Christian Barmore. They offer the 26th pick and their fourth-round pick (No. 132) to move up to No. 20. This gives the Cardinals a pick in the fourth round, as they lost theirs in the trade for receiver DeAndre Hopkins. They make the deal.

Round 1: Tulsa LB Zaven Collins

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Drafting another linebacker in the first round might not make sense at the surface, but Collins is special. He is huge and can move. He can run and cover. Jordan Hicks is probably going to be around one more season. A Pairing of Collins with Isaiah Simmons could be special. Collins could also play a role of a base outside linebacker for running and covering as a rookie.

Round 2: Penn State TE Pat Freiermuth

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Freiermuth is not Kyle Pitts, but he is probably the second-best tight end in this draft. He can catch and block. He makes the position better immediately.

Trade 3: No. 83 to No. 64

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The Cardinals now get aggressive. There is a cornerback on the board they want so they trade up from the third round with the pick they got from the Bears in their first draft trade to get back into the second round. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers give the Cardinals their second-round pick and their fourth-round pick (No. 137). The Cardinals give them their third-round pick (No. 83), their fourth-round pick (No. 132, acquired from Browns in first-round tradeback) and one seventh-round pick (No. 247).

Round 2: Florida State CB Asante Samuel Jr.

The Cardinals get a cornerback and a promising one. He is physical, athletic and has bloodlines, as his father was a Pro Bowl cornerback.

Round 4: Illinois OL Kendrick Green

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Green is a sleeper on Day 3. He is the ninth-ranked interior lineman who has some nasty to him. The Cardinals' long-term outlook at guard is uncertain. Green gives them options in the future.

Round 5: Oklahoma State RB Chuba Hubbard

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He was the nation's most productive back in 2019 but wasn't the same in 2020 for the Cowboys. However, he would fit well in the Cardinals' offense and gives them a third option that Kliff Kingsbury can trust.

Round 6: Iowa WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette

Smith-Marsette offers speed and also some production to the return game. He has speed for vertical routes and is good at double moves. He averaged 28.7 yards per kick return and had two touchdowns.

Round 7: North Texas WR Jaelon Darden

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He is small at 5-9 and 170, but he has speed in spades. In nine games in 2020, he caught 74 passes for 1,190 yards and 19 touchdowns. He is fast, slippery and can also contribute on special teams. 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:

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