NFL Draft Needs: Cardinals

Evan Silva
Evan Silva and Josh Norris walk through the Cardinals' top three needs and offer options for each of their draft picks

NFL Draft Needs: Cardinals

Evan Silva and Josh Norris walk through the Cardinals' top three needs and offer options for each of their draft picks

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Cardinals Team Need No. 1: Quarterback

Silva’s Analysis

Sam Bradford is a knee-hobbled bridge quarterback on a two-year deal, and No. 2 Mike Glennon is a low-end backup at best. The Cardinals were known to have interest in Pat Mahomes in last year’s draft, only to get leapfrogged by the Chiefs. Arizona preferred big-armed pocket passers under Bruce Arians. The new coaching staff may be more open to a dual-threat playmaker like Lamar Jackson.

Cardinals Team Need No. 2: Offensive Line

Silva’s Analysis

LT D.J. Humphries has been a first-round bust, injury-riddled LG Mike Iupati is only returning because he took a massive pay cut and neither C A.Q. Shipley nor RT Andre Smith is a long-term solution. The Cardinals have annually ranked among the league leaders in QB hits allowed.

Cardinals Team Need No. 3: Cornerback

Silva’s Analysis

Linebacker as they transition to a 4-3 defense and wide receiver also qualify as Cardinals needs. Cornerback across from Patrick Peterson has been an annual revolving door, and Tyrann Mathieu’s release created a void at slot corner. The Cardinals played heavy man coverage under Todd Bowles and James Bettcher. They will likely be more open to drafting zone corners under Steve Wilks.

Norris’ Mock Draft

Round 1 (15): DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama - The Cardinals drafted Tyrann Mathieu’s replacement in Budda Baker last year, but they showed two similar type players can be on the field at the same time. Insert Fitzpatrick, who fits best as a hybrid defensive back who works in the slot and the box. Who knows, some teams might even think he can play on the outside.

Round 2 (47): QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State - In the Cardinals’ offseason video series, GM Steve Keim said the search for a quarterback is the “holy grail” for an organization. At No. 15, the Cardinals might find it difficult to find one in round one. Expect a quarterback to be selected early, or else the team will basically punt the position for the year.

Round 3 (79): T Desmond Harrison, West Georgia - Someone will give Harrison a chance, and it might be earlier than the fourth round. He has a starter’s makeup at tackle, and that is difficult to find outside of round two, or even round one. Harrison has left tackle feet, is athletic and is absolutely a finisher. He’s older and had speed bumps in his past, but just one team has to give him a shot at a highly valuable position.

Round 3 (97): OL Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech - Teller locked down the left guard spot for the Hokies for a long time. He’s solid in both the running and passing games. Doubling up at offensive line with both present and future talent is important for the Cardinals.

Round 4 (134): DL Jullian Taylor, Temple - Taylor is one of the more athletic defensive linemen in this class. It makes sense after gaining weight and moving from the outside to the inside. The Cardinals have landed some really talented players in recent years thanks to their athletic profiles.

Round 5 (152): RB Chase Edmonds, Fordham - I reported the Cardinals brought in Edmonds for a visit. It makes total sense on the third day, as Edmonds is comfortable on all three downs as a Matt Forte-lite type.

Round 6 (182): WR Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech - More athleticism on the third day. Cantrell really uses his size, hops and body control at multiple levels of the field.

Round 7 (254): LB/S Foye Oluokun, Yale - The Cardinals have shown interest in Oluokun during the process, and he fits the hybrid safety/linebacker role well.

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