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The Arizona Cardinals have outside linebacker — an edge defender who can rush the passer — as perhaps their greatest need entering the NFL draft. They could address it at any point during the draft, as this class of edge defenders is believed to be very good.
Below are some players who might be in play in each round for the Cardinals, including the fourth and fifth rounds, even though they enter the draft without fourth or fifth-round selections.
Round 1: George Karlaftis, Purdue
Karlaftis has been connected to the Cardinals in many mock drafts. He only had 4.5 sacks last season but he had a very high pass-rush win rate off the edge, so he was getting pressure.
He also had good size, excellent athleticism and an unquestioned motor.
Round 2: Nik Bonitto, Oklahoma
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Bonitto had seven sacks and 15 tackles for loss last season and he has desirable athletic traits.
Round 3: Cameron Thomas, San Diego State
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Thomas was fairly dominant behind the line of scrimmage for the Aztecs. He had 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss in 2021. He has good length and is athletic enough.
Round 4: Myjai Sanders, Cincinnati
He was not wildly productive in 2021. He had 2.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for loss after having 7.0 and 10.5 in 2020.
He is long but lean at 228 lbs, and he can move.
Round 5: Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
Enagbare had only 4.5 sacks in 2021 but had six in eight games in 2020. He is 6-4 and 258 lbs with some good athleticism.
Round 6: Amare Barno, Virginia Tech
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Barno is crazy fast. He ran the 40 at the combine in 4.36 seconds. He 6-5 and 246 lbs.
In two seasons for the Hokies, he had 10 sacks and 21.5 tackles for loss.
Round 7: Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina
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Gunter stands at 6-4 and 258 lbs. He had 17 sacks and 35 tackles for loss over his last three seasons.
He ran the 40 in 4.7 seconds.