ARIZONA CARDINALS NFL DRAFT PLAN OF ATTACK
DT, OT, TE
FREE AGENT ACQUISITIONS:
WR DeAndre Hopkins (trade/stole), LB De’Vondre Campbell, RB Kenyan Drake (transition), WR Larry Fitzgerald (resigned), OT Marcus Gilbert (resigned), LB Devon Kennard, DT Jordan Phillips
FREE AGENT LOSSES:
RB David Johnson (trade), WR Damiere Byrd, WR Pharoh Cooper, TE Charles Clay, IOL AQ Shipley, DE Rodney Gunter, LB Joe Walker, LB Brooks Reed
ROUND 1 TARGETS:
OT Mekhi Becton, OT Jedrick Wills, OT Tristian Wirfs, S/LB Isaiah Simmons, CB Jeffrey Okudah, DT Derrick Brown, WR CeeDee Lamb, WR Jerry Jeudy, WR Henry Ruggs III
ROUND 2 TARGETS:
Pick traded in DeAndre Hopkins deal.
ROUND 3 TARGETS:
OT Prince Tega-Wanogho OT Ben Bartch, OT Saahdiq Charles, DT Leki Fotu, WR Van Jefferson, WR KJ Hill, WR Chase Claypool, TE Brycen Hopkins, TE Adam Trautman, TE Hunter Bryant, TE Thaddeus Moss, TE Albert Okwuegbunam
PLAN OF ATTACK:
For being a team that isn’t very good, the Cardinals really don’t have a lot of holes to fill when you look at their roster. They can actually make a luxury pick here at 8th overall if they want. Rumors are circulating that they may just do that and reunite their second-year quarterback with his former teammate CeeDee Lamb. It would be surprising to see the Cardinals take a wide receiver in round 1, after acquiring DeAndre Hopkins and already having Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk on the roster.
The thing is though, Fitzgerald has to retire one of these years, and Lamb can be waiting in the wings to replace the legend. Lamb is a smooth route runner, with good speed, and reliable hands. He is a bit on the skinny side but plays physical. He would be a solid addition to this offense. The Cardinals could also beef up their offensive line with one of the top tackles of the Draft. They could also go with DT Derrick Brown if he makes it this far down the board. Brown is a dual-threat defensive tackle who can anchor and terrorize the middle of offensive lines. He’d make a lot of sense and fill one of the bigger holes on the Cardinals roster.
The Cardinals dealt this pick to the Texans to get DeAndre Hopkins.
In round 3 the Cardinals could again get a weapon for their young quarterback. Their current tight end depth chart is topped by veteran Maxx Williams who has yet to catch more than 16 passes in a single season. They could almost have their pick of the litter here but the top option, Cole Kmet will probably be off the board. They could look at Adam Trautman. He’s a small school stud from Dayton who really impressed at the Senior Bowl. He’s a great athlete and is a more than willing blocker though his technique needs some work.
They could also consider Mizzou’s Albert Okwuegbunam, LSU’s Thaddeus Moss, or FAU’s Florida Atlantic. The Cardinals need Kyler Murray to succeed and the chances of them giving him another weapon in the third round to make that happen are very high. Another route the Cardinals could choose to go in Round 3, would be defensive tackle. They did add Jordan Phillips in free agency but could use a young buck to take a spot in the rotation as the depth behind him is worrisome.
The guy they’d love to see would be Utah’s Leki Fotu. He’s a huge, powerful man who can take up a lot of space. He plays with good technique and fires off the ball quickly. If he’s on the board he could be the choice, as the Cardinals could wait until the fourth round to grab their tight end, as the options there could be better than what would be available at defensive tackle.
Round 1: WR CeeDee Lamb, Oklahoma
Round 2: No Pick
Round 3: DT Leki Fotu, Utah