The NFL Draft is next Thursday, April 29th and the Arizona Cardinals still have some holes to fill. The Cards did a nice but overrated job in free agency. One thing is for certain, Ruby’s Buffet is happy with the signings as they will have senior discount dinners available for the newest Cardinals:
ARIZONA CARDINALS SHOCK NFL
The Cards shocked the NFL world when they stole DE J.J Watt from the NFL elite. The “old” 31 years old Watt will give the Cardinals a high-pressure pass rush, though many wonders for how many games? J.J. played in 16-games last season, but he is very injury-prone as he has missed 32 games over the previous 5-seasons.
Next, the Cards jumped on the really “old” bandwagon with the signing of the almost 33-year old A.J. Green. The former Bengal great will be joining the Cards on the backside of his career. Green hasn’t caught a pass longer than 38 yards in almost three years as he no longer has the wheels to pull it off. However, he was a solid possession receiver for the Bengals last season. Think of him as a “younger” Larry Fitzgerald for this season.
The Cardinals would have been far better off signing (WR) Breshad Perriman ($2.5 mil. Detroit) and (WR) Chris Conley ($1.5 mil. Houston). Both receivers run sub-4.4 40’s and can go deep or make the chains move. The Cards would have added much-needed depth to their average (sans Hopkins) wide receiver corp and would have saved about $3 million to fill other needs.
Filling out the table at Luby’s early bird special for the Cards will be the 32-yr old center Rodney Hudson, an actual solid pickup for at least a couple of years, 37-yr old solid kicker Matt Prater and the overrated cornerback Malcolm Butler who is 31-years of age. Butler is considered the Cards CB1.
Arizona Sportswriters pushed his smoke and mirror stats hard trying to sell him as a number one cornerback, but they ignored the facts. The problem is Butler wasn’t even the Titan’s CB1, he racked up his numbers against the No.2 receivers. Butler will be the CB1, but he is a CB2 at best.
MOCK DRAFT PICKS 1-10
Now lets take a look at the options for the Arizona Cardinals in the NFL Draft.
- Jacksonville Jaguars — Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence. The much-loved QB will have Jags fans seeing rainbows and butterflies. He’s a very good player with great talent, but a tad overrated. Given a choice, I would have taken two of last year’s quarterback standouts over Lawrence. Joe Burrow did an amazing job considering the team he had around him and Justin Herbert I like even more.
- New York Jets — BYU QB Zach Wilson is not in the top three quarterbacks. The Jets will find out that all the good things Zach Wilson does, so did Sam Darnold. The New York Jets never gave Darnold any weapons.
- San Francisco 49ers — Alabama QB Mac Jones. This is a system pic. The 49’ers want a player that will stick in the pocket and run the West Coast offense. Justin Fields, Trey Lance run a little too much for Coach Shannahan’s taste.
4. Atlanta Falcons — Florida TE Kyle Pitts. This is the surest thing player in the draft not named Trevor Lawrence. Atlanta loves special TE’s…this is their next one. If they literally weren’t stuck with Matt Ryan for another year, they would have gone for a quarterback.
5. Cincinnati Bengals — Oregon OT Penei Sewell. No other option, they have to protect the franchise player and this is a good start in protecting Burrows.
6. Miami Dolphins — LSU WR Ja’Marr Chase. Chase is a star waiting to be born, hopefully, Tua can get it to him.
7. PROJECTED TRADE: (Detroit to #16) Arizona Cardinals — Alabama WR Jaylen Waddle. Game-breaking talent, 11 of his 20 TD’s were over 50 yards. He runs great routes, has 4.37 speed…everyone is calling him the next Tyreek Hill. Whether he is Hill or not, he is everything Coach Kliff Kingsbury and GM Steve Keim told fans that Andy Isabella was supposed to be.
The Cards have other needs, but this is a very important one. Waddle is very much worth trading up for considering the talent Waddle brings to the team.
PLAN B: Alabama CB Patrick Surtain II
IF CARDS STAY AT #16: They would look at these players, WR Kardarius Toney Florida, T/G Alijah Ver-Tucker USC, OT Samual Cosmi Texas, OG Liam Eichenberg Notre Dame, Northwestern CB Greg Newsome ll, RB Travis Etienne Clemson.
8. Carolina Panthers — Northwestern OT Rashawn Slater fills a big hole and protects Sam Darnold.
9. Denver Broncos — Ohio State QB Justin Fields. Though he has to make quicker reads, he’s an outstanding quarterback with elite mobility and touch. He is everything Dwayne Haskins is not.
10. Dallas Cowboys — Alabama CB Patrick Surtain ll. The Cowboys’ defense is so bad, they didn’t have a choice. He has great size and speed, all the tools to be a shutdown corner!
MOCK DRAFT PICKS 11-20
- New York Giants— WR) DeVonta Smith will give Daniel Jones the best WR talent since he has been in NY.
- Philadelphia Eagles— South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn, who is an exceptional athlete with a gladiator mentality and excellent ball skills.
- Los Angeles Chargers— Virginia Tech OT Christian Darrisaw
- Minnesota Vikings— Penn State LB Micah Parsons
- New England Patriots— North Dakota State QB Trey Lance
- Detroit Lions — Minnesota WR Roshod Bateman. The Gophers Bateman is 6’2″ and runs a sub 4.4-40. Bateman can play both inside and out, he’s a complete receiver. If they are looking for a little, smaller dynamic slot receiver they may go with Florida’s Kadarius Toney.
ARIZONA CARDINALS 2021 PROJECTIONS
They have a few remaining drafts picks including the 2nd round, 5th, and 7th rounds. They have to get a pass-catching tight end, cornerback, and more depth. A no.4 wide receiver has to be part of that depth because they just aren’t that good after the top three players receivers.
The Arizona Cardinals finished 8-8 last season and literally were two kicks away from being 10-6. I am not sure the Cards have improved beyond last year’s finish. If they make the kicks this year, it will be a fun season with J.J. Watt and Chandler Jones:
POSSIBILITIES FOR OTHER ROUNDS
2nd Round: OT Samuel Cosmi Texas /OG Liam Eichenberg Notre Dame / CB Aaron Robinson UCF / CB Eric Stokes Georgia / WR Elijah Moore Ole Miss
5th Round: Tre’ McKitty, TE, Georgia / Cade Johnson, WR, South Dakota / Chuba Hubbard*, RB, Oklahoma / Demetric Felton, RB/WR, UCLA / Tay Gowan, CB UCF
7th Round: Olaijah Griffin CB USC / Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina / Shaun Wade, CB/S, Ohio State