Coop – Three Options For Cardinals In NFL Draft

Arizona Sports News online

Story by “Coop” Bruce Cooper 

The Cardinals have three options staring them in the face relative to Thursday’s first-round of the NFL draft; trade up, trade down or stay put at pick number 16. Let me walk you through how the Cardinals should operate in each of the scenarios.

 

Option One—Trade up

Cardinals trade 2021 first-round pick (#16) and 2022 first-round pick to Detroit Lions for 2021 first-round pick (#7)

Cardinals trade 2022 third-round pick to Cleveland Browns for tight end David Njoku. (Cards not getting Kyle Pitts)

 

First Found (pick #7)

Jaylen Waddle—Alabama wide receiver

Waddle can affect the game in so many ways (slot, outside, reverses, special teams). He opens up the whole field for Kyler Murray and the Cardinals offense

 

Second Round (pick #49)

Paulson Adebo—Stanford cornerback

Adebo opted out of the 2020 season. However, he turned in a very solid pro day, flashing 4.4 -40 speed.  He has a nose for the ball as evidenced by his 8 interceptions and 24 pass break ups combined over the 2018 and 2019 seasons.

 

Third Round pick to Las Vegas (Rodney Hudson trade)

Fourth Round pick to Houston (DeAndre Hopkins trade)

 

Fifth Round (pick 160)

Pooka Williams—Kansas running back

Williams is a speedy, elusive back with great hands out of the backfield.  Provides insurance particularly in passing game should injury find Chase Edmonds or James Conner.

 

Sixth Round (pick 223) (from Minnesota Mason Cole trade)

Khyiris Tonga—BYU nose tackle

Standing  6’2, 325 pounds, Tonga brings run stuffing talent and depth to the Cardinals defensive line

 

Seventh Round (pick 243) (from Las Vegas Rodney Hudson trade)

Isaiah McDuffie—Boston College linebacker

McDuffie is a bit undersized at 6’1, 230 pounds but he plays with a lot of energy and plays hard to the final whistle.

 

Seventh Round (pick 247)

Nick McCloud—Notre Dame cornerback

McCloud left North Carolina State as a graduate student, transferring to Notre Dame. He made 11 starts for the Fighting Irish and turned in a very impressive pro day.

 

Option two—trade down

Cardinals trade 2021 first-round pick (#16) and 2021 seventh-round pick (#243 via Raiders) to NY Jets for 2021 second-round pick (#34), 2021 third-round pick (#66) and 2021 fifth-round pick (#155 via Giants)

 

Second Round (#34 via Jets)

Javonte Williams—North Carolina running back

Williams combines power and elusiveness to run effectively between the tackles and in short yardage and goal line situations. He has excellent hands out of the backfield and is solid in pass protection.  Chase Edmonds and James Conner have only one year remaining on their contracts. Williams is their future.

 

Second Round (#49)

Eric Stokes—Georgia cornerback

Stokes has the size, speed and quickness to play inside or outside. He had four interceptions this past season for the Bulldogs, returning two for touchdowns. He put his athleticism on full display during his pro day.

 

Third Round (#66 via Jets)

Joseph Ossai—Texas edge rusher

Ossai can rush the passer with his hand down or standing up.  He stands 6’4, 260 pounds with a non-stop motor. Adds depth and should be a starter in two years.

 

Fourth Round to Houston (DeAndre Hopkins trade)

 

Fifth round (#155 from Jets via Giants)

Jaelon Darden—North Texas wide receiver

Darden’s combination of speed, quickness and elusiveness may be unmatched in this draft. He’s small at 5’9, 170 pounds but he’s a game-changer for sure.

 

Fifth Round (#160)

Israel Mukuamu—South Carolina cornerback

Mukuamu is a tall corner at 6’4, 215 pounds.  He played opposite Jaycee Horn (1st round pick) and tallied seven career interceptions for the Gamecocks. He can also play safety.

 

Sixth Round (#223 via Vikings)

Khyiris Tonga—BYU nose tackle

Standing  6’2, 325 pounds, Tonga brings run-stuffing talent and depth to the Cardinals defensive line

 

Seventh Round (#247)

Matt Bushman—BYU tight end

Bushman played his high school football at Tucson Sabino.  He has good size, 6’5 255, and solid hands.

 

Option three—stay put

Cardinals trade 2022 third-round pick to Cleveland Browns for tight end David Njoku.

 

First Round (#16)

Azeez Ojulari—Georgia outside linebacker

Ojulari is explosive, aggressive and athletic. Gets off blocks well and is excellent in pursuit.  Future starting edge rusher.

 

Second Round (#49)

Eric Stokes—Georgia cornerback

Stokes has the size, speed and quickness to play inside or outside.  He had four interceptions this past season for the Bulldogs returning two for touchdowns. He put his athleticism on full display during his pro day.

 

Fifth Round (#160)

Israel Mukuamu—South Carolina cornerback

Mukuamu is a tall corner at 6’4, 215 pounds.  He played opposite Jaycee Horn (1st round pick) and tallied 7 career interceptions for the Gamecocks.  He can also play safety.

 

Sixth round (#223 via Vikings)

Khyiris Tonga—BYU nose tackle

Standing  6’2, 325 pounds Tonga brings run stuffing talent and depth to the Cardinals defensive line

 

Seventh Round (#243 via Bears)

Rashad Weaver—Pittsburgh outside linebacker

Weaver has good size at 6’4, 260 pounds. He sets the edge well. Tallied 14.5 tackles for loss with 7.5 sacks this past season for the Panthers

 

Seventh Round (#247)

Deon Jackson—Duke running back

Jackson is a tough downhill runner.  Shows good balance after contact while providing camp competition.

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