Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort details NFL Draft Day 2 trades

(AP Photo/Matt York)

By Zach Alvira

Just as he did in Day 1 of the NFL Draft Thursday night, Arizona Cardinals General Manager Monti Ossenfort wasn’t afraid to explore trade options that would set the franchise up in the future – whether it be later in the night or next year.

Ossenfort kicked off Day 2 of the draft by trading the Cardinals 33rd overall pick to his former team, the Tennessee Titans. In return, the Cardinals moved back nine spots to No. 41 overall.

Additionally, the Cardinals traded the 82nd pick to the Titans to move up to No. 72. They also received a third-round pick in 2024.

“We started the day with four picks, moved around a little bit there,” Ossenfort said. “The key for us was getting that third-round pick in 2024. That was what put it over the top.”

The trade to acquire the 41st pick helped the Cardinals land LSU edge rusher BJ Ojulari, a speedy, yet violent player that wore the prestigious No. 18 in his final season with the Tigers.

The Cardinals went on to draft Syracuse cornerback Garrett Williams in the third round with the 72nd pick acquired from the Titans. At No. 94 overall, Ossenfort drafted Michael Wilson, a big-bodied wideout from Stanford.

Then came another trade.

“We had a pick right there after that, 96,” Ossenfort said. “It was a situation where at the time we were on the clock at 96 and we were completely out of the fourth round, we were completely out of the fifth round.

“An opportunity with Detroit came up and we gave them the 96 pick.”

The trade with the Lions for No. 96, which was in the compensatory round, put the Cardinals into the middle of the fourth round and in the front and back of the fifth round with two picks on Saturday.

The No. 168 pick was traded to Detroit Thursday night in the deal that elevated the Cardinals back up to No. 6 from 12 to draft Ohio State tackle Paris Johnson Jr.

In Ossenfort’s eyes, it was all about adding draft capital. Something he did to perfection Thursday night in the first round.

“All in all, we started the draft with eight picks,” Ossenfort said. “We’ve picked four players so far. We’ve got five picks tomorrow. We’ll see where we end up.

“We picked up the extra capital for next year as well.”

Ossenfort’s ability to wheel and deal with organizations have set the Cardinals up with a large quantity of picks in next year’s draft.

As it stands, the Cardinals have two firsts, a second, three thirds, two fourths, two fifths, a sixth and a seventh-round pick in the 2024 draft.

As for Day 3 of this year’s draft, the Cardinals currently will pick at No. 122, 139, 168, 180 and 213.

Ossenfort said they are simply looking for the best players available, rather than focusing on a single position.

“Obviously a lot of players have come off the board, but we still have multiple players up there we would feel good about adding,” Ossenfort said. “That was a big reason why we did the trade with Detroit. We wanted to get back in the action there and have the ability to add some players that we still feel like could play a role on the team.”