The Cardinals have several talented defensive players to choose from at No. 13 overall. I've had them taking a cornerback for a while, but if Reuben Foster is available, I see them having a difficult time passing on him. Arizona has a big need at inside linebacker, as Karlos Dansby can't be counted on to start next to Deone Bucannon.
Foster tested positive at the combine, and there's been some speculation that his stock could fall. However, the Cardinals have selected Robert Nkemdiche and Tyrann Mathieu in the past, so I don't think they'll pass on Foster for any off-the-field concerns.
*** OTHER 2017 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Gareon Conley, CB - Here's another spot in which Conley makes sense. Arizona needs a No. 2 cornerback across from Patrick Peterson.
2. Haason Reddick, LB - I think Reddick is a worst-case scenario for the Cardinals, but he makes sense for them, as they need help at linebacker.
Rd. 2, Pk. 13
Budda Baker, S, Washington
The Cardinals have to continue to bolster the middle of their defense. They added an inside linebacker in the first round, and they'll get a replacement for Tony Jefferson at this juncture.
Pick change; previously Davis Webb, QB
Rd. 3, Pk. 13
Malik McDowell, DT/3-4DE, Michigan State
Malik McDowell has interviewed extremely poorly with everyone and could drop as a result. The Cardinals are a team that could look past that.
Pick change; previously Curtis Samuel, WR
Rd. 4, Pk. 12
Jermaine Eluemunor, G/OT, Texas A&M
The Cardinals still have some issues on the offensive line that they need to address, as they need to replace the retired Evan Mathis.
Rd. 5, Pk. 13
Cooper Kupp, WR, Eastern Washington
Michael Floyd is gone, while Larry Fitzgerald could retire soon. Arizona will have to find a new receiver.
Pick change; previously Nazair Jones, DE/DT
Rd. 5, Pk. 35
Adam Bisnowaty, OT, Pittsburgh
The Cardinals had injury issues on the offensive line last year, so I'm sure they'll be looking for blocking depth on Day 3 of the 2017 NFL Draft.
Arizona could use more receiving talent and a tight end upgrade. A player like Howard would help the Cardinals in a variety of ways and give them a receiving weapon while also providing them a dangerous double-tight end formation.
Howard had 45 catches for 595 yards and three touchdowns in 2016. In 2015, he made 38 catches for 602 yards and two touchdowns. Howard totaled 17 receptions for 260 yards in 2014. The 6-foot-5, 249-pounder flashed big-time potential in 2013. The freshman hauled in 14 passes for 269 yards - 19.2 average - with two touchdowns.
The talented tight end was very under-utilized by Alabama, generally. As he proved with Robert Woods, Marqise Lee, Amari Cooper and then Calvin Ridley, former Crimson Tide offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin settles on one receiver and struggles to call plays for anyone else regardless of their talent or mismatch potential. Howard is a fast and dangerous receiving weapon who has the frame to add size. Sources say Howard still needed to improve his route-running and blocking, and was able to show progress in those areas as a senior. His blocking was significantly better to the point that he was making a significant impact as a blocker late in his senior year.
Rd. 2, Pk. 2
Davis Webb, QB, California
The Cardinals grab their understudy for Carson Wentz.
In 2016, Webb completed 62 percent of his passes for 4,295 yards with 37 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. The graduate transfer has a strong arm and can make some well-placed passes downfield. He also has good size and stands tall in the pocket. Webb shows some field vision to work through his progressions, but he doesn't have mobility for the NFL. In terms of the critical characteristic of accuracy, Webb has potential. Sources say Webb (6-4, 229) can be erratic, but that they like him enough to think of him as a potential second-day pick. California's offense does a poor job of preparing quarterbacks for the NFL - see Jared Goff -, so Webb will have to learn calling plays in the huddle, working under center, traditional footwork for a pro quarterback, and running NFL plays instead of California's Bear Raid college plays.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Chris Godwin, WR, Penn State
The Cardinals cut Michael Floyd, John Brown is in the last year of his contract, and Larry Fitzgerald is aging. Thus, Arizona could target some receiver help.
Godwin had an electric end to the 2016 season with a tremendous Rose Bowl performance against USC. He made nine catches for 187 yards with two touchdowns - both scores came against Trojans cornerback Adoree' Jackson. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Godwin is a smooth receiver who has some quickness while not being undersized. The junior totaled 59 receptions for 982 yards with 11 touchdowns in 2016 and decided to skip his senior year on those numbers. After a blazing fast 40 time at the combine, Godwin should end up being a second-day pick.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Trey Hendrickson, DE, Florida Atlantic
The Cardinals could add multiple defensive linemen since Calais Campbell left in free agency and Robert Nkemdiche struggled as a rookie.
Hendrickson was one of the stars of the East-West Shrine with a strong week of practice. He did well in the pass-rushing one-on-ones and notched a lot of wins. In 2016, Hendrickson totaled 51 tackles with 15 tackles for a loss, 9.5 sacks, one forced fumble and two passes batted. He had 13.5 sacks as a junior.
Hendrickson could be a mid-round sleeper. Sources have said they graded him in the early rounds of Day 3, but sneaking into the second day is possible. Hendrickson had an impressive combine performance.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Dwayne Thomas, CB, LSU
The Cardinals grab some corner to competion.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Ben Gedeon, ILB, Michigan
The Cardinals need more inside linebacker talent and competition.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Marquez White, CB, Florida State
The Cardinals will probably add some corner competition in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Dylan Cole, OLB, Missouri State
The Cardinals have hosted Cole and could use some edge-defender depth.
6'2.75" 209 lbs. 33.0" arm, 9.125" hand
2016 stats: 1500 yards on 97 catches, 19 TD's
Arizona Cardinals own the thirteenth overall pick:
Corey Davis. Where do I begin? Talk about hit-or-miss. He' a small-school prospect with a low floor and a high ceiling, who had to skip the combine due to a "nagging" ankle injury. He's got tremendous upside, so he definitely won't fall too far. Western Michigan hasn't exactly been a farm for NFL talent to say the least, but being the most prolific receiver in NCAA history sort of overrides the school the kid went to. Corey Davis should find a place in the NFL as a physical X receiver.
The Cardinals are in a tight spot currently, with an ineffective QB, a soon-to-retire face of the franchise, and not much else going in the passing game. Corey Davis is a bit smaller than Fitz, but I think they have similar games, and he could fill a complementary role to John Brown well.
One might believe this a good spot for the first CB to come off the board, and it might well be. But the thing about this CB class is it's very strong, yet among the top 8 or so players available, it's not abundantly clear that any one is significantly better than the others. The most likely candidate for that would have been Sidney Jones if not for his serious Achilles injury. Marshon Lattimore is likely next up, but there are concerns about his ability to stay healthy. Other candidates are Quincy Wilson, Marlon Humphrey, Gareon Conley, Kevin King, or Adoree Jackson - but in addition to the likelihood of one or more of these guys being available for the Cardinals in round 2, it's also not obviously clear that these players will end up being better than second tier CBs like Jalen Tabor, Cordrea Tankersley, Tre'Davious White, or Cameron Sutton. I include this long explanation here not just to explain the Cardinals decision to go with Mike Williams here, but to illustrate the unique CB situation in this draft that I think will affect numerous teams in their decision as to when to draft a CB. I think more teams will be willing to wait until round 2 for a CB than would in a more typical draft class.
The Cardinals know that Carson Palmer's career is on borrowed time. Kizer has a great skill set for Bruce Arians to develop. <br> <br>
Of the quarterback prospects for the 2017 NFL Draft, Kizer has the best skill set with the most upside. The 6-foot-4, 233-pounder has a strong arm that can make all the throws for the NFL. He has also flashed superb accuracy and an ability to make accurate touch passes downfield to beat good coverage in tight windows. Kizer can also make beautiful passes in the face of a pass rush. Additionally, he has the mobility to buy time for his receivers, bail out his offensive line, and pick up yards with his feet. The big problem for Kizer is consistency as he is a streaky passer and player. He also had issues late in games with critical mistakes in crunch time, so his decision-making needs to improve. <br> <br>
In 2016, Kizer completed 59 percent of his passes for 2,925 yards with 26 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He also ran for seven touchdowns. His completion percentage was thrown off by playing a game in the midst of Hurricane Matthew and his receivers consistently dropping well thrown passes. He also was hurt by losing his No.1 receiver (Will Fuller), left tackle (Ronnie Stanley), center (Nick Martin), and running back (C.J. Prosise) to the NFL. In 2015, Kizer completed 63 percent of his passes for 2,884 yards with 21 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He picked up 520 yards with 10 scores on the ground.
Trade: New Orleans Saints trade this pick to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the 13th pick and Arizona's 4th and 5th round picks
New Orleans saw their three targets taken at picks 7 through 9, so they're happy to move down and pick up a couple extra selections. Arizona could use a long term solution at QB and they do sound interested in Deshaun Watson. Knowing Cleveland would also be interested, they decide to jump up past them to get their man. Some feel as though Watson isn't worthy of this selection, but I feel like he has proven himself the most amongst the eligible QBs in this draft class and should be fine come draft day provided he doesn't completely bomb the draft process. He's torn apart very good Alabama defenses the last two years in championship games and would give the Cardinals a guy who could make things happen outside the pocket, which is something they don't currently get with Carson Palmer.
Arizona could lose Kevin Minter in free agency after the season and Minter was a mild disappointment anyway. Here's an upgrade for the Cardinals with a player who fits their defensive mentality. <br> <br>
In 2016, Foster amassed 115 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, five sacks and two passes broken up. The 6-foot-1, 240-pounder came on strong late in the 2015 season for Alabama and had the game of his life in the National Championship against Clemson. He totaled 73 tackles with eight for a loss, two sacks and nine passes batted for the year. The light looked like it clicked on for Foster toward the end of the 2015 season as he was suddenly a different player. He carried that over into his senior year, when he was a physical force. Foster is a fast, athletic linebacker who can go sideline-to-sideline while also dishing out punishing hits when he gets there. <br> <br>
I'm sure it's because your "NFL Matches" section is just the usual copy/pasta from other scouting report articles, but I literally spit out my drink reading you suggest Mixon as a fit for the Ravens. Zero chance that happens lol.
*EASTER UPDATE* WITH TRADES RD2, 3, & 4 ORDER IS RANDOM for trades that usually happen.
Used draft-site`s approach as a general guide. Really like their ranking system as it uses a hi-low rubric to rank each player. Took several ranking sites and averaged out player rankings. Used my own rankings for players I feel were ranked much too low. F/A updates with a few players still looking for a new home. Will update as they sign. Will see teams reach for QB & OT. 3 days till drafttime !! No big trades announced yet.