Arizona Cardinals Rookie Forecast 2024

Darius Robinson Cards Draft Pick

Solid Starter

Darius Robinson, DT, Missouri – Round 1

The Cardinals needed a lot of help on the defensive line as they lack impact players in their front seven. Arizona addressed their big hole at wide receiver with their first selection, and then were fortunate that lineman of Robinson’s quality was available late in the first round. With versatility to line up at a variety of techniques and positions, Robinson looks like a safe pick to be solid starter.

As a pass rusher, the 6-foot-5, 285-pound Robinson is a talented player capable of making a difference for his defense. Robinson is a dangerous power rusher with a strong upper body and a serious ability to grab offensive tackles and toss them to the side. His ability to shed blocks is phenomenal and very developed for a player entering the NFL. With power in his upper and lower body, Robinson can bull rush offensive tackles into the pocket or knock them balance to get them out of position. Robinson has the size and power to slide inside in the sub package. While Robinson is big and strong, he lacks juice and explosion off the ball. Robinson’s lack of speed rush off the edge is his biggest weakness.

As a run defender, Robinson is very good. He uses his strong build and length to set a tough edge at the point of attack. Robinson can hold his ground in run defense maintaining his gap and not get pushed back. With heavy hands, Robinson has the power and good hands to fight off blocks to get in on tackles of ball carriers.

As soon as Robinson is up to speed on the playbook he should be a starter for Arizona. They really need his disruptive talent at the line of scrimmage and Robinson is an upgrade over the rest of the defensive line room. It would not surprise me if Robinson emerges as a solid starter early in his rookie contract and goes on to have a nice pro career for the Cardinals.

2023: B.J. Ojulari, OLB
2022: Cameron Thomas, DE
2021: Rondale Moore, WR
2020: Josh Jones, OT
2019: Zach Allen, DE
2018: Christian Kirk, WR
2017: Budda Baker, S
2016: Evan Boehm, C
2015: Markus Golden, LB
2014: Deone Bucannon, S
2013: Kevin Minter, LB

Most Likely To Bust

Tip Reiman, TE, Illinois – Round 3

I thought the Cardinals had a solid draft, but there were two mistakes. The first was they could have traded down in the second round to get cornerback help. Teams were offering Arizona day-two picks in the 2025 draft and they could have accepted that to move down and land cornerback Max Melton or another cornerback like Ennis Rakestraw Jr. who was a steal late in the second round. The other mistake I think Arizona possibly made was taking Reiman in the third round. Reiman is a limited player and really fits only as a blocking tight end. Arizona already has a good starter at the position in Trey McBride, so the Cardinals could have added more talent to their weak defensive front seven and still landed a blocking tight end later or in free agency. Third-round picks are expected to start out as backups and develop into starters. I could see Reiman falling short of that and being an underwhelming third-round pick.

2023: Garrett Williams, CB
2022: Myjai Sanders, DE
2021: Marco Wilson, CB
2020: Leki Fotu, DT
2019: Kyler Murray, QB
2018: Mason Cole, C
2017: Haason Reddick, LB
2016: Robert Nkemdiche, DL
2015: D.J. Humphries, OT
2014: Kareem Martin, DE
2013: Tyrann Mathieu, CB/S

Potential Boom Pick

Marvin Harrison Jr., WR, Ohio State – Round 1

The Cardinals badly needed a No. 1 receiver for Kyler Murray and Harrison was a perfect fit for them with the fourth-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. In the passing drive NFL, teams are always on the look out for potential No. 1 wide receivers and Harrison has that ability for the next level. With a great skill set to go along with feel, instincts, and natural playmaking ability, Harrison looks like he has the potential to be stud receiver at the pro level.

With his dynamic skill set, there are a variety of ways for Harrison to shred a defense. Automatically, Harrison (6-4, 205) gives cornerbacks problems with his size. With his height, length, and leaping ability, Harrison is never truly covered. Even when corners run with him, Harrison is extremely skilled at winning contested catches. Harrison will make use his size to get position and he out battles corners for jump balls. Harrison is a tremendous red zone weapon with his ability to high point the football and win 50-50 passes. With his size and body control, Harrison is fantastic on fade routes and back shoulder receptions along the sideline. To along with his size, Harrison has strong hands and he is a natural hands catcher.

Harrison is not a big bodied receiver that can’t run either. He has a nice burst out of his breaks to get separation from cornerbacks with a second gear to dart for extra yardage after the catch. Many big receivers are not as twitchy or flexible as Harrison is. He will dodge and juke defenders in the open field and uses that ability to get off the line of scrimmage when seeing press man coverage. With enough speed to get vertical, Harrison attacks defenses at every level and is a threat to make big plays downfield.

Whether it was innate or he was taught by his father, Harrison is an advanced route runner. Many big receivers struggle to run routes as fluidly as Harrison does. He has lower body flexibility and can sink his hips to turn quickly. Harrison’s natural ability and instincts can be seen with him showing late hands to trick defenders when their back is turned and he tracks the ball extremely down the field. Harrison is just a natural football player. I think he could become a very good pro for Arizona as soon as his rookie season.

2023: Paris Johnson, OT
2022: Trey McBride, TE
2021: Zaven Collins, LB
2020: Isaiah Simmons, LB
2019: Byron Murphy, CB
2018: Josh Rosen, QB
2017: Chad Williams, WR
2016: Brandon Williams, CB
2015: David Johnson, RB
2014: Troy Niklas, TE
2013: Jonathan Cooper, G

Future Depth Player

Trey Benson, RB, Florida State – Round 3

The Cardinals did not have a huge need at the running back position with starter James Conner returner, but they added Benson in the third round to give them some depth. Benson is a big back that has runaway speed to go along with his power and physicality. Benson has some stiffness as a runner and runs upright, so he may top out as a rotational No. 2 back. However, Benson also catches the ball well as a receiver so that makes him a valuable backup to spell Conner and reduce the starters workload. I think Benson will at least be a solid secondary back and he could end up becoming a starter for Arizona.

2023: Clayton Tune, QB
2022: Keontay Ingram, RB
2021: Victor Dimukeje, DE
2020: Eno Benjamin, RB
2019: Deionte Thompson, S
2018: Chase Edmonds, RB
2017: Will Holden, OT
2016: Harlan Miller, CB
2015: Rodney Gunter, DT
2014: Ed Stinson, DE
2013: Ryan Swope, WR