Before getting to the Cardinals selections, the quarterbacks of the draft fall a bit. The first QB to go is Blake Bortles at pick number four and only two others are taken in the first round -- Johnny Manziel going eighth to the Vikings and Teddy Bridgewater going 11th to the Titans.
As for the Cardinals, they shore up their two biggest defensive needs in their first two picks. With the 20th overall pick, they take Louisville safety Calvin Pryor.
Pryor is a hard-hitting, tone-setting safety with good range for his size and style of play. He'd be a plug-and-play starter at strong safety next to Tyrann Mathieu, and the two would complement each other well in a very talented secondary. Other possibilities at this spot include UCLA OLB Anthony Barr and WR Odell Beckham Jr. One more prospect to keep in mind for Arizona: If QB Teddy Bridgewater were to slip to this point, I think the Cardinals could consider taking him.
So, in Round 1, they fill their safety need. In Round 2, they add to the pass rush from the edge, taking Boise State linebacker Demarcus Lawrence. McShay calls Lawrence a "high upside pass rusher."
Safety? Check. Pass rusher? Check. Potentially they could be the missing pieces to having an elite defense.
They could go with TE Troy Niklas or even BYU OLB Kyle Van Noy in the second round. In the first round, Justin Gilbert is on the board. So is Anthony Barr.
What do you think of McShay's projections?
- 2014 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals 'like' A.J. McCarron, could 'make sense' in 2nd round
- Arizona Cardinals set to play Texans, Vikings, Bengals and Chargers in preseason
- 2014 NFL Draft: Mixed scouting reports on Missouri DE Kony Ealy
- NFL Pro Bowl to be played in Arizona in 2015, in Hawaii in 2016
- 2014 NFL Draft: Are Arizona Cardinals interested in Logan Thomas as QB or TE?