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2014 NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals take OT, pass rusher, QB in first 3 rounds

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A look at the latest projections now that the season is completely over.


The Super Bowl is over and now it is the official beginning of draft talk, even though we have been talking draft for a few weeks already. It's just that now everyone is talking draft.

SB Nation's Dan Kadar put together a three-round mock draft to kick off the season. With their first three picks, the Cardinals pick up a lineman, a player to play out on the edge and a quarterback.

In round one, it is the tackle that is "not the most glaring need." They grab Tennessee tackle Antonio Richardson.

Sure, head coach Bruce Arians has said left tackle isn't the team's biggest priority this offseason, but the smoke screen is thick this time of the year. After Richardson, the quality of offensive tackles in the draft this year drops off considerably. He combines athleticism and power that many of the other top tackles this year don't.

For those wondering, tight end Jace Amaro is the very next pick at 21.

In round two, Arizona goes defense with Florida State's Christian Jones.

While Jones was at his best last season when Florida State lined him up at end, he's experienced at outside and inside linebacker. The Cardinals don't have a lot of playmakers at outside linebacker, and John Abraham is nearing the end of his career.

This is an interesting pick for a guy that is 6-4, 235 pounds. He definitely won't be an end in the pros. What is also interesting is that with a quick search, he shows up primarily at inside linebacker for draft projections, a position the Cardinals don't really need a high pick at. They already have Daryl Washington and Kevin Minter, who was their second round pick last year. On the edge, he looks a little light.

Finally, in the third round, the Cardinals grab a signal caller who needs some seasoning in Wyoming QB Brett Smith.

At some point in the 2014 NFL Draft, the Cardinals should draft a quarterback. Smith left Wyoming a year early and needs to develop for a bit. This would be a good situation for him with plenty of receivers to help him along.

That doesn't move the dial for me at all.

In fact, none of these picks do it. Let's hope the real draft is more exciting.