We have seen a lot of mock drafts lean towards the defense for the Arizona Cardinals. It makes sense, as finding a pass rusher is one of the priorities for the offseason. However, knowing that finding productive pass rushers late in the first round is often a futile effort, perhaps we might see the Cardinals go another way.
In SB Nation's latest mock draft by Dan Kadar, he projects no defensive player to Arizona. In this mock, in which he tries to project first round trades, the Cardinals stay put with the 29th pick and take offensive lineman Cody Whitehair out of Kansas State.
If the Cardinals don't value a pass rusher like Georgia's Jordan Jenkins this highly, they could go after a right guard in the first round. Jonathan Cooper has been an injury-riddled bust throughout his career, and he can't manage to stay on the field. With guard Ted Larsen and center Lyle Sendlein free agents, a player like Whitehair would be a smart choice. He's arguably the best guard in the draft, and would be fine at center, as well.
Going with an offensive lineman would not be surprising. The team has invested a lot of capital in the line. They have used two first round picks in three years and signed two big free agent contracts there. The center position is one that has not really been addressed. If Whitehair can play center well, this might be a solid pick. Plus, he gives the team options at right guard if Jonathan Cooper can't get it together.
Looking at the pass rushers in the draft in this mock, Noah Spence is off the board at number seven, Leonard Floyd is taken at 20 and Shaq Lawson goes to the Seahawks at 26.