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2016 NFL mock draft: Arizona Cardinals trade down in full draft simulation

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What happens when the Cardinals move down?

Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

When you sit down to run through simulations you always wonder what happens if the best player in the draft falls? Well, maybe not the best player, but Ezekiel Elliot is one of the few "trump cards" in this class. Take all QBs out of the discussion because they get different treatment, but Elliot, Shaq Lawson, Robert Nkemdiche and Laremy Tunsil are the four trump cards available to me. Doesn't mean they're can't miss, but they're the players I look at and see All-Pros.

Such is the case when I ran the simulation for this week, Zeke made it all the way to 26 and then of course Seattle ruined everything. Then my proverbial phone lines lit up, because Cody Whitehair was still on the board, at least I assume it was for Whitehair because that is who the New York Giants took with my pick, I got their 2nd and 3rd for Whitehair, who was my target because he can play all 5 offensive line spots. After all, who knows what AZ will need come September? However, Ryan Kelly and Nick Martin were on the board, so I rolled the dice.

Then it was my pick, so I looked it up and I saw Ryan Kelly, but then I realized I had pick 8 in the third and Nick Martin was still there too and I don't see a huge difference, so I looked at the other names. There were Michael Thomas, Jonathan Bullard and Karl Joseph still on the board, but one name I couldn't pass up was there

Round 2 Pick 9- Robert Nkemdiche, DL Ole Miss

The athlete, the man child and the conundrum is one of the most intriguing prospects in the draft. He has the tools to be a dominant pass rusher, but also can hold his own against the run. He needs to learn to play within a defense, and within a team, but he could be the best defensive player in this draft.

Round 3 Pick 8- Nick Martin, C Notre Dame

The Cardinals address two of their biggest needs with their first two picks and sit pretty with another third round pick.

Round 3 Pick 29- Deion Jones, LB LSU

Jones is a name I've mentioned before and I try to avoid duplication of picks, but for the exercise, it is nice to get so much value at a position that would be good to bring in some more athleticism.

Round 4 Pick 30- James Bradberry, CB Samford

I found out about Bradberry at the Senior Bowl and he was really impressive, but he had some bad moments, which is why he's a fourth round type. He's a big, physical corner at 6-1, 211lbs and moves well. He's ideal for what AZ wants from their corners and he has already been talked to about moving to safety if need be. Versatility is key.

Round 5 Pick 28- Thomas Duarte, TE UCLA

I talked about Duarte on the podcast with Jess and his ability to win in space as an H-Back is impressive. He's a less expensive Jordan Reed type, and he could be a nice weapon for the Cardinals offense.

Round 5 Pick 31- Justin Simmons, S Boston College

The Arizona Cardinals love try hard types and Simmons is an intelligent, try hard who can be an effective player on special teams from the jump, while being a good back up and potential player down the road.

Round 6 Pick 30- Jakeem Grant, WR Texas Tech

He's really small and really fast... He can also be a dynamic returner and that is something that Arizona can use right now.