Mock drafts have been focusing on the center position for the Arizona Cardinals lately. It makes sense, as the team appears to have a need at center. From teh outside, people don't just see A.Q. Shipley as the answer. That leads to a very common pick for theh Cardiinals with the 29th selection overall.
But Dan Kadar's latest mock draft for SB Nation has the Cardinals going with a center in Round 1, he has them doubling down on the offensive line and taking another big guy with their second pick.
Round 1 has the Cardinals taking Alabama center Ryan Kelly, the trendiest Cardinals pick over the last few weeks.
I continue to think this pick will be moved so the Cardinals can try to get an extra pick after sending their second-rounder to New England for Chandler Jones. Arizona is in need of a center and Kelly is the best one on board. It would be smart to take him at No. 29. It would be smarter to drop into the early second round, get an extra pick and select him there.
The trade back would be great, but that means there has to be someone willing to move up. That is a little trickier than it looks.
There are some other good players the Cardinals pass up. The versatile Cody Whitehair is still on the board, as are defensive linemen Robert Nkemdiche, Vernon Butler and Jonathan Bullard. Two safeties in Karl Joseph and Vonn Bell go off the board a few picks later.
Where things get interesting in Kadar's mock is in the third round, when he has the Cardinals going offensive line again, landing LSU guard/tackle Vadal Alexander.
Alexander is huge at 6-6 and 342 pounds. He is a mauler in the run game.
Would the Cardinals take two linemen? It is possible, but I don't see them going that direction with both of their first picks. With the defensive line talent in this draft, it would seem unwise not to get one, especially since the Cardinals don't have a ton of youth on the defensive line. The rotation currently includes Calais Campbell (who will be 30 when the season starts), a soon to be 33-year old Frostee Rucker, a soon to be 32-year old Red Bryant and a 35-year old Cory Redding.
The two Kadar picks could solidify the line for years to come, but it could also lead to the defensive line deteriorating quickly.