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Way too early 2018 Arizona Cardinals Mock Draft: September Edition

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It is early, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a little fun.

NCAA Football: North Texas at Southern Methodist Andrew Dieb-USA TODAY Sports

I’m going to mention that it is way too early to be thinking about the draft, the Arizona Cardinals have a chance at the playoffs, so it’s difficult to tell where they are going. I think personally, at this current period, they are are a wildcard team (fingers crossed, we get better as weeks progress), and so I will be putting them in the 23rd overall selection with a 10-6 record. In this simulation, I also did a mock draft for every team, but I will not be putting every team's results. Enjoy this 7 round, compensatory selections included, draft.

1st Round (23rd Overall Selection)
Courtland Sutton - Wide Receiver
Southern Methodist - Redshirt Junior
6’4’’, 215 Pounds

I really wanted to draft a quarterback, as the Cardinals are depending heavily on Carson Palmer to be the ‘end-all’ QB for the Cards. I like Carson, trust me, and you’ll see me putting a QB in a future position of need. But let’s focus on Courtland Sutton, a wide receiver from smaller SMU, and seems to have natural talent even though he was a 3-star player according to Rivals.com.

Whoever the quarterback is next year, you could definitely make him feel comfortable by giving him an athletic freak who dabbled in basketball during his redshirt freshman year. Typically, B.A. loves his smaller, faster receivers, but he knows that he wants a guy who can block naturally once Larry Legend leaves.

*2nd Round (36th Overall Selection) (1)
Luke Falk - Quarterback
Washington State - Redshirt Senior
6’4’’, 223 Pounds

I did a trade here, had some fun with my buddies in this mock, and traded for a pro-style quarterback who will probably surprise many at the Senior Bowl. Seriously, he’s thrown a touchdown-to-interception of 9-to-1, and you can definitely see the talent. His pocket awareness, his ability to extend plays with his legs, and he seemingly makes really good throws.

So I am officially giving up three picks and your offensive tackle Jared Veldheer. The reasoning for doing that is to give John Wetzel a chance at right tackle.

3rd Round (87th Overall Selection)
Deadrin Senat - Defensive Tackle
South Florida - Redshirt Senior
6’1’’, 305 Pounds

Here is a hard-working 3-technique that the Cardinals would love to have on their team. No more Corey Peters since he is heading into free agency this offseason, and I don’t see the Cardinals resigning Peters unless it’s on the cheap. Easier said than done.

Deadrin is smaller, I understand that, but he has the same stature as Aaron Donald (don’t get too ahead of yourself). He bench presses offensive lineman, and is able to use his speed off the ball to become smaller. Deadrin Senat is a steal at this point in the draft.

3rd Round (97th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Brandon Parker - Offensive Tackle
North Carolina A&T - Senior
6’7’’, 309 Pounds

No more Jared Veldheer, and I don’t think it would be smart to sign another guy on the market when I have an undying faith in the development of John Wetzel. Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t draft a guy. In this situation, I went with small schooler Brandon Parker from NC A&T. He’s got a great frame, but is ultimately raw, as are most small-school guys. This should be a redshirt guy for the Cards.

He could be better on his feet, as he does have a problem getting on ‘skates’ when he is going between speed rushers. I love how his tenacity can take over a game, as most are scared to bull rush him at the small school level.

5th Round (165th Overall Selection)
Darius Phillips - Cornerback
Western Michigan - Redshirt Senior
5’10’’, 190 Pounds

The Cards have drafted corner two years straight with Brandon Williams, Harlan Miller, and Johnathan Ford (listed as safety, more of a corner). I think that the other positions are a little bit more valued as far as trying to maintain success once Carson and Larry leave. No more Justin Bethel, I think he’s probably leaving after the season, and so will begin the run of Brandon Williams and maybe another corner.

Enter Darius Phillips. This guy is an unknown to a lot in the scouting community, so much so that when I said I was going to be taking him, many of my friends scoffed. I did not scoff. I would enjoy the type of play that comes with a guy like Darius. He runs to the ball effectively, seems efficient at jamming at the line of scrimmage, and seems fast enough to chase down ball carriers.

5th Round (177th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Kyron Wilson - Inside Linebacker
Southern Illinois - Senior
6’0’’, 219 Pounds

This is a flyer round for the Cardinals, as the Cards aren’t really thin at the inside linebacker position, but it wouldn’t hurt to build up your depth. Alani Fua and Gabe Martin are good depth guys, but they were injured this year, and lost all momentum as possible returnees. Karlos Dansby is probably not coming back next year, so that leaves the Cards with Deone Bucannon (looking for contract extension), Haason Reddick, and the impending free agent Josh Bynes.

6th Round (204th Overall Selection)
Jason Reese - Tight End
Missouri - Redshirt Senior
6’5’’, 250 Pounds

The Cardinals typically love them some size at the tight end position, and you can tell that they prefer the blockers instead of the receiving types. Jason Reese could come in and play immediately on special teams for the Cards, and that’s great. I think next season, you could see a guy like Ifeanyi Momah take over for Troy Niklas if Niklas does decide to test free agency.

Jason Reese is realistically the 2nd tight end for Mizzou, but that’s okay with me. I’m not looking to pat stats, I’m trying to teach a young fella to block instead. I think he has really good raw tools for a tight end, with Jermaine Gresham and Ifeanyi in front of him, this could work out for both the team and the player.

6th Round (214th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Brogan Roback - Quarterback
Eastern Michigan - Redshirt Senior
6’3’’, 218 Pounds

I did this for a specific reason: Robert Griffin III and Kirk Cousins. RG3 took the Redskins to the playoffs the year he was drafted, while Kirk Cousins has recently been a pretty good QB the last couple of years. The situation is completely different, but to think that the Cards could be going into the draft with one QB (Carson is the only QB under contract next year) is scary.

I like me some Brogan Roback, an accurate passer who has made a name for himself at Eastern Michigan. He’s tall and accurate with the ball. A lot further behind in his reads and play calling than that of Luke Falk.

7th Round (244th Overall Selection via Baltimore Ravens)
Alec James - Defensive End
Wisconsin - Redshirt Senior
6’3’’, 272 Pounds

You can never have too many guys like Josh Mauro, and that’s what Alec James is. He plays with a lot of intensity, maybe a little undersized, but he will get the job done. The problem here is not the player. It’s that the Cards haven’t had a 7th round selection since Gerald Christian, so do the Cards keep this pick or trade it away. I thought it was interesting to see them acquire a 7th, but it’s all a part of the game.

Trades:

1.

Arizona Cardinals receives:
2017 2nd Round Selection
Chicago Bears receives:
2017 2nd Round Selection
2017 4th Round Selection
2017 6th Round Selection
2018 4th Round Selection

*2. (1)

Arizona Cardinals receives:36th Overall Selection (originally from Houston Texans)
Cleveland Browns receives:
55th Overall Selection
140th Overall Selection via compensatory
Jared Veldheer - Offensive Tackle

Previous Draft Pick Moves

Arizona Cardinals receives:
Marcus Cooper - Cornerback (2016)
Kansas City Chiefs receives:
2018 7th Round Selection

Arizona Cardinals receives:
2018 7th Round Selection
Baltimore Ravens receives:
Tony Bergstrom - Offensive Guard