Here you go you scoundrels, enjoy another Cardinals 7 round mock with a surprise trade to start my fun...let the over analyzing begin.
1st Round (19th Overall Selection from Dallas Cowboys)
Will Hernandez - Offensive Guard
UTEP - Redshirt Senior
6’3’’, 330 Pounds
If you haven’t heard, Will Hernandez is an up-and-coming draft prospect this year, and I would NOT be surprised if he comes off the board in the first round. At 19, I’m assuming many are going to say, ‘why not a quarterback’, and again I’ll say stop looking for a reason to draft a quarterback high. Unless Josh Rosen, Lamar Jackson, or Josh Allen reaches 15, I don’t think no one is worth the risk. I know some want Sam Darnold, but at 19, I’m still not comfortable taking Darnold. Will Hernandez on the other hand, I’ll take a chance on him any day of the week. The guy is just nasty, and I don’t mean that lightly. He knocks you to the ground, and pile-drives you to finish the job. If Arizona can shore up the right side, this Cardinals run game could be something pleasant to watch, and that’s why you take a road-grader like Hernandez to pair him up with whoever is going to play right tackle next year.
2nd Round (47th Overall Selection)
Michael Gallup - Wide Receiver
Colorado State - Senior
6’1’’, 205 Pounds
A Biletnikoff award runner-up, Michael Gallup is someone you could see rise up draft boards because of his super-smooth hand-eye coordination. The guy has the softest hands I’ve seen in college since Laquon Treadwell (less successful in the NFL), and could be the smoothest route-runner in this draft too. You’d want a guy like Michael Gallup, because for the Cardinals, drops aren’t an issue. Here’s how I’d view it: either get Larry Fitz-legend some help, or watch the Cardinals have another 8-8 season. You cannot have guys like John Brown and J.J. Nelson dropping balls, when there are guys like Gallup out there. Here’s the issue with Gallup, he’s not really the fastest, and sometimes has trouble separating from the defensive back. Either way, at pick 47, I’d take Gallup.
3rd Round (79th Overall Selection)
Chase Litton - Quarterback
Marshall - Junior
6’6’’, 232 Pounds
Let’s play a game.
Option 1: 3756 yards, 26 touchdowns, 10 interceptions.
Option 2: 3115 yards, 25 touchdowns, 14 interceptions.
The first option is the probable first overall selection, Josh Rosen, while the second option is little known QB Chase Litton from Tampa, Florida.
Similar numbers for a guy who has more options at UCLA than that of Litton. I loved the kid in the preseason, and I’m still on board. Shoot, I think he made the right decision to come out, because he could be a sneaky prospect. Litton has long-ball accuracy, along with some stellar runs, but could use time in a system to develop other qualities of his game. He comes from the spread (like most college QB’s), and that comes with a price. I felt comfortable taking an offensive lineman in the first round because I knew either Kyle Allen of Houston or Chase Litton would be available.
3rd Round (81st Overall Selection from Dallas Cowboys)
Ebenezer Ogundeko - Defensive End
Tennessee State - Redshirt Senior
6’3’’, 255 Pounds
With the trade back with Dallas, I essentially added another ‘good-luck’ third round selection, and I took a speedy pass-rusher who transferred from Clemson. The reason we aren’t talking more about Ogundeko during the draft process is because of what happened at Clemson; financial transaction fraud. It’s a serious offense, but it’s not a domestic dispute or DUI, so the value in the third round is there. Ogundeko is a speedster who can typically outrun any offensive lineman. If he develops more pass-rush moves (swims and dips), this could end up being a value pick for the Cardinals. Pairing him with Chandler Jones and Markus Golden could end up giving the Cardinals the best pass-rush next year.
3rd Round (97th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Emmanuel Butler - Wide Receiver
Northern Arizona - Senior
6’4’’, 205 Pounds
I am determined to fix the receiver position, one step at a time, and I do it in this draft. First, I took Michael Gallup; a short receiver with incredible hands. This time, I take Emmanuel Butler from nearby Northern Arizona. And if he sounds familiar, that’s because he’s been in one of my other mocks. He could have gone earlier, but injuries limited him to one game. The potential is incredible, as Butler is anything but a one trick pony. The guy makes jump-balls look easy. Butler makes silky-smooth moves when disengaging a defender. And he never seems to give up on a block. That’s who the Cardinals need, someone who can learn from the best, and continue to help the receiving corps in the immediate future.
4th Round (135th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Quin Blanding - Free Safety
Virginia - Senior
6’2’’, 215 Pounds
So far, I’ve gone offensive-heavy during this mock, and I don’t regret it. And now, I give the Cardinals a defensive safety with great makeup speed. Quin Blanding of Virginia was a part of a team that was expected to go further than it did last year, but that’s not because of the defense. Blanding, Micah Kiser, and Andrew Brown each seem like great prospects, and we luck out with a great safety. This safety isn’t afraid to lay the lumber either. I’d heavily consider keeping Tyvon Branch, but if he doesn’t come back, Blanding could learn the position. Plus, if Tyvon comes back, then Blanding can serve on special teams. Win-win.
5th Round (152nd Overall Selection)
Justin Jackson - Running Back
Northwestern - Senior
5’11’’, 193 Pounds
I didn’t want to take a running back, but I could not resist. I think that this is probably the last year we have Kerwynn Williams (unrestricted free agent), and so I replaced him with Justin Jackson. I’d like to keep Adrian Peterson, but his contract is non-guaranteed, and we need some more cap if we want to get a QB in free agency. Justin Jackson would then be the fourth running back in this situation (David Johnson, Elijhaa Penny, D.J. Foster), and that’s quite alright. Jackson is a running back with receivers hands, and seems like a slot option on third down.
6th Round (188th Overall Selection)
Jake Campos - Offensive Tackle
Iowa State - Redshirt Senior
6’7’’, 295 Pounds
I don’t need another offensive lineman, but I wouldn’t say no if the option came up in the latter rounds. I think that Jake Campos could be a good swing tackle, but he needs development. I think he could eventually take the spot of either John Wetzel or Will Holden, whoever wins the right tackle job. Jake Campos is someone who struggles against speedier rushers, but holds his own in the run game.
7th Round (227th Overall Selection from Baltimore Ravens)
Shawun Lurry - Cornerback
Northern Illinois - Senior
5’8’’, 180 Pounds
Where there’s a will, there’s a way, and Shawun Lurry, despite his size, has found a way to become a possible corner in the NFL. He’s hungry, and has natural hips when adjusting to the ball. Why does he last until round 7? Because he’s 5’8’’, but don’t let that deceive you, he’s still a little rocket of fighting power.
- Arizona Cardinals receives:
19th Overall Selection (Will Hernandez - UTEP)
81st Overall Selection (Ebenezer Ogundeko - Tennessee State)
Dallas Cowboys receives:
15th Overall Selection (Roquan Smith - Georgia)