The Arizona Cardinals (3-12) are the worst team in the NFL, currently holding the top pick in the 2019 draft if the season were to end today.
ESPN’s Football Power Index gives the Cardinals the best chance at the top pick at 84 percent.
With only one game remaining in their schedule, it will become a reality.
Whether Steve Keim will remain as the Cardinals’ general manager is still anyone’s guess but whoever it is, they will have a big decision to make in the draft.
Should the Cardinals keep their top pick and draft Nick Bosa? Or should they trade down and acquire more picks?
Here’s my first Cardinals mock draft of the year:
Round 1 (1): Nick Bosa - DE, Ohio State
Birth Date: October 23, 1997 (21 years old)
Measurement: 6-4 263lbs
Career Stats: 77 tackles, 29 TFL, 17.5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 TD (29 games)
2018 Stats: 17 tackles, 6 TFL, 4 sacks, 1 FF, 1 TD (3 games)
Bosa will be the top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. He’s consistently good at getting after the quarterback. He generates pressure and has a quick get off unlike any other in this upcoming class. Despite playing only three games this season, Bosa was dominant in every one of them. I am concerned with his core muscle injury that he suffered against TCU but he should make a full recovery. Of course the Cardinals could trade down to acquire more picks especially with quarterback-needy teams if Oregon QB Justin Herbert declares. But, Bosa would be the best player available. Can’t get any safer than that.
With the way Keim has been drafting, taking Bosa with the first pick might just save his career as the Cardinals’ GM. He’ll be a defensive end in a 4-3 or a outside linebacker in a 3-4. Check out this Nick Bosa article written by Seth Cox.
Round 2 (34): D.K. Metcalf - WR, Ole Miss
Birth Date: December 14, 1997 (21 years old)
Measurement: 6-4 230lbs
Career Stats : 67 receptions, 1228 receiving yards, 14 touchdowns (21 games)
2018 Stats: 26 receptions, 569 yards, 5 TD (7 games)
I have read and seen one too many mock drafts projecting Metcalf to be picked in the top-15 or out of the first round entirely. I will be one of those people that projects him to be selected just out of the first round. He’ll post really good numbers at the NFL combine, probably to run a sub 4.4 40, have a vertical jump of 38 inches, and benching at least 20 reps. He has the highest potential out of all the receivers in this draft class. But his stat line isn’t exactly the greatest. He suffered a season-ending neck injury vs. Arkansas that will scare some teams.
Look at guys like CB Byron Jones and S/LB Obi Melifonwu. They both destroyed the combine. But there are differences between the two. Jones was drafted in the bottom of the first round and was recently selected to his first Pro Bowl as a cornerback for the Cowboys. Melifonwu, the Raiders’ 2017 second-round pick, was cut and recently signed as a backup defensive back for the Patriots.
Metcalf will be a high-risk, high-reward pick. But he is worth the selection if he can reach his full potential. Rosen needs more weapons with Fitzgerald possibly set to retire. Metcalf is especially good after the catch and the Cardinals will need all the yards they can get.
Round 3 (65): Isaiah Buggs - DT, Alabama
Birth Date: August 24, 1997 (21 years old)
Measurement: 6-5 286lbs
Career Stats: 93 tackles, 16.5 TFL, 11 sacks, 3 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR (26 games)
2018 Stats: 42 tackles, 12.5 TFL, 9.5 sacks, 3 PD, 2 FF, 1 FR (13 games)
Buggs may just be a product of the talent around him but he does a really good job at finishing his plays. This is his first year as a starter and impressed everyone with his 9.5 sacks. People may say that Quinnen Williams and Raekwon Davis did all the work to help Buggs get his sack total but he deserves a little credit himself. He is stout against the run and shed some blocks of his own. The Cardinals are in need of players with a winning mentality. Buggs has experienced a lot of success at Alabama. He can play all over the defensive line in either a 3-4 or 4-3 system.
Round 4: Max Scharping - OT, Northern Illinois
Birth Date: August 10, 1996 (22 years old)
Measurement: 6-6 311lbs
Not a very popular name but his 2017 and 2018 production says it all. Scharping played both tackle position at NIU and is projected to play guard in the NFL. But in my opinion, he’s better suited to play offensive tackle than guard. He has the production in college to warrant a possible day-two pick but where he’ll be selected will depend on the way he tests at the NFL Combine. He dominated in the MAC conference for what it’s worth. I have a feeling this guy can start and play well right away. The Cardinals would be lucky if he falls to the fourth-round. He’d be a solid third-round pick as well.