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Mike Mayock 2018 NFL Draft top five defensive prospects rankings

Mayock’s initial rankings are out, who could help the Arizona Cardinals?

East Carolina v Virginia Tech Photo by Michael Shroyer/Getty Images

Yesterday, we went through the names on the offensive side of the ball that’s Mike Mayock ranked as the top players in the 2018 NFL Draft at their position.

Needless to say, the rankings were important because outside of running back, you can make a case for the Cardinals drafting any of the other positions on offense early in the draft.

Defensively, that is a little different.

Whether it is young players already invested in, Robert Nkemdiche, Haason Reddick, Deone Bucannon, or established stars, Chandler Jones and Patrick Peterson, there are not nearly as many needs on defense.

That doesn’t mean that they don’t have needs on the defense.

Here are Mayock’s top five at each position of need on defense:

Interior DL

1. Vita Vea, Washington
2. Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
3. Maurice Hurst, Michigan
4. Taven Bryan, Florida
5. Harrison Phillips, Stanford


1. Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
2. Roquan Smith, Georgia
3. Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
4. Rashaan Evans, Alabama
5. Uchenna Nwosu, USC


1. Denzel Ward, Ohio State
2. Josh Jackson, Iowa
3. Mike Hughes, UCF
4. Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
5. Jaire Alexander, Louisville

You could make a case that the Cardinals could draft an edge player or a safety if one fell, Bradley Chubb or Minkah Fitzpatrick for instance, but this would be an instance of truly going best player available. It also means that the quarterbacks went fast and furiously before pick 15.

If the Cardinals want to make a transition to a 4-3, they would need another off ball linebacker, and Tremaine Edmunds could be the fit for them.

Clearly they need a cornerback still, so they could always be in play there. In fact, the entire NFL could be.

What do you think?