1st Round (23rd Overall Selection from Los Angeles Rams)
Chukwuma Okorafor - Offensive Tackle
Western Michigan - Senior
6’6’’, 330 Pounds
With trading back, I allow myself to miss possibly Lamar Jackson and maybe Mason Rudolph, but I am assuming the Cardinals won’t be so hard-pressed to select a QBOTF if the trade back option is available. Chukwuma Okorafor is the guy for me, someone who could be groomed to be the future of the right tackle spot.
I can’t say Andre Smith is a stand-in starter without me being kind of scared at the fact that he’s an average tackle. Even below average for me, especially when he has not been healthy. If I want to keep Jared Veldheer, Chuk Okorafor could practice as D.J. Humphries’ backup. Either way, I love stacking the position with real depth. Okorafor is a road-grader, and could eventually make this the best running offensive line in the NFL.
2nd Round (47th Overall Selection)
Luke Falk - Quarterback
Washington State - Redshirt Senior
6’4’’, 225 Pounds
At this point, six quarterbacks have been chosen, and I had a chance to finally address the position. Yes, I believe I’m over drafting Luke Falk in this scenario, but it’s not over drafting if it actually works out. Falk plays hard, he goes from walk-on sixth-string quarterback to becoming the face of Washington State, and seems to be very humble all throughout the process. The signing of Mike Glennon and Sam Bradford really brings relief to me.
One year deal, Luke Falk and Mike Glennon can take over after that year, and not just that: Even if Sam Bradford were to become injured at some point in the season (knock on wood), I think that Falk is one of the most pro-ready QB’s in this draft. His ability to attack from anywhere from the pocket is breathtaking, as he is able to visually scan the field quickly. .
3rd Round (79th Overall Selection)
Mason Cole - Center
Michigan - Senior
6’4’’, 305 Pounds
Don’t just settle for the here and now, the Cardinals need to address the future at the same time, and I loved the versatility of Mason Cole. He can play guard or center, and his ability to slide to right tackle in a pinch makes him very valuable. The future of Mike Iupati could also be tied to Mason Cole in this situation, so it’s not just a selection to exile A.Q. Shipley/Evan Boehm, but to give Cole as many chances to start.
Now, the question is whether Cole is going to be a quality run-down offensive lineman, and that could hold him back quite a bit. He’s a great pass-blocker. The Cardinals will be the best team on the run, even if injuries were to happen.
3rd Round (87th Overall Selection from Los Angeles Rams)
Tony Brown - Cornerback
Alabama - Senior
6’0’’, 198 Pounds
‘Let’s not just draft athletes at cornerback’ says everybody fatigued from Brandon Williams. The difference between Brown and Williams is that Brown is an established corner for the Tide, and Williams was establishing himself as a corner for the first time. Brown is a 100-meter champ who has the long speed to compete in the NFL. Seriously, 4.35 is just the type of speed to make it tough on speedy receivers.
No one is questioning the Cardinals ability to get a competent corner (maybe E.J. Gaines?), but it’s not silly to stack a position. I loved the ability to get Tony Brown in the third round. I’d love to get Brown on the outside, but he could play inside slot corner.
3rd Round (97th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Kemoko Turay - Defensive End
Rutgers - Redshirt Senior
6’5’’, 252 Pounds
Long and athletic, with the most explosive get-off speed coming this way out of Rutgers. I love his natural bend, seems to play with the utmost strength, and his hands are strong as lumber. Kemoko Turay, a native of Guinea, is a unique player who only received two scholarship offers coming out of high school.
How can the Cardinals use Turay? Well, in the 4-3, Turay can play defensive end over tackle or kick him inside and let him man up against the guard. Most important, he’ll be able to learn right behind Chandler Jones and Markus Golden.
4th Round (134th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Cedrick Wilson - Wide Receiver
Boise State - Senior
6’3’’, 188 Pounds
I needed a receiver, a receiver with the ability to stretch the field, and a receiver who can make short-to-immediate throws. That’s what Cedrick Wilson can do, and he’ll come cheap for the value he can bring. I need every single position to improve, and that’s what I’d like to do to the receiver position. The interview with Jordan Matthews has me excited for the potential for the Cardinals.
Soft hands and precise route-running can be his biggest asset, but needs to learn the whole route tree. Boise State is a spread-offense, Cedrick can be very good (Jordy Nelson-esque), developmental piece, and is going to be good for special teams now.
5th Round (152nd Overall Selection)
Braxton Berrios - Wide Receiver
Miami (Fla.) - Senior
5’9’’, 186 Pounds
Precise route-running, that’s what Braxton Berrios brings to the Cardinals. He doesn’t have great overall speed, good hands, not a special teams dynamo. He’s just a good player at a lot of little things. Short in stature, but a sure-handed pass-catcher. I love his fearlessness of going in the middle, like a shorter Anquan Boldin or Wes Welker.
In this scenario, if Luke Falk is the long term, I don’t mind getting myself a security blanket like Berrios. Moreover, he’s able to play slot and most trickeration plays. The Cardinals need at Receiver is alarming, and I fix it partially with two-rookie receiver.
7th Round (254th Overall Selection via Compensatory)
Secdrick Cooper - Cornerback
Louisiana Tech - Senior
6’0’’, 211 Pounds
You can’t really do much in the seventh round that won’t be accomplished from scooping an undrafted guy. Grabbing Cooper from LA Tech, he’s a physical guy who can match up anywhere on the field, but doesn’t have the foot speed you’d want in a corner. I think his calling card will be special teams or practice squad. Maybe a free safety in a zone scheme. Good selection in this area of the draft.
Arizona Cardinals receives:
23rd Overall Selection (Chukwuma Okorafor - Western Michigan)
87th Overall Selection (Tony Brown - Alabama)
Michael Brockers - Defensive Tackle
Los Angeles Rams receives:
15th Overall Selection (Derwin James - Florida State)
Trade back is for the Rams to get their own strong safety, like a Kam Chancellor or Byron Jones. In the process of climbing eight selections, they give up the original asking price (1st and 3rd), but also solid contributor Michael Brockers, who would be perfect going back to the 4-3 scheme.