As the 2018 NFL Draft limps to the finish line, the 2018 NFL Mock Draft season is picking up steam, big time.
Yesterday, Todd McShay gave you his “Grade A” Mock Draft for each team. Well, today, it is the Godfather’s turn as Mel Kiper Jr. gave his rebuttal in his own Grade A Mock form.
For the Arizona Cardinals:
Round 1 (15): Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Round 2 (47): Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Round 3 (79): Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
Round 3 (97): Shaquem Griffin, OLB, Central Florida
If Arizona passes on a quarterback at No. 15 -- in this scenario, Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph are still available -- offensive tackle is at the top of the Cardinals’ list of needs. Are they really going to rely on Andre Smith at right tackle? The 6-9, 309-pound Miller is rising after he was one of the most athletic big men at the combine. He’s my top-ranked tackle.
Arizona doesn’t have much at receiver outside of Larry Fitzgerald, who will soon be 35 years old, and Sutton could make an impact in 2018. Falk, a former walk-on who started 40 games for the Cougars, had a great week at the Senior Bowl and impressed teams in meetings. He’s not the most athletic quarterback, but he’s accurate when he has time to set his feet. The Cardinals have short-term answers in Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon and still need a guy who will be their QB1 long-term.
You should know Griffin’s story by now. His combine workouts put him in the mix to be taken on Day 2. He’s undersized at 6-0, 227, but could be a situational pass-rusher, nickelback and special-teams demon at the next level. As I wrote after the combine, if I were a general manager, I’d want him on my team.
Another well done mock draft by one of the experts and one that feels a bit more realistic than McShay’s did yesterday.
Everyone feels like they are in that 20 pick radius of where they end up on draft day, except for Miller of course, but he probably could sneak into the top ten and won’t make it to round two.
The Cardinals need wide receiver help and Sutton is that in spades, while Luke Falk is allegedly not a quarterback the Cardinals like, but as Jess Root wrote yesterday, the reporting on what the Cardinals will do in the 2018 NFL Draft has run the entire spectrum of possibilities at this point
The top 14 for Kiper:
- Roquan Smith
- Derwin James
- Tremaine Edmunds
- Da’Ron Payne (a first this high)
- Marcus Davenport
Jackson (22 to Buffalo)
Rudolph (29 to Jacksonville)
Lauletta (63 to Patriots)