Ladies and Gentleman, we have FINALLY made it. We now sit 48 hours from the NFL Draft. The Cardinals have been doing their homework for the last year, while fans have spent the lost four months determining who they wanted the team to select the most in the first round.
We wrap up our guess work with one last mock draft. We’re switching up the Big Board this time around, using Optimum Scouting’s board. I buy their draft guide every draft year and it’s always well worth the money. If you’re looking for some last second information about certain prospects, I strongly recommend taking a look.
The Big Board changes, but the rest stays the same. The computer is going to use multiple boards, the difficulty will be notched up, and we’re sticking to the premium mock, allowing us to trade if we want. For this one I want to stay ultra realistic. No third round talents in the 7th round, no trades up for a guy who should be there in the third round. Simple things.
Without further ado, lets mock!
Right off the back the phones ring from both Cleveland and Indianapolis. Cleveland offers two seconds (#3 & #32) a fourth (#14) and a fifth (#13). Cardinals decline.
Indianapolis offers two seconds (#4 & #5) and their fourth (#4), again, Arizona declines.
We got to pick 15 with the hope that Lamar Jackson would be on the board. Jackson was gone by 12 so there was no Quarterback worthy of being pick here. We traded back with the Lions to #20 and gain another second round pick in the process (#19).
Round One; Pick 20:
I’ve never really bought into all of the Calvin Ridley hype. The talent is undeniable, but he’s too old as a rookie for me. The pick here is obvious for me. The Cardinals are going to solidify a position that has been in flux for far too long.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Patrick Peterson wants someone opposite of him to hold down the number two spot. The Cardinals staff gives their star corner what he wants. Jackson is a described as a one-year wonder, but his attitude and abilities cannot be overlooked. Recruited as a Wide Receiver, Jackson managed to become one of the top Cornerbacks in the nation, and now has earned himself a first round draft selection.
The Lions selected Will Hernandez, G, UTEP with the traded selection.
Round Two; Pick 15
DISCLAIMER: Josh Allen is still on the board, but in the sense of realism, I will pass on selecting him.
This pick is easy for me. Ronnie Harrison is one of my favorite safety prospects, but after watching a little more of Alabama this offseason, he’s a big hitter who leads with his shoulder and hardly wraps up.
My pick is going to be the guy I have constantly traded up for in past mocks...
The Arizona Cardinals select: Justin Reid, S, Stanford
He’ll be a day one starter opposite of Budda Baker, I would take that to the bank right now.
Round Two; Pick 19:
This pick was a little more difficult to make. I’ve gone back to back defensive backs, and definitely wanted to address the offensive side of the ball. There were a number of linemen here I was interested in, but one name just jumped off the page to me. A guy I think the Cardinals will be too in love with here to pass up.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The team is “in love” with the other Quarterback from the state of Oklahoma, but they are realistically only in position for Rudolph, who seems to be all over the place depending on scout to scout. Rudolph will not be ready day one, that’s the most likely scenario. But he has a shot to be a NFL starter.
Round Three; Pick 15:
Another fairly easy selection here. The Cardinals need to work on the receiver room, and we’re looking at two guys with considerable upside.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Brown has some work to do, as most of the guys being selected in the third have to do, but he is talented enough to develop into an ideal #2 receiver, and possibly one day, be a legitimate #1 threat.
Round Three; Pick 33:
Won’t try to drag this selection out. The name at the top of the board is my guy.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Martina Rankin, OL, Mississippi State
Rankin is a college tackle who will convert to a guard in the pros.
Round Four; Pick 34:
Things start to blur together here. The Cardinals will take another interior lineman with this pick.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Will Clapp, C, LSU
Clapp has to clean up some fundamentals, but he has both the intelligence and physical ability to be a good player in the NFL. With Evan Boehm not finding much in terms of success, another center to the list will only make the cream rise to the top.
Round Five; Pick 15:
The Cardinals add a tight end who can help in relief while Jermaine Gresham recovers from his torn Achilles.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford
Schultz is a blocker. That’s plain and simple, he has never been billed as anything other than that. Schultz can catch, but he lacks the speed and athleticism to be anything more than a third down, goal line receiver.
Round Six; Pick 8:
The Cardinals need to find a backup to David Johnson with this pick.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame
Adams is an inside rusher, with the strength and power to get through first contact. He adds an additional element as a pass blocker as well.
Round Seven; Pick 36:
This is all about developmental talent. Can you find a guy you can groom into a capable NFL talent?
The answer is yes.
The Arizona Cardinals select: Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
This selection is based solely on talent.
Callaway by many is a first round talent. He has elite speed, and would be perfect for Rudolph down the field. However, the reason he sits this far down are his off the field concerns. A lengthy rap sheet and multiple run ins with the law have raised numerous red flags. Perhaps a move away from Florida, and the ability to spend some time with Larry Fitzgerald can help the young man mature?
Well that wraps it up. The Draft is only a day away and fans across the country are finally glad the smokescreens are soon to be brought down.
Let me know how our final version is.