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With the #8 Pick in the 2020 NFL Draft the Arizona Cardinals Select...

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NFL Draft 2015 Exhibit Photo By Raymond Boyd/Getty Images

Jedrick Wills, T, Alabama

If there is a player in this draft whom the Cardinals are most apt to fall in love with, I believe that star player is Jedrick Wills.

Before I get to all of the reasons why, in heeding what Steve Keim and Kliff Kingsbury have said recently to the media, I very much have the sense that they are not prioritizing the WR position with their 1st round pick.

Yes, the Cardinals have already met with WRs Jerry Jeudy, CeeDee Lamb and Henry Ruggs, but Kliff Kingsbury made the interesting comment that he thinks this draft is 4 rounds deep in top level WRs. Plus, if you are privately hoping to draft WR CeeDee Lamb at #8, would you announce to the national media that Lamb is hands-down Kyler Murray’s #1 choice?

Secondly, Keim and Kingsbury, while lauding Justin Murray’s success at RT last season, hinted that Murray can “also play guard” and maintained that while Justin Murray’s success does take some of pressure off to draft a tackle in the 1st round, they are still going to “explore all of their options.”

Analytics on T Jedrick Wills, 6-5, 320, Alabama:

Per PFF, they have Jedrick Willis rated at the #9 top prospect in the draft one spot behind Andrew Thomas (#8)—-but as we know, Thomas is a LT and Wills is a natural RT, who, by the way, many scouts are comparing to the Eagles’ All-Pro RT Lane Johnson. Now—-that’ some lofty praise right there.

Tidbits from PFFs profile of Jedrick Wills:

POSITIVES

  • One of the nastiest run blockers in the country. Leads tackle class in big-time blocks
  • Flies out of his stance in pass pro. Getting depth is easy for him
  • Explosive no matter what he’s doing. Moves more like a DL than OL
  • Very agile for a big fella. Handles stunts easily
  • Doesn’t cede an inch to bull-rushes
  • Can execute any block or blocking scheme you ask

NEGATIVES

  • Gets punch happy in pass pro. Tries to deliver huge blow instead of well-timed one
  • Rarely switches up sets/punches. Almost always susceptible to inside move
  • Base gets so wide in pass pro that it can be tough for him to change directions
  • Tendency to get grabby. Hasn’t been flagged a ton, but could have been for more holds

ROUND PROJECTION

Top-10 Pick

NFL PLAYER COMPARISON

Lane Johnson

BOTTOM LINE

Wills is one of the most explosive and agile offensive tackles you’ll ever see. That’s a winning combination at tackle in the NFL.

Have a look at what the PFF analysts have to say in person:

Sean Kugler has made it clear that his priority in 2020 is to “keep Kyler clean.” It wouldn’t surprise me one iota if Kugs is banging on the table for Wills—-this is a Kugs’ type of offensive lineman if there ever was one—-not only because Wills is a freakish athlete who dominates in the running game (sound familiar), but his pass pro setup is virtually elite fundamentally and Wills’ football IQ is off the charts (made to order for the K-Raid/K-Krush).

Take a look at Wills’ recent interview with Mike Florio and imagine what Steve Keim, Kliff Kingsbury and Sean Kugler were thinking during their interview with Wills.

Man—-Wills crushed this interview with Florio.

Even if WRs Jerry Jeudy , CeeDee Lamb, Henry Ruggs and DT Derrick Brown are on the board—-the Cardinals will go with Jedrick Wills.

Here are the analytics on Derrick Brown, DT, 6-5, 318, Auburn:

POSITIVES

  • Few better in college football at stacking and walking back offensive linemen
  • Hand placement is top notch. Hard to find reps he doesn’t find OLman’s shoulder pads
  • Surprising first step at his size. Combines it with rip move that makes quick work of OLmen
  • Ability to play any alignment between the tackles
  • Not simply a space eater. Brown sheds and finishes at an elite level
  • When his paws get on you its over. 5 MTs on 139 career attempts

NEGATIVES

  • Can he affect pass game enough at his size? Trends far more run-first defensive tackle
  • Slow to react to wide runs and can get cut off. More comfortable working in a phone booth
  • Motor wears down. Has more than a few pattycake pass-rushes on tape
  • Game to game consistency is lacking. We’ve seen more dominant grading profiles from DTs

Weighing Jedrick Will’s positives and negatives next to Derrick Brown’s, I can see why PFF rated Wills (#9) just a slight notch ahead of Brown (#10).

Steve Keim has said he would like to trade down to pick up more picks—-and let’s say the Raiders offer the #12, #81 and #160 picks—-but, with the Browns and Jets sitting at #10 and #11 and both of them looking for tackles—my hunch is that the Cardinals won’t risk losing out on Wills by moving back

As much as I love Jeudy and Lamb and as much as I like Justin Murray for now at RT—-I have to admit, I think Jedrick Wills is a home run for the Cardinals.

I was already on board with Wills’ talent—-but when I went and watched Wills interviews at Alabama and this one with Mike Florio, all I could keep thinking was, man, this kid has the 2020 Cardinals written all over him.

The only other player I think the Cardinals would have to think twice about if available at #8 is Isaiah Simmons, LB, Clemson. But after the Giants cleaned house at LB yesterday—-it feels like they are paving the way to take Simmons at #4. Many draft pundits have the Giants taking a tackle here—-although I am hearing that the Giants are preparing to offer Jack Conklin a 5 year $90M contract. Thus, if the Giants don't take a tackle at pick #4, it increases the odds that Jedrick Willis will be available at #8.

Where there’s a Wills, there’s a way and the Cardinals want to make defenses pay.

See for yourself—-Voch Lombardi does a superb job of breaking down film the way NFL coaches do. Just imagine if you are Steve Keim, Kliff Kingsbury and Sean Kugler watching this:

I hope you took the time to watch these videos. Please let me know if you did.