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Exploring Possible ARI/ATL Trade

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NFL: Super Bowl LIV-City Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Paul Crane, from the Atlanta Falcons Radio Network, tweeted this trade rumor last night.

As is often the case, GMs have worked out the parameters of possible draft day trades prior to the draft—-and this one could make a lot of sense—-if:

  1. The Cardinals’ top targets are off the board when they are on the clock at #8.
  2. The Falcons have not made a trade to get into the top 7.

Some folks are speculating that the Falcons could make a deal with the Panthers at #7, especially if CB Jeffrey Okudah or CB C.J. Jefferson is on the board.

But, why would the Panthers make such a deal with a division rival?

What the Cardinals are apt to receive if they trade the #8 pick (1400 pts.) to the Falcons:

#16 (1000 pts.)

#47 (430 pts.)

+ and possibly the Falcons’ #134 for the Cardinals’ #202 pick as a sweetener.

What players are likely to be available to the Cardinals at #16?

If we take a look at the 2016—2019 NFL Drafts—-here is the recent history:

2016:

#8. TEN: Jack Conklin, T, Michigan St.

for

#16. DET: Taylor Decker, T, Ohio St.

#47. NO: Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio St.

Comment: Decker + Thomas >>> Conklin

2017:

#8: CAR: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford

for

#16: BAL: Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama

#47: BAL: Tyus Bowser, LB, Houston

Comment: McCaffrey = Humphrey + Bowser (Both McCaffrey and Humphrey are Pro Bowlers)

2018:

#8. CHI: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

for

#16. BUF: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

#47. ARI: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

Comment: Edmunds + Kirk >>> Smith

2019:

#8. DET: T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa

for

#16: CAR: Brian Burns, DE, Florida St.

#47: SEA: Marquise Blair, S, Utah

(note: #48: NO: Erik McCoy, C, Texas A&M)

Comment: Burns + Blair (McCoy) >>> Hockenson

Conclusion: the recent history here suggests that #16 + #47 >>> #8

The past few players taken at #8: T Conklin, RB McCaffrey, ILB Smith and TE Hockenson—-Conklin and McCaffrey are Pro Bowlers, Smith has been very productive and Hockenson is bursting with potential.

The past few players taken at #16: T Decker, CB Humphrey, ILB Edmunds , DE Burns—-all very good players: Decker’s 2019 PFF grade: 75.5. Humphrey and Edmunds have made Pro Bowls and Burns had 8 sacks as a rookie.

The last few players at #47: WR Thomas, LB Bowser, WR Kirk and S Blair—-one could argue that WR Michael Thomas is the best player of the all of the players mentioned here, perhaps save RB Christian McCaffrey. Bowser is starting to flash (5 sacks last season), Kirk has 1,299 yds (11.7 ave.) and 6 TDs in 2 seasons and Blair make splashes as a big hitting safety in 3 starts as a rookie.

If we look at the positions that were addressed at #16 the last 4 years, there are some very promising players at those positions in the 2020 NFL Draft:

T: (assuming the top 4 are taken) Josh Jones*, Austin Jackson, Ezra Cleveland* (the Cardinals have met extensively with Jones and Cleveland)

CB: C.J. Henderson, Jeff Gladney*, A.J. Terrell, Jaylen Jackson, Trevon Diggs

ILB: Kenneth Murray,* Patrick Queen (Cardinals have met extensively with Murray)

Edge: K’Lavon Chaisson, A.J. Epenesa, Yetur Gross-Matos

Wild Cards: DT Javon Kinlaw, WR Justin Jefferson, WR Brandon Aiyuk*, S Xavier McKinney

Notes of Players Possibly Available at #16:

  • T Josh Jones—-playing LT in Houston’s Air Raid, he allowed only 1 sack in 2019 and only 18 QB pressures in 1,282 pass plays in his career.
  • T Ezra Cleveland—-was one of the athletic standouts at the Combine, running a 4.93 40 at 6-6, 311, while putting up 30 reps at 225 and an exceptional 7.26 3 cone (98th percentile at the tackle position).
  • CB Jeff Gladney—-might be the best and most aggressive press CB in the draft—-Vance Joseph prefers press coverage—-Cards had a virtual meeting with him very recently.
  • ILB Kenneth Murray—-made to order for the Cards’ 34 WILB spot with his athletic ability to the fly to the football and make splash plays.
  • OLB/DE K’Lavon Chaisson—-was defensive MVP for LSU in the SEC Championship game and the big playoff wins over Oklahoma and Clemson. Has elite level edge combination of length, speed and quickness.
  • DT Javon Kinlaw—-is arguably the best interior pass rusher in the draft.
  • WR Justin Jefferson—-he’s Jerry Sullivan’s favorite WR in the draft, having coaches him at LSU. Coming off outstanding 111 catch, 1,540 yard (13.4 ave.), 18 TD season.
  • S Xavier McKinney—-has an impressive package of man and zone coverage skills and can play deep FS or ballhawking cover SS.

Notes of Players Possible Available at #47:

  • T/G Robert Hunt, Louisiana Tech—-Cardinals have met with him privately and are said to be very impressed with his size (6-5, 322) and physical style of play.
  • RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire—-might be off the board at this pick, but he is about as nifty an all-purpose RB fit (rushing, receiving, leadership, pass blocking) for the K-Raid as there is in this draft.
  • RB J.K. Dobbins—-same accolades can be applied to this young, aggressive, super productive bell cow.
  • RB Jonathan Taylor—-talk about bell cows and Taylor does it with 4.39 speed and deceptive power.
  • WR Michael Pittman—-big, physical RAC machine.
  • WR Laviska Shenault—-explosive combo WR/RB who has battled through injuries.
  • TE Cole Kmet—-a 6-6 262 pass catching TE whom many consider the top TE in draft.
  • DT Neville Gallimore—-highly athletic, bouncy interior pass rusher, run stuffer whom the Cardinals have met with extensively.
  • DT Ross Blacklock—-Cards went to visit with him at his pro day—-like Gallimore, there is some very good energy and pass rushing ability to his game.
  • LB Jordyn Brooks—-one of the best tacklers in the draft and a player Kiliff Kingsbury recruited and held in high regard at Texas Tech.
  • OLB/DE Darrell Taylor—-Cards have met with him extensively and love his ability to descend quickly on QBs—-16.5 sacks, 21 TFL and 6 forced fumbles last two seasons in SEC.
  • OLB/DE Curtis Weaver—-another defensive standout the Cardinals have met with extensively. Superb bend to his edge rush. He had 13.5 sacks, 19.5 TFLand 1 interception in 2019.
  • CB Amik Robertson—-while #47 might be a reach for Robertson, the Cardinals absolutely love this diminutive, but super productive cover CB. He led all CBs in FBS the past 3 seasons with 48 passes defensed and 14 interceptions. And get this—-he snagged 5 interceptions in Louisiana Tech’s 3 bowl wins.
  • S Jeremy Chinn—-has the size (6-3, 219), speed (4.45), explosiveness (20 reps, 41” VJ, 138” BJ) to be a dominant force versus the run and in pass overage. Was the stickiest cover safety at the Senior Bowl. Makes timely, swift breaks on the ball.
  • S Kyle Dugger—-much in the same mold as Chinn, and plays super quick and tough at 6-1, 217 with 4.47 speed and explosiveness (17 reps, 42” VJ, 134” BJ). Played very well in the Senior Bowl practices and game.
  • S Ashtyn Davis—-gifted centerfielder who plays with superb anticipation and aggressiveness. Track star in the 110m hurdles. Suffered a minor injury and could not play in the game at the Senior Bowl or run at the Combine. But, he’s plenty fast.

These prospects are some of the reasons why Steve Keim would like to trade down, if he gets the right offer.

Make Your Case Part I:

  • What players would you absolutely stay at #8 for?
  • Would you accept a trade with the Falcons for the #16 and #47 picks?
  • If you make the trade, which two players would you love to see the Cardinals’ draft?

Enjoy the draft, my friends!

RIP Pat Tillman—-O Captain! My Captain!

Make Your Case Part II:

What player in this draft is the most Pat Tillman-esque?