Isaiah Simmons is your newest member of the Arizona Cardinals.
While speculation ran wild predraft that Steve Keim and company had interest in moving down in round one to potentially secure an additional day two pick, that speculation was quickly throttled with the selection of Simmons.
Understanding their needs and who was available come pick eight, it’s clear the Cardinals had a top five (top three?) grade on the former Butkus award winner.
So kudos to Keim for sticking to his board and securing quality over watered down quantity.
Understanding this, one can be slightly bummed that Arizona now must wait 39 picks come Friday before making their next selection at 72.
Alas, if you’re feeling blue, may I recommend throwing on some DeAndre Hopkins highlights until Arizona is once again on the clock?
With that said, given Keim’s history of day two trades (Kevin Minter and Budda Baker to name a few), are we certain the tenured GM doesn’t have an ace up his sleeve should a player he covets fall?
Remember, Arizona was gifted pick 131 from Bill O’Brien as a part of the DeAndre Hopkins deal. Which means Keim is more than equipped to potentially package multiple picks come rounds three and four to secure a top 60 prospect.
Looking at the NFL Trade Value Chart, shipping picks 72 and 114 likely secures Arizona a spot toward the tail end of round two.
The sweet spot perhaps being Baltimore at pick 60.
With that in mind, lets speculate on some premium second round talent that Keim may be enticed to trade up for.
Ezra Cleveland, OT, Boise State
Once upon a time, many national draft analysts expected Cleveland to sneak into the tail end of round one.
Alas, as we sit here post first round, the former Mountain West All Conference standout is available for the taking. At 6’6, 310, Cleveland projects as a starting right tackle should he gain significant strength at the next level. At this point in his young career, Cleveland is very much a finesse player which will likely attribute to his slide.
If Arizona were to move up for Cleveland, consider him a swing tackle candidate with an opportunity to grow into more under oline coach Sean Kugler.
The Cardinals held predraft meetings with Cleveland back in March.
Curtis Weaver, OLB, Boise State
Weaver is another name is keep in mind for Arizona should he clear pick 50. A Ted Hendricks Award finalist, Weaver led Boise State with 13.5 sacks as well as 18.5 tackles for loss. In a class with limited options on the edge, Weaver is a coveted man even after striking out in round one.
As a rookie, Arizona could leverage Weaver’s ability off the edge on third down,similar to what the team did with Markus Golden back in 2015. Learning behind two quality veterans in Chandler Jones and Devon Kennard would also be a plus for this former second-team All-American.
The Cardinals held predraft meetings with Weaver back in March.
Ross Blacklock, DT, TCU
It’s no secret that the Cardinals still view their defensive line as an area in need of premium young talent.
The team likely would have entertained the idea of taking Auburn DT Derrick Brown before he was quickly snatched up by Carolina at pick 7.
Even so, a day two name to keep an eye one is that of Ross Blacklock out of TCU. The former All Big 12 standout DT likely leaped into the second round discussion following an impressive combine performance that saw him secure a 4.9 40 time (among other impressive measurable).
While slightly undersized at 6’3, Blacklock represents the new aged NFL defensive tackle with an elite first step and lateral quickness. A 2018 injury will likely give some teams pause but expect Arizona to have real interest should he drop.
Ian Raporport reported back on March 11th that Arizona expected to spend “extra time” with Blacklock ahead of April’s draft.
Denzel Mims, WR, Baylor
Once the Isaiah Simmons pick was submitted, many Cardinal fans were forced with the painful reality that (despite Arizona trading pick 40 for DeAndre Hopkins), Oklahoma WR CeeDee would not be reuniting with Kyler Murray in the desert.
So is it far to say Christian Kirk and Andy Isabella can breathe a little easier going into Friday?
I wouldn’t be so sure.
Denzel Mims was a fringe first round prospect who was bypassed by several receiver needy teams toward the tail end of round one. Following a standout season for the Bears in 2019, Mims set the NFL combine ablaze when he ran a startling 4.38 40 in combination with his 38.5 broad jump.
At 6’3, 210, Mims has the physical traits to secure a starting outsider receiver gig in Kliff Kingsbury’s offense. Similar to that of Lamb, Mims is known to attack the ball at it’s highest point while also possessing top end speed.
While it’s likely wishful thinking that Mims is still around for Keim in round two, I’d venture to say the Seattle Seahawks had similar doubts regarding D.K. Metcalf’s availability this time last year.
The Cardinals were fortunate enough to host Mims in a post combine workout prior to those being halted by the league.
What players would you like to see Arizona target during Friday’s second and third round?