Happy Thursday one and all.
We are getting ready to start looking through all of the scenarios we can work up with the Arizona Cardinals and the 2021 NFL Draft and that means playing out mock draft simulations.
Today we start that journey using Pro Football Focus’ Mock Draft Simulator and going just two rounds.
For me, this was about finding the right value at important positions, here is how the first three rounds went.
16. Patrick Surtain II, CB - Alabama
48. Alex Leatherwood, OT - Alabama
79. Tommy Togiai, DL - Ohio State
Wow, three players from the two teams that faced off in the national championship. It also gives the Cardinals three players who can either start or contribute immediately.
Surtain II could be an early CB1, but likely would be a solid CB2 for year one.
Leatherwood has the feet to play tackle, but he also would give the Cardinals a ton of flexibility at guard immediately. They could move on from Justin Pugh and plug Leatherwood and Justin Murray in at guard. Or keep Murray as the main backup.
Togiai is one of the more complete players at the defensive interior, he has the flexibility to play nose in pass rush situations and can play outside on run downs. I went back and forth as Khalil Herbert the Virginia Tech running back was available. He offers upside as a three down back.
Best players available at each pick:
- Rashod Bateman, WR - Minnesota (16)
- Christian Darrisaw, OT - Virginia Tech (16)
- Tylan Wallace, WR - Oklahoma State (48)
- Javonte Williams, RB - North Carolina (48)
- Shakur Brown, CB - Michigan State (79)
- Khalil Herbert, RB - Virginia Tech (79)