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2021 NFL Draft: Despite addition of J.J. Watt, Arizona Cardinals go heavy defense in Fantasy Pro’s newest 2-round mock draft

NCAA Football: Michigan at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

I find the change of mock drafts super interesting as we get closer and closer to the actual NFL Draft.

One of the reasons is because we have free agency and I always like to see if analysts and writers see what teams are doing and how it changes their thoughts.

Mike Tagliere of Fantasy Pro’s dropped a new 2021 NFL Mock Draft and for the Arizona Cardinals he took into account the signing of J.J. Watt and didn’t see it changing much.

1.16 Arizona Cardinals – Kwity Paye (EDGE – Michigan)

There are a few positions the Cardinals need to attack on defense, including cornerback, where three of their top five players are headed to free agency. But the top three have already come off the board and they need to address the defensive line. Yes, the Cardinals signed JJ Watt… to a short-term contract. They had serious needs on the defensive line, so adding another piece to the puzzle would certainly help. Paye’s not my favorite prospect to be taken right here, but he seems to be valued in the draft community more than guys like Jayson Oweh and Jaelen Phillips. Paye would be learning from the best.

2.17 Arizona Cardinals – Eric Stokes (CB – Georgia)It was rumored that the Cardinals were moving on from Patrick Peterson, though Peterson shot down those rumors recently, saying they were “dirty rumors.” Still, where there’s smoke, there’s often fire, and it’s possible they move in a different direction, especially considering there have been no talks of a new contract. Stokes is someone who has solid size, but he’s not the cover cornerback that Peterson is/was. There’ll be a learning curve with him, but snagging a cornerback makes sense.

Watt is added and Tagliere goes defense with the first two picks in his mock draft.

It would be an interesting decision to make to see the Cardinals go edge early in the 2021 NFL Draft, especially with who was on the board at 16: Alijah Vera-Tucker, Christian Darrisaw, as well as a slew of running backs, wide receivers and even an inside backer like Zaven Collins.

While I am not opposed to a phenomenal edge athlete like Paye, he would be a bit of a luxury in the first unless the Cardinals are willing to cut Devon Kennard, and do not bring back Haason Reddick or Markus Golden.

Stokes is a nice fit in round two, but with who was on the board I would have taken Terrace Marshall Jr, Pat Freirmuth or Javonte Williams.

What do you think?