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2022 Mel Kiper Jr NFL Mock Draft 1.0 - Arizona Cardinals beef up their defensive line in Kiper’s first mock draft

Indiana v Purdue Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

The Arizona Cardinals 2021 NFL season came to an abrupt and embarrassing end on Monday Night Football.

Mel Kiper Jr. dropped his first mock draft of the 2022 NFL Draft season.

Coincidence?

Let’s take a look.

23. Arizona Cardinals
George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

After a 10-2 start, the Cardinals lost five of their final six games and crashed out in the playoffs, a disappointing finish for a team that once looked like a Super Bowl contender. And I think you can point to J.J. Watt’s shoulder injury in late October as a big reason why the defense took a step back down the stretch. Watt is still signed for another season, but his injury history means that Arizona needs to think about a replacement. That’s Karlaftis, a powerful 275-pound end who might be better in a 3-4 defense. He had only 4.5 sacks in 2021, but his pressure numbers were elite, even if he didn’t always get home to the quarterback. He’s really good against the run, too.

First of all, Karlaftis is a freak and would be a homerun for the Arizona Cardinals. He would give the Cardinals a potentially dominant pass rusher and a great two-way defensive linemen.

I would trade into the top 10 to draft him that is how good I think he will be.

Second, there is no chance he falls to 23.

However, for the sake of the draft season, Karlaftis shows the idea of what the Cardinals will need, to address the front on both offense and defense. If this happened I’d be over the moon.