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2023 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals move down, add offensive line talent in first round of new 2023 Mock Draft

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: DEC 31 Semifinal Game Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl Photo by Michael Wade/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Happy Thursday one and all.

We are almost to Super Bowl LVII, which means almost to having a head coach... right?

Until then, we can continue to look at interesting mock drafts, with one coming from Diante Lee of The Athletic.

If you have a subscription, check it out, if not here is what he has for the Arizona Cardinals.

9. Arizona Cardinals (via Carolina): Paris Johnson Jr., OT, Ohio State*

With Monti Ossenfort in place as the general manager, it’s time for this franchise to get serious about drafting premium-position players. Arizona can go in almost any direction here: edge rusher, OT, cornerback. But there’s a major drop in O-line talent after the top tier, so Paris Johnson Jr. is a good starting point. He has the physical tools to thrive at the next level, as well as experience playing multiple positions up front and the kind of high-level athleticism you’d seek in a potential star tackle.

I think Paris would be a great pick, he has played guard and tackle at Ohio State, and could fit right in for the Arizona Cardinals at whatever position they need.

That begs the question, what would be the compensation?

Here is what lines up from a value standpoint:

Carolina - 1.3
Arizona - 1.9, 2.39. 2.61, 2024 second round pick.

So, how does the rest of the draft unfold?

Using the PFF Mock Simulator, filling in the first round, then picking the highest need for each team outside of Arizona, here is how this looks.

Based on how it unfolded, I took an offensive tackle at 32 for the Steelers and a defensive tackle at 33 for the Houston Texans.

2.34 - Devon Witherspoon, CB - Illinois

Depending on who you listen to, the Arizona Cardinals either get the best cornerback in the draft, or the most underrated player. No matter, what Witherspoon is an great athlete, a little lean, but he plays bigger and loves to play physical and attack.

2.39 - Steve Avila, OL - TCU

Avila is a fantastic sized, interior mauler who also has great athleticism. He would be a great fit for Ossenfort up front.

2.61 - Felix Anudike-Uzomah, Edge - Kansas State

Adding someone who can bring it off the edge for whoever the new defensive coordinator would be (hopefully). Anudike-Uzomah finished with 19.5 sacks and 86 pressures in the last two seasons. He would be a great addition at edge.

For those curious:

  1. Chicago Bears - Will Anderson Jr.
  2. Houston Texans - C.J. Stroud

So, the Cardinals moved down after Anderson Jr. was off the board.