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Trade to #7 Mock and Stay at #3 Mock

NCAA Football: SEC Media Days Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

In preparation for tonight’s (6 PM AZ Time, 9 PM Eastern) guest appearance on Joe Comeau’s “Cardinal Rule” 2023 NFL Draft Preview, I have conjured up two of my favorite draft scenarios for the Cardinals.

Trade Down Mock:

ARI trades the #3 pick to LV for pick #7, #70, #109 and LV’s 2024 1st Round pick.

I picked the trade with Las Vegas to stay one ahead of Atlanta whom I know is very high on speedy edge rusher Nolan Smith (6-2, 235, 4.39) of Georgia. In 2019, Nolan Smith was the #1 ranked high school player in the USA when he was recruited by the Bulldogs.

I believe that Nolan Smith is the edge rusher in this draft who compares most to Haason Reddick and Jonathan Gannon certainly knew how to maximize Haason’s talents. And bear in mind, Haason ran a 4.52 at the 2017 NFL Combine.

Smith’s stats at Georgia:

  • 110 tackles (63 solo)
  • 20 tackles for loss
  • 12.5 sacks
  • 1 interception
  • 3 forced fumbles
  • 1 fumble recovery

Note: Smith had 8 sacks in 12 games as a junior and had 7 sacks in 8 games as senior before tearing a pec muscle. In my opinion, had Smith not been injured, he would be considered at top 5 lock in this year’s draft.

Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Mississippi St.

Career Interceptions:

  • Devon Witherspoon (ILL): 5
  • Christian Gonzalez (ORE): 4
  • Emmanuel Forbes (MISS ST.): 14

Career Pick Sixes:

  • Devon Witherspoon (ILL): 0
  • Christian Gonzalez (ORE): 0
  • Emmanuel Forbes (MISS ST.): 6

Career Tackles:

  • Devon Witherspoon (ILL): 157
  • Christian Gonzalez (ORE): 128
  • Emmanuel Forbes (MISS ST.): 150

40 Times:

  • Devon Witherspoon (ILL): 4.42
  • Christian Gonzalez (ORE): 4,38
  • Emmanuel Forbes (MISS ST.): 4.35

NFL Comps (per Lindy’s):

  • Devon Witherspoon (ILL): Kendall Fuller
  • Christian Gonzalez (ORE): Jamel Dean
  • Emmanuel Forbes (MISS ST.): Darius Slay

Tui Tuipulotu, DE/DT, USC

What’s superb about Tui is his versatility as a pass rusher —- can rush the edge and rush from the inside, at 6-3, 266. His effort is relentless. Lindy’s player comp: DeMarvin Leal, Steelers.

“He’s kind of flying under the radar but I think he’s a really good player. If you like strong and athletic (players), then you will like him.” — Director of scouting for AFC team

Stay at #3 Mock:

Will Anderson, Jr.:

NFL Draft Pundits’ Rankings of Will Anderson, Jr.:

  • Mel Kiper: #3
  • Todd McShay: #4
  • Matt Miller: #1
  • Daniel Jeremiah: #2

Keeanu Benton:

Has always been a stout run defender, but has come on strong as an interior pass rusher.

Luke Wypler:

Has the feet to pull, trap and block on the second level. Plays with good, sound leverage.

Garrett Williams:

Supremely versatile CB who is equally strong in man to man and zone.

Tanner McKee:

Good size, arm, touch. Look at the way McKee steps into his throws.

Cory Trice:

Like his physical style of play and coverage techniques. He reminds me some of Shaquille Griffin.

Hunter Luepke:

One of the most versatile RB/FB types in this draft. This kid is a baller. Could star right away on STs and in short yardage packages.

Bryce Baringer:

Big-time leg. Lindy’s player comp: Logan Cooke, Jaguars.

ROTB Poll:


Which of today’s mocks do you prefer?

This poll is closed

  • 67%
    Trade down to #7 mock
    (104 votes)
  • 32%
    Stay at #3 mock
    (49 votes)
153 votes total Vote Now

Which mock do you prefer and why?

Note: The Cardinals Draft preview tonight with Joe Comeau (and me as his guest) on his The Cardinal Rule channel (YouTube) is at 6 PM AZ time.