ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper published his latest mock draft and it is an almost perfect scenario for the Arizona Cardinals.
For those who want to see the Cardinals trade down to acquire more picks, it has that. For those who want to see them take the best defensive player in the draft, it has that.
In Kiper’s mock draft, the Indianapolis Colts, who have the fourth overall pick. one after the Cardinals, trade up one spot to ensure they get the quarterback they want and avoid having another team leapfrog them.
The Cardinals get the fourth pick, the 35th pick (second round) and the 79th pick (third round). It would give them six selections in the first 100 picks.
With the fourth pick, they land Alabama pass rusher Will Anderson, perhaps the best player in the draft.
Once again, no change here from my two previous mock drafts. Anderson is the type of player new coach Jonathan Gannon can build around on defense. He’s versatile, productive — 130 pressures over the past two seasons — and has the tools to develop into an All-Pro. The problem for Arizona is who plays next to Anderson. J.J. Watt retired, tackle Zach Allen left in free agency and the Cardinals haven’t added any D-linemen over the past week. For a defense that struggled with consistency last season, there are still issues here.
This trade down likely would give Arizona the Colts’ second- and third-rounders (Nos. 35 and 79) at the very least, giving it a bunch of capital to make upgrades. Now, new general manager Monti Ossenfort has to use that capital wisely — and hope quarterback Kyler Murray is ready for Week 1.
Anderson is an impact pass rusher who seems to be a can’t-miss player. He has the size, the athleticism and the motor to succeed. He had elite production in college against the best competition.
There’s not much to think about, and if they can get him and a couple of extra Day 2 picks, it’s pretty much a dream scenario for the Cardinals.
If this plays out for the Cardinals on draft night, it will have been a pretty fantastic draft.
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