There are only a couple reasons why a team would trade down in the NFL Draft.
Sometimes, the organization just feels a need to acquire more picks, believing it has plenty of holes to fill and the best way to do it is with more players.
Other times it’s because the player a team was targeting simply isn’t around when they’re on the clock. So, rather than take a player they don’t value as highly, the idea is to move down, get a player you still like (albeit not as much), and add a pick or two to help soften the blow.
It appears the Arizona Cardinals may have gone with option two.
Last Thursday, the team decided to make a deal with the New Orleans Saints that saw them move down from pick 20 to 27 while adding a third-round choice (91st overall).
Monday, CBSSports.com’s Jason La Canfora wrote that the Cards had someone in mind at 20, but their guy was gone before they ever had the chance to make the pick.
Arizona would have taken linebacker Ryan Shazier if he were still there at pick 20, I was told, but with the Steelers taking him at 16, the Cards began attempts to trade down, and they succeeded.
Shazier, from Ohio State, was a popular choice to be the Cardinals’ pick. A pass rushing linebacker, he would have made sense for the team.
But of course, they never had the chance, and we’ll never really know if he was their top target.