As a section of the football-loving world expects the Cardinals to draft Carson Palmer’s quarterback replacement with their first-round pick, it’s entirely possible that doesn’t happen.
So what does Arizona do if drafting a quarterback 13th overall is a no-go?
Western Michigan wide receiver Corey Davis may not be known by even regular college football fans, but he’s currently the most often mocked non-quarterback heading to Arizona.
Mock draft makers aren’t alone in liking Davis and seeing how he fills a need for the Cardinals.
Arizona receiver Larry Fitzgerald told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM that he has his eye on the Western Michigan prospect.
“I really enjoy watching him. What I liked about him, he’s a four-year guy, played in the same system, he understands playing in a pro-style offense,” Fitzgerald said. “It scares me a lot when you see these young receivers, they play in these half-field schemes with looking at the sideline.
“Well, he’s played four years, he’s got size, he’s got the ability to go up and make plays, he can make plays after the catch. I don’t know if he’ll be around at that (No. 13) spot, but I really like him.”
Davis stands 6-foot-3 and 209 pounds and finished the 2016 season with 97 catches for 1,500 yards and 19 touchdowns.
His 5,285 receiving yards over his career is an FBS college football record.
It makes sense Fitzgerald would welcome another down-field receiving threat to take pressure off himself.
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. can see it as well. He has the Cardinals picking Davis in his three-round mock released on Wednesday.
Kiper’s mock draft might give the Cardinals hope that Davis fall into their laps.
Should the Cardinals reach for a quarterback here? I’m not so sure. They have needs elsewhere, namely at inside linebacker (if Reuben Foster drops, he’d be a good fit) and cornerback. Arizona’s once-formidable receiving corps doesn’t look as good with former first-round pick Michael Floyd gone and Larry Fitzgerald turning 34 before the season begins. Don’t knock Davis’ competition level — he has No. 1 wideout potential.
Kiper also has Arizona drafting Iowa cornerback Desmond King with its second-round pick at 45th overall and then taking Ohio State inside linebacker Raekwon McMillan in the third round, 77th overall.
King, the 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner, is undersized at 5-foot-10, 201 pounds and could end up at safety, but he’s a playmaker (14 career interceptions). Arizona brought back 35-year-old Karlos Dansby to play next to Deone Bucannon, but McMillan is a tackling machine who might be an immediate upgrade.
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