McShay’s perfect NFL mock draft provides realistic outlook for Cardinals

Apr 10, 2018, 11:22 AM
Louisville defensive back Jaire Alexander runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indi...
Louisville defensive back Jaire Alexander runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis, Monday, March 5, 2018. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)
(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Perfect might be a strong word.

As perfect as can be might be more accurate.

ESPN analyst Todd McShay put together what he calls the perfect first 100 picks of the 2018 NFL Draft, and it might be close. Drafting as the general manager of every team, pick-by-pick, McShay fills team needs based on his own draft board, resulting in draft classes by team that he would grade as an ‘A.’

For the Arizona Cardinals’ four picks in the top 100 selections, needs are certainly met. As for it turning out well in terms of finding that franchise quarterback, it’s not ideal.

McShay’s exercise does, however, provide insight to what a realistic draft for the Cardinals might look like come April 26-27.

Here are McShay’s picks for Arizona:

Round 1 (15): Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Round 2 (47): Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Round 3 (79): Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Round 3 (97): Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas

Arizona still needs a QB, but I’m not sure the Cardinals want to give up the draft capital to move up and get one of the top four. Alexander looks like he could be the second CB off the board. He’s a fluid CB, and can play both in the slot and on the outside. Sutton had a ridiculous combine and Arizona desperately needs help at wideout. There’s not a lot there behind Larry Fitzgerald. Rudolph is a good developmental QB in the third, and has a chance to develop into a starter down the line. Ragnow plays with an edge and is a good run-blocker.

What’s the good news here?

While the top four quarterbacks could be taken well before the Cardinals draft at No. 15, Rudolph tumbles to the third round despite being considered a potential surprise late first-round choice. McShay obviously does not share that opinion.

In this mock draft, McShay doesn’t even take Rudolph with Arizona’s second-round pick at 47th overall.

Nonetheless, perhaps there will be reasonable quarterback options in the second round once other teams’ quarterback desires are satisfied early on.

Beyond the quarterback situation, the Cardinals fill three more of their major needs in McShay’s mock.

Alexander becomes the de facto No. 2 cornerback after Patrick Peterson, Fitzgerald gets another running mate at receiver and the offensive line adds valuable depth that will be needed with first-year coach Steve Wilks and offensive coordinator Mike McCoy leaning on the David Johnson-led rushing attack.

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