ARIZONA CARDINALS

Very early 2020 NFL mock drafts have Cardinals going WR, OT

May 2, 2019, 9:02 AM
Alabama's Jerry Jeudy catches a touchdown pass in front of Clemson's Tanner Muse during the first h...
Alabama's Jerry Jeudy catches a touchdown pass in front of Clemson's Tanner Muse during the first half the NCAA college football playoff championship game, Monday, Jan. 7, 2019, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
(AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Prediction services and oddsmakers don’t expect drastic improvement for the Arizona Cardinals. They’ll be picking high yet again in 2020 after going 3-13 in 2018, leading to the selection of Kyler Murray in this year’s NFL Draft.

So as multiple draft services closed the door on 2019 and opened with year-out 2020 NFL mock drafts, a few themes emerged. Arizona still needs receiver talent and still needs youth along the offensive line.

If the Cardinals want to continue injecting receiver talent into their veins, they can follow the future path laid out by ESPN’s Todd McShay.

In the ESPN analyst’s 2020 way-too-early NFL mock draft, McShay has the Cardinals drafting Alabama wide receiver Jerry Jeudy. It’s an aggressive move after Arizona selected three wide receivers in the 2019 draft this past weekend, but if Arizona drafts second as in McShay’s mock, it would be hard to pass up on the clear-cut No. 1 receiver in a very strong class (McShay has four wideouts going in the top-nine).

Well, the Cardinals certainly don’t need a quarterback. But they could definitely use a shifty, talented receiver like Jeudy. (Quarterback Tua) Tagovailoa’s favorite target caught 68 balls for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, averaging nearly 20 yards per catch. He is very dangerous with the ball in his hands, and Kliff Kingsbury would love to have another dynamic player in his offense.

McShay isn’t alone in mock-making this early — and not alone in seeing a fit between Jeudy and Arizona even after the team selected Andy Isabella, Hakeem Butler and KeeSean Johnson in the 2019 draft.

The Draft Network’s Trevor Sikkema used Super Bowl odds to lay out a draft order, where the Cardinals also land at No. 2.

This is what Jeudy brings to the table:

The Cardinals not only added their franchise quarterback in Kyler Murray this past draft weekend, but they also gave him some weapons in the 2019 draft with Andy Isabella and Hakeem Butler at the receiver position. But the additions shouldn’t stop there. Jeudy has been one of the best receivers in college football for two years and will continue to be as long as he’s healthy.

You won’t find a better route runner.

“You mean “a better route runner in *college football*”, right?”

No, I don’t.

Finding a ready-to-go replacement if veteran Larry Fitzgerald calls it a career couldn’t work out much better.

But what if Arizona isn’t drafting so high?

If that’s the case, there is offensive tackle talent for the Cardinals to pick at.

It’s a need considering the history of injuries to current left tackle D.J. Humphries, who is coming off a knee injury and becomes a free agent after this season. Should recent trade acquisition Marcus Gilbert not pan out as he recovers from his own injury, the need at tackle increases even more.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller ordered his mock based on odds projecting Arizona to select fifth, and there he has them drafting Georgia offensive tackle Andrew Thomas.

Andrew Thomas is a brute at left tackle and has the power and mobility to also line up at right tackle if the team can get a healthy, productive season from D.J. Humphries.

DraftWire.com’s Luke Easterling also has the Cardinals picking Thomas at the No. 7 slot, while Walter Football’s Walter Cherepinsky recently replaced a pick of Thomas with that of Stanford offensive tackle Walker Little at No. 8 overall.

Right tackle Marcus Gilbert is just a temporary solution, while left tackle D.J. Humphries struggles to stay healthy.

Walker Little was the 25th-overall player in his recruiting class. An athletic tackle who is proficient in both pass protection and run blocking, Little could be a top-five pick in the future.

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Very early 2020 NFL mock drafts have Cardinals going WR, OT