NFL.com’s Jeremiah: Cardinals use No. 8 pick on OL Tristan Wirfs
Jan 21, 2020, 12:02 PM | Updated: 12:04 pm
(AP Photo/Justin Hayworth, File)
The Arizona Cardinals’ No. 8 pick in the NFL Draft will address one of the litany of needs on the roster.
NFL reporter Daniel Jeremiah believes the team will use it to draft an offensive lineman.
In his mock draft, Jeremiah predicted the Cardinals will select Iowa offensive tackle Tristan Wirfs with their first-round pick.
Wirfs, listed at 6-foot-5, 322 pounds, played 35 games over three seasons for the Hawkeyes. This season, he was named the Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year and selected to the conference’s first team by both coaches and media.
In 2018, Wirfs was an honorable mention for the All-Big Ten by the coaches and media.
“The Cardinals need to protect their investment in Kyler Murray. Some believe Wirfs will stay at tackle in the NFL, but I see him as an All-Pro-caliber guard at the next level.”
Though the Arizona’s offensive line was largely healthy and consistent last season, multiple starters are entering free agency. The Cardinals have to decide how much of the approximately $50 million of cap space they have can go toward the line.
Left tackle D.J. Humphries, center A.Q. Shipley, right tackles Marcus Gilbert, Justin Murray and Jordan Mills, and guard Max Garcia are free agents, while Murray is an exclusive rights free agent.
Wirfs, in theory, gives the Cardinals a way to obtain a high-upside player while limiting spending on the line.
A handful of mock drafts have the Cardinals going Wirfs. The Arizona Sports Mock Draft Tracker has counted five such, including Jeremiah’s, that believe the Cardinals will go with the Iowa lineman.
Oklahoma wide receiver CeeDee Lamb leads the way with 13 of the mock drafts predicting Arizona will select him. Andrew Thomas, a Georgia offensive lineman, has four, as does Wirfs’ Iowa teammate A.J. Epenesa, a defensive end.