ESPN’s McShay mock has Cardinals taking OT Mekhi Becton 8th overall
There has been much debate over what position the Arizona Cardinals ought to target with their first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, let alone which player they should take.
But as pundits have suggested going after player for the defensive front-seven, a top wide receiver or even trading back, ESPN’s Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft had the Cardinals drafting combine standout and Louisville offensive tackle Mekhi Becton.
Linemen weighing in at 364 pounds aren’t supposed to run 5.10-second 40 times. Becton has versatility and power, and he obviously moves extremely well for his massive 6-7 frame. And if you’re the Cardinals, you can’t let your 5-10 franchise mobile quarterback continue to take 50 sacks per season. They just locked up D.J. Humphries — the team’s last first-round offensive line selection (2015) — to a new contract, but Marcus Gilbert is headed toward free agency. It’s time to invest another high pick in that line.
In this mock draft, Becton is the first offensive lineman off the board. Three quarterbacks are already gone by the time Arizona is on the clock with Joe Burrow going first overall to Cincinnati, Tua Tagovailoa fifth to Miami and Jordan Love sixth to the Los Angeles Chargers.
Other top offensive linemen in the upcoming draft include Iowa’s Tristan Wirfs, Georgia’s Andrew Thomas and Alabama’s Jedrick Wills.
“The offensive line is iffy because there’s really not an elite guy even though they tested well,” draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. told Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports this morning. “There’s a lot of mixed opinion on those guys.”
Another item to note: McShay has Clemson linebacker Isaiah Simmons going fourth overall to the New York Giants, just after Burrow, defensive end Chase Young and cornerback Jeff Okudah. Simmons is a dynamic, versatile player whose services should be highly-coveted after his display of athleticism at the combine.
McShay’s comments about Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray taking 50 sacks do lack the context of Murray’s decision-making while scrambling, but it’s true that Arizona has some free agents along the offensive line. Gilbert, Max Garcia, A.Q. Shipley and Jordan Mills are free agents along the line.