4-round NFL mock draft projects why Cardinals might trade out of 8
The Arizona Cardinals at present hold six picks in the 2020 NFL Draft, but dangling their No. 8 overall selection presents the best opportunity to snap up more.
NFL.com’s Chad Reuter lays out one scenario that would project what Arizona might receive in exchange if a team were willing to move up and the Cardinals were comfortable sliding down in the first round.
In a four-round mock draft with trigger-happy trades early on, Reuter has general manager Steve Keim agreeing to a deal with the Denver Broncos and GM John Elway.
Arizona moves from eighth to 15th, selecting Alabama offensive tackle Jedrick Wills at that slot. That obviously locks in a promising offensive line in front of quarterback Kyler Murray for the 2020 season.
But with that trade, the Cardinals also get two of Denver’s three third-round picks. That gives Arizona four picks in the first 83 selections; currently the Cardinals only have two through the first 114.
The rest of Reuter’s mock for Arizona goes like so:
72nd overall — Ohio State RB J.K. Dobbins
77th overall (via Reuter’s trade with Broncos) — Utah DT Leki Fotu
83rd overall (via Reuter’s trade with Broncos) — Tennessee EDGE Darrell Taylor
114th overall (4th round) — Washington TE Hunter Bryant
131st overall via Cardinals-Texans trade (4th round) — Wake Forest CB Essang Bassey
Trading out of eighth in this mock addresses a handful of items for the Cardinals.
It includes a value pick of Dobbins — he was graded as the 23rd best prospect by ESPN’s Todd McShay — who could compete with Chase Edmonds for a starting role in 2021 if the transition-tagged Kenyan Drake walks after this upcoming season.
The third round also provides the Cardinals with a 6-foot-5, 335-pound Fotu, who tallied a combined 13.5 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks for Utah over the past two seasons.
Along with Taylor providing pass-rushing depth and Bassey adding to the cornerback room, the mock also gives Murray a weapon at tight end. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound Bryant posted 825 receiving yards and three touchdowns for the Huskies last season.
All-in-all, the Cardinals get a lot of things done before entering the late rounds of the draft.
It’s only a projection, and there would probably have to be good reason for a team to trade up — the Broncos doing so to select Ruggs eighth overall seems like a stretch. Also notable in Reuter’s mock: Defensvie tackle Derrick Brown and linebacker Isaiah Simmons are somehow on the board at eighth overall, and it would seemingly take a lot for the Cardinals to refuse selecting one of them.
That duo, however, is only still available because three quarterbacks go in the first four picks after Reuter wheels and deals.
Regardless of the selections and the minutiae involved there, the exercise gives a glimpse of the draft capital the Cardinals could gain and why they might be willing to trade out of No. 8.