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Cardinals pick DT Derrick Brown in Schrager’s NFL mock draft

Derrick Brown #5 of the Auburn Tigers reacts to a play during the 2020 Outback Bowl against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Raymond James Stadium on January 01, 2020 in Tampa, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Lately, the mock drafts are pointing the same way for the Arizona Cardinals.

Most of those mocks have pegged them going offensive line in the first round after the team added to its front seven and wide receiver groups in the first week of NFL free agency. NFL.com’s Peter Schrager didn’t go that direction.

As much as the narrative around Arizona is that it needs more protection for quarterback Kyler Murray, Schrager’s first mock draft had the Cardinals adding yet another piece to the defense, selecting Auburn defensive tackle Derrick Brown eighth overall.

The Cardinals added Jordan Phillips to their defensive line in free agency, but they won’t be done bolstering that unit if Brown is still on the board at No. 8. The DeAndre Hopkins acquisition makes all those Kyler Murray/ CeeDee Lamb dreams a little less likely. Brown blowing up opposing teams’ offensive lines? Far more likely.

There’s a few things to take note of here.

First, as Schrager said, the once in-vogue projection that the Cardinals could go wide receiver at No. 8 seems a lot less likely after the Hopkins trade, but Arizona passing up a wideout isn’t a sure thing. Larry Fitzgerald’s age and the pass-happy offense run by Kliff Kingsbury could entice the Cardinals to pluck someone from a strong receiver class.

And in Schrager’s mock, no receivers have been taken by the time the Cards are on the clock, which would give them the pick of that litter.

That said, it may be more prudent to go with a player who’s disruptive in the trenches, and Brown would be just that. “He could become a high-impact starter early in his career with an All-Pro ceiling and good starter floor,” NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein wrote of Brown in his draft profile.

The Cardinals currently boast nose tackle Corey Peters and the new addition Phillips on their defensive line, while Jonathan Bullard and Zach Allen figure to battle for the third spot barring the selection of a first-round DT.

It’s also worth pointing out that in this mock draft versatile Clemson defender Isaiah Simmons is off the board to Carolina at No. 7, one pick before Arizona. Only one offensive lineman — Alabama’s Jedrick Wills at No. 4 to the Giants — is taken before Arizona picks in Schrager’s mock draft.

Some have mocked a different defensive tackle to Arizona: South Carolina’s Javon Kinlaw. In Schrager’s mock draft, he goes one pick after the Cardinals, ninth overall to Jacksonville.


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