Which teams might help Cardinals trade down in 2020 NFL Draft?
The Arizona Cardinals could be in prime real estate for a trade down in the 2020 NFL Draft order.
At eighth overall, they’re sitting in a place potentially between the second and third tiers of non-quarterbacks. They don’t pick again until the third round at 72nd overall, and then don’t draft until 114th.
There are a number of teams not far behind them in the first-round draft order that have better stockpiles of assets through the first 100 picks.
General manager Steve Keim said he’d have to believe that three or four of his favorite targets within a certain tier will remain on the board if the Cardinals do trade down, and doing so would of course mean Arizona believes it will get more value by sliding a few slots down and adding more picks.
Here are a few scenarios that could push the Cardinals in that direction, assuming they don’t fall in love with an available player at eighth.
Dolphins don’t go QB at No. 5 but still want one
Sitting at the No. 5 overall pick, Miami is in an anxiety-inducing position.
The Dolphins had all this time to prepare for the Cincinnati Bengals to take a quarterback — likely LSU’s Joe Burrow — to kick off the 2020 draft. But to have their choice of the second quarterback selected, Miami will have to wait for Washington, Detroit and New York to not take a quarterback and resist any trade offers from quarterback-needy teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, who are in the No. 6 slot.
Maybe the Dolphins don’t even want to take a quarterback fifth at all.
They could use the No. 5 pick on, say, a stud defender or offensive tackle, then trade up and select a quarterback of the future at No. 8.
Good news for them, the Dolphins have the ammunition to pull off such a deal. A third quarterback, be it Oregon’s Justin Herbert or Utah State’s Jordan Love, should be on the board at No. 8. Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa may even fall.
Miami has the Nos. 18, 26, 39, 56 and 70 picks that could interest Arizona.
Falcons, Raiders want to add an elite defender
Mock drafts have tiers of offensive tackles and wide receivers filling in many of the draft slots from fourth overall to 15th.
But what if a team like the Atlanta Falcons wants to move up? They reportedly have interest in some defensive players projected to go ahead of their No. 16 pick.
Cornerback C.J. Henderson out of Florida and South Carolina defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw possibly find themselves in a tier of talents that also includes those deeper positions at OT and WR.
Aside from Atlanta, the Raiders (12th pick) had the worst defense in the league and probably won’t have to move up four spots to get a defensive player of their choosing. But they have the draft assets to do so if they’re worried about not getting their guy.
Someone has a strong opinion of one OT or WR
Like Arizona, a lot of teams drafting behind the eighth pick need to build a support system around a young quarterback.
Tackle-wise, Tristan Wirfs, Jedrick Wills, Mekhi Becton and Andrew Thomas are options.
At receiver, CeeDee Lamb, Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III are considered the creme of the crop.
The Jets at No. 11 will be looking for a tackle or receiver to help ghost-seeing quarterback Sam Darnold. They have a second-rounder and two third-round picks.
The Raiders, who have three third-round picks, first draft at No. 12. They could use a No. 1 receiver for QB Derek Carr.
Tom Brady and Tampa Bay (14th pick) have two very good wide receivers in Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but protection could be coveted. And how much would it help Brady if they added a third receiver to complement the Evans-Godwin tandem?
Bucs general manager Jason Licht, who worked for the Cardinals with Keim in 2008 and 2012-13, has the 45th and 76th picks to dangle.
Denver at 15th overall wants to help second-year quarterback Drew Lock develop, and having another go-to receiver alongside Courtland Sutton would help there. The Broncos have five of the first 100 picks to trade up.
Miami, sitting at 18th overall, might covet a tackle of the future or receiver after taking a rookie quarterback at No. 5.
That’s a long list of teams competing to take a tackle or receiver of their choice. The market could benefit the Cardinals sitting ahead of all of them.