NFL Draft roundtable: Arizona Sports predicts who Cardinals pick 8th

Apr 22, 2020, 6:45 AM
Clemson's Isaiah Simmons (11) and Denzel Johnson react after making a defensive play during the fir...
Clemson's Isaiah Simmons (11) and Denzel Johnson react after making a defensive play during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Florida State, in Clemson, S.C. Simmons was selected to The Associated Press All-Atlantic Coast Conference football team, and named Defensive Player of the Year, Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro, File)
(AP Photo/Richard Shiro, File)

The Arizona Cardinals enter the 2020 NFL Draft with the eighth overall pick.

What will they do with it? A lot has to play out, but here’s how the Arizona Sports hosts, producers, editors and reporters think it’ll go by the time they’re on the clock.

Who do you predict the Cardinals will draft with the No. 8 pick (or will they trade it)? Why?

Doug Franz, co-host of Doug & Wolf: Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah.

The main questions are: 1) how many QBs go before No. 8 and 2) what do the Giants do?

I think three QBs go in the top-seven and the Giants go O-line. If that happens, Okudah, Derrick Brown or Isaiah Simmons will be there at No. 8 and the Cardinals will take the last remaining player of the three. My guess is it will be Okudah.

If those three names are gone, I do think the Cardinals will look to trade down and recoup a second-round pick after trading one to Houston in the “I still can’t believe it” DeAndre Hopkins-David Johnson trade. If they trade down, keep on eye on a WR or cornerback C.J. Henderson from Florida.

Dave Burns, co-host of Burns & Gambo: I predict a trade out. I suspect there are many players in the mid-teens that intrigue the Cards and many teams (Broncos and Falcons chief among them) who might want to move up. Take advantage of that, move down, get an extra second- or third-round pick.

Vince Marotta, co-host of Bickley & Marotta: It’s hard to identify whom the Cardinals will select at No. 8, because there are so many possibilities of what can (and likely will) happen ahead of them.

If three quarterbacks remain as picks in the top six, I think that will leave Clemson LB Isaiah Simmons on the board for Arizona at No. 8 — and I would be absolutely stoked by that outcome. The defense needs an upgrade and playmakers, and Simmons fits that bill.

If somehow Simmons, Tristan Wirfs and Andrew Thomas are off the board, I could see the Cardinals trading down, possibly picking up a second- or third-round pick and selecting a wide receiver, most likely CeeDee Lamb of Oklahoma.

Luke Lapinski, host of The Rundown with Luke Lapinski and reporter: You take Isaiah Simmons if he’s there. That has to be their first choice. But he’s not going to be there, so I think their second choice would be to trade down — not too far though — and add a second- or third-round pick if they can.

If they stay at No. 8, I’m assuming they get some offensive line help to protect their investment in Kyler Murray; probably Tristan Wirfs or Jedrick Wills. But the really fun pick would be going all in on receiver with CeeDee Lamb or Henry Ruggs III. That instantly makes them one of the most exciting offenses in football, while also filling a need down the line whenever Larry Fitzgerald retires. How’s that for giving seven answers?

Kevin Zimmerman, editor and reporter: I think somebody ahead of the Cardinals will buy into the potential of tackle Tristan Wirfs. I think Jeff Okudah will be snapped up by the eighth overall pick. I can’t see Isaiah Simmons getting past the Panthers, who by hiring Matt Rhule out of college have strayed from traditional NFL thought — even as mocks project them heavily to take Derrick Brown.

And I think there will be some craziness ahead of the Cardinals that leads Brown to fall into the Cardinals’ laps, giving them a Day 1 starter who along with Jordan Phillips will change the dynamics of the pass rush around Chandler Jones.

Kellan Olson, editor and reporter: Tristan Wirfs. The pre-draft consensus on the top-seven, along with how past drafts have gone, lean toward three quarterbacks going before the Cardinals pick. That leaves Chase Young, Jeff Okudah, Isaiah Simmons and Derrick Brown, with any one of the four being considered a “surprise” if they were available for Arizona.

Wirfs addresses one of the biggest needs on the team. I will say the X-factor here is if the Cardinals have it fairly even amongst the top-four offensive tackles that are supposed to go in the top-20. That would support trading back and give them far better value in the mid-teens.

But I’m basically predicting chalk. What could go wrong with that given the virtual format?

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NFL Draft roundtable: Arizona Sports predicts who Cardinals pick 8th