Mel Kiper Jr. names one sleeper tight end who could be good fit for Cardinals

Apr 7, 2021, 6:38 PM | Updated: 6:42 pm
Central Missouri's Zach Davidson runs with the ball as he participates in the school's pro day foot...

Central Missouri's Zach Davidson runs with the ball as he participates in the school's pro day football workout for NFL scouts Monday, March 22, 2021, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

With less than a month to go before the 2021 NFL Draft, almost every mock draft has zeroed in on a cornerback for the Arizona Cardinals’ No. 16 pick.

But who could be the Cardinals’ deep sleeper pick in the later rounds?

ESPN draft expert Mel Kiper Jr. said a tight end who hasn’t received a lot of buzz could be this year’s surprise.

“Zach Davidson’s a kid at Central Missouri, [he] also punted there,” Kiper told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Wednesday. “Really came on in 2019, didn’t play this year but he’s got the length.

“He’s going to fill out and get stronger. He can stretch to the deep middle, he’s got run after the catch ability. I really like him.”

Davidson recorded 1,133 receiving yards and 18 touchdowns on 51 receptions through three seasons with the Mules. At Central Missouri’s pro day, the tight end measured in at 6-foot-6, 245 pounds with a 37.5-inch vertical and 9-foot-9 broad jump.

The Cardinals’ tight end room is in need of another body at the position after Dan Arnold went to join the Carolina Panthers. Davidson could be a good complement to either Maxx Williams or Darrell Daniels in Arizona’s 12 personnel packages of two tights ends.

While the Cardinals also need depth at running back, Kiper said a first-round RB pick would be unwise for Arizona, no matter how good the player is.

Alabama’s elite standout Najee Harris leads the top of the RB draft class, especially after a stellar senior season where he rushed for 1,466 yards and 26 touchdowns on 5.8 yards per carry.

A few mock drafts have projected Harris landing with Arizona, but Kiper thinks otherwise.

“While he’s a heck of an all-around back, he’s 25 on my big board and if you’re picking 16, you’ve got to get somebody inside of your top 10,” Kiper explained.

“You’re going to draft somebody normally inside of your top 10 on your board. Najee, while I like him, I think it would be awfully rich to take him at that 16th spot or anywhere inside 25.”

Arizona Cardinals

Alabama's Will Anderson Jr.(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals’ mock draft scenarios: Arizona keeps the No. 3 pick

Trade the third overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft or keep it? That's the question Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort will answer soon enough.
23 hours ago
Wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins #10 of the Arizona Cardinals lines up during the NFL game against the...
Arizona Sports

ESPN’s Bill Barnwell sees logical landing spot for Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins

The trade speculation surrounding Arizona Cardinals wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins rolls on with each passing day of the offseason.
23 hours ago
Dennis Daley #71 of the Tennessee Titans walks off of the field against the Green Bay Packers at La...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals agree to 2-year deal with former Titans OL Dennis Daley

The Arizona Cardinals agreed to terms with former Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Dennis Daley on Tuesday, the team announced.
2 days ago
Arizona Cardinals CB Antonio Hamilton (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)...
Tyler Drake

Cardinals agree to terms with CB Antonio Hamilton, 2 more

The Cardinals agreed to terms on one-year deals with CB Antonio Hamilton and DL L.J. Collier, the team announced Tuesday.
2 days ago
Monti Ossenfort, new general manager of the Arizona Cardinals NFL football team, speaks during a ne...
Tyler Drake

2023 NFL Mock Draft Tracker: What will the Cardinals do with 3rd pick?

A look at the players being mocked to the Arizona Cardinals at No. 3 overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
2 days ago
Alabama linebacker Will Anderson speaks during a press conference at the NFL football scouting comb...
Kevin Zimmerman

Could Cardinals trade down and still draft Will Anderson Jr.?

Will Anderson Jr. is the crown jewel of the non-QBs. The Arizona Cardinals might be able to trade down in the 2023 NFL Draft and pick him.
2 days ago
Mel Kiper Jr. names one sleeper tight end who could be good fit for Cardinals