ARIZONA CARDINALS

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.”

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