Cardinals draft Alabama WR DeVonta Smith in Brugler’s 7-round NFL mock

Apr 14, 2021, 8:10 AM | Updated: 10:13 am
Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith scores a touchdown past Ohio State safety Josh Proctor during t...

Alabama wide receiver DeVonta Smith scores a touchdown past Ohio State safety Josh Proctor during the first half of an NCAA College Football Playoff national championship game, Monday, Jan. 11, 2021, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

What are the chances the Arizona Cardinals will have the opportunity, if they choose, to draft one of the 2021 NFL Draft’s top three wide receivers at the end of the month?

It appears increasingly high.

What are the chances both a top-three wideout and a top-three cornerback will be available, forcing them to make a decision between getting greedy at one skill position versus filling a dire need?

It’s looking more likely.

The Athletic’s Dan Brugler, in a full seven-round mock draft, has Arizona selecting Alabama receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith with the No. 16 overall pick.

No. 16 — DeVonta Smith, WR, Alabama

What a steal if Smith falls this far. The Cardinals have solid role players behind DeAndre Hopkins on the receiver depth chart and there are arguably greater team needs, but Arizona can’t pass on Smith and his impact in that offense.

Notably, Brugler has the Cardinals selecting Smith after cornerback Patrick Surtain goes 10th to the Dallas Cowboys and South Carolina corner Jaycee Horn is selected 12th by the Philadelphia Eagles.

Brugler also has Alabama receiver Jaylen Waddle off the board at No. 13 to the Los Angeles Chargers.

All of that — plus a four-quarterback run to begin the draft — helps push Smith down to Arizona’s slot.

It’d be quite the get for Arizona. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound receiver piled up 1,856 yards and 23 touchdowns over 13 games, his junior year culminating in a 225-yard, three-touchdown performance in the national championship game that saw him miss nearly the entire second half of football due to a finger injury.

And if adding Smith to an as-is, ready-to-go receiver group is considered greedy, Brugler at least has the Cardinals checking off most of their most important needs.

With their next five picks in the mock, Brugler has them taking a cornerback, a running back, an edge rusher and one player for each of the lines.

No. 49 – Kelvin Joseph, CB, Kentucky
No. 160 – Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Oklahoma
No. 223 – Darius Hodge, edge, Marshall
No. 243 – Sadarius Hutcherson, OG, South Carolina
No. 247 – Malik Herring, DL, Georgia

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