NFL draft simulation: Cardinals take CB Caleb Farley in 1st round

Apr 25, 2021, 9:04 AM
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)...
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

A website of football analysis went deeper than traditional mock drafts with its latest projections for the first round of the 2021 NFL draft.

The 33rd Team put together a simulated draft based off five big boards. In this, the Cardinals took Virginia Tech cornerback Caleb Farley with the 16th pick.

Farley entered Virginia Tech as a wide receiver before he suffered a season-ending knee injury the summer before his freshman year. He returned as a cornerback and started 12 games as a redshirt freshman.

In his second season of play, Farley had four interceptions — including a pick-six — and 20 tackles.

He opted out of the 2020 season due to COVID-19.

Farley is in the top-15 of many analysts’ big boards, including that of ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay, but a recent medical operation has created some uncertainty regarding his draft stock.

The 22-year-old had surgery to clean up discs in his back in late March. On April 9, after a medical recheck in Indianapolis, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the 6-foot-2, 207-pound DB “did well” on the physical with team doctors and trainers.

The Cardinals have a Patrick Peterson-sized hole at cornerback and have frequently been linked to this position in mock drafts.

Their position of need played a role in the simulated draft. The 33rd Team used five big boards to assign value to each player and randomly assigned the boards to a team.

The site made adjustments to the players’ value based on position and a projected salary, and then determined the needs of teams.

Once that was done, the first round was simulated 100 times, with trades allowed.

Farley was the second cornerback off the board in this draft. Patrick Surtain II went No. 13 to the Los Angeles Chargers.

Also of note, the first four picks of this simulated draft were all quarterbacks, and there were five total picked in the top 10.

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NFL draft simulation: Cardinals take CB Caleb Farley in 1st round