ARIZONA CARDINALS

2022 NFL Mock Draft Player Index for the Arizona Cardinals

Mar 30, 2022, 2:05 PM
Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis (5) runs a drill during Purdue's football pro day in West Laf...

Purdue defensive end George Karlaftis (5) runs a drill during Purdue's football pro day in West Lafayette, Ind., Tuesday, March 29, 2022. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Arizona Cardinals face hard truths after a hot start to 2021 ended with wilting in the second half of the season and one uninspiring playoff game.

They can do good work resetting in the 2022 NFL Draft, where they hold the 23rd overall selection.

As we use our Mock Draft Tracker to keep tabs on how mock drafts see Arizona operating with its first-round choice, we’ll also want to get to know the prospects in this year’s class.

Below you’ll find draft prospects, their numbers and a few draft experts’s opinions. The ones who are more often mocked to the Cardinals will appear first.

It’s the NFL Mock Draft Player Index, where we’ll attempt to quickly spotlight all the potential prospects Arizona will consider with its first pick in the draft.

George Karlaftis, DE, Purdue

6-foot-4, 275 pounds

Key stats: 36 tackles, 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles in 2021

What they’re saying

“Purdue EDGE defender George Karlaftis might be the best power rusher in this year’s class. … I’m most impressed with Karlaftis’ motor and close quarters combat. He does not appear to play with the ideal length and separation skills as an edge defender, but he’s become quite refined as a puncher and with his shedding techniques to help enable him to win ground and get good “knockback” at the point of attack.” – The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs

Andrew Booth, CB, Clemson


6-foot, 200 pounds

Key stats: 64 tackles, nine passes defensed and five interceptions in the past two years

What they’re saying

“Booth has the ball-tracking and play strength to find and maintain top-dog positioning through catch tries. He’s more effective in off coverage underneath than tight man. He needs to play more football, but his ball-hawking instincts, burst to close and toughness in run support will be very appealing for zone teams looking for an upgrade at cornerback.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa

6-foot-2, 296 pounds (NFL Combine)

Key stats: 2021 Rimington Trophy (best center) recipient, 2021 First Team All-America

What they’re saying

“Linderbaum has Pro Bowl potential but needs to be matched with a move-based rushing attack. He has the foot quickness and GPS to consistently find top positioning in the first phase of the block. He plays with leverage and body control to sustain and keep the running lane open. However, his size will make block finishing somewhat hit or miss and he will need help against some of the bigger defenders lining up across from him.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Trent McDuffie, CB, Washington

5-foot-11, 195 pounds

Key stats: 35 tackles, six passes defensed in 2021

What they’re saying

“McDuffie’s size is the only thing stopping him from potentially contending for the preseason CB1 title. That’s not to say that he is small. Still, in a class with Kaiir Elam, Derek Stingley Jr., and Ahmad Gardner — all of whom are over 6’1″ — McDuffie’s size can be considered average. Size is an active strength for players like Elam and Gardner. For McDuffie, it’s not.

“Nevertheless, he is an elite athletic talent with the explosiveness, fluidity, and speed to be a terror in pass defense. He also owns the physicality and fast play pace to make things happen in run defense.” – Pro Football Network’s Ian Cummings

Kaiir Elam, CB, Florida

6-foot-2, 196 pounds

Key stats: 78 tackles, 20 passes defensed and six interceptions over three years

What they’re saying

“At the next level, Elam’s best fit will come on a defense that plays primarily zone and press coverage, where his length, athleticism, physicality in coverage, eye discipline, and ball skills shine best. While he has sufficient functional athleticism, twitchier receivers that can get vertical are challenging matchups for Elam, so that is something necessary to account for.” – The Draft Network’s Joe Marino

“He is patient and strong to mirror and impede releases but inconsistent staying connected to the early stages of the route. He plays with good awareness in zone and has the twitch and length to make plays on the throw when squatting in space. He was beat on deep patterns against Alabama, Arkansas and Georgia, which might have led to excessive grabbing and an overall lack of trust in his technique on the 2021 tape.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Jermaine Johnson, EDGE, Florida State


6-foot-5, 262 pounds

Key stats: 70 tackles, 12 sacks, two forced fumbles in 2021

What they’re saying

“He’s more instinctive and consistent as a run defender, but his length and relentlessness are excellent building blocks for challenging protection. Johnson’s blend of strength and athleticism should make him a firm edge-setter and playmaker near the line of scrimmage for odd or even fronts.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

“There are very few limitations with Johnson’s game and he’s a balanced defender against the run and pass with appeal in any scheme. The biggest question Johnson had to answer in 2021 was what type of impact he could make in a featured role and he absolutely aced the test.” – The Draft Network’s Joe Marino

David Ojabo, OLB, Michigan

6-foot-5, 250 pounds

Key stats: 35 tackles, three passes defensed, 11 sacks, five forced fumbles as a junior

What they’re saying

“Ojabo is very green in the grand scheme of things; he didn’t play organized football until his junior year of high school after being born in Nigeria and moving to Scotland at the age of 7. And yet, Ojabo is still very much a high-impact defender and shows surreal natural feel and instincts for the game despite the lack of experience—his nose for the football and brilliant rush counters are awesome to take in.” – The Draft Network’s Kyle Crabbs

Zion Johnson, OL, Boston College

6-foot-3, 316 pounds

Key stats: Played part of his college career at Davidson, has experience at both left tackle and guard and earned a degree in computer sciences

What they’re saying

“The phrase ‘phone booth guard’ was made for Johnson thanks to his wide, girthy frame and immense playing power. Johnson has experience at tackle, but he’s clearly an interior blocker on the next level. He has knock-back pop at the point of attack with the ability to win the block in a test of strength. In space, his limitations become obvious. He’ll need to fit into the right scheme that takes advantage of what he does well and diminishes the athletic limitations.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zuerlein

Kenyon Green, OL, Texas A&M

6-foot-3, 323 pounds (NFL Combine)

Key stats: Started 35 games over three seasons at college, playing significantly at both guard spots with some work at both tackle positions

What they’re saying

“Green has natural functional strength that he uses to become a true road grader in the run game. Offensive coordinators will find it beneficial to call run plays that follow behind Green’s path. As a pass protector, Green possesses quickness that he uses to mirror defenders and become a dominant interior pass protector. Green is a versatile offensive lineman that has amassed a ton of experience throughout his career. Green has the athleticism and physical temperament to become an instant starter and a future All-Pro offensive lineman.” – The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez

Chris Olave, WR, Ohio State

6-foot, 187 pounds (NFL Combine)

Key stats: 65 catches, 936 yards (14.4 average) and 13 touchdowns in 2021

What they’re saying

“Olave’s best attribute is his ability to make plays over the top of the defense. His presence is felt in every game I studied, and he opens up the field for his teammates. That being said, he isn’t a one-trick pony. He is just as effective running comebacks and curls as he is on posts and go routes. He’s a home run hitter who’s also capable of winning on third down in the middle of the field.” – NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah

Travon Walker, DT, Georgia

6-foot-5, 275 pounds

Key stats: 37 tackles, two passes defensed, six sacks in 2021

What they’re saying

“He has outstanding lateral pursuit and consistently makes plays across the line of scrimmage or down the field with excellent effort. He struggles to get off blocks at times and can be slow tracking the football. All in all, Walker has rare athletic upside with position versatility but needs to develop into more of an impact player to warrant as high of a pick as his athletic traits suggest.” – The Draft Network’s Brentley Weissman

Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama


6-foot-2, 189 pounds

Key stats: 1,572 yards, 15 touchdowns in 2021 after transferring from Ohio State

What they’re saying

“Williams is a smooth route-runner that has the quickness to win early in route progressions and quickly makes himself available for the quarterback. He’s a quick accelerator that pushes routes vertical then has the ability to sink his hips and quickly snap off routes. Excels at running deep routes. He understands how to properly leverage defenders on deep routes and then make a cut and use his speed to run away from them.” – The Draft Network’s Keith Sanchez

“Williams ruins man coverage but faces some limitations. He has issues getting off press cleanly and might require some scheming to help get off the mark cleanly against certain corners. Catch toughness can be inconsistent when contested or in heavily trafficked areas. He has all the juice to find consistent separation on vertical, over and post/corner routes and could see monstrous production if paired with a high-end talent at quarterback.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Cameron Thomas, DE, San Diego State

6-foot-5, 270 pounds

Key stats: Racked up 21.0 sacks and 39.0 tackles for loss in 36 career games at San Diego State

What they’re saying

“Thomas is a big, long base end who was uber-productive for the Aztecs. He finished second in pressures (77) and third in total stops (44) among edge rushers last season.” – Pro Football Focus’ Michael Renner

“In the NFL, he is ideally suited as a 4-3 DE. However, he will be impactful as an interior rusher in sub-packages. He is versatile enough to align in various positions on third downs.” – The Draft Network’s Drae Harris

Ahmad Gardner, CB, Cincinnati

6-foot-3, 200 pounds

Key stats: 40 tackles, three sacks, three interceptions in 2021

What they’re saying

“Long, lean and linear, Gardner’s physical and football growth are on full display when comparing his 2019 tape to 2021. He’s highly competitive with a confidence level that will be labeled as cocky by some evaluators. “Sauce” uses length and hand activity to impose his will on the release and stall the route on the tarmac.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

“He is a feisty competitor with excellent coverage instincts and he has above average ball skills. When it comes to areas of concern at the next level, there can be some drag-down tendencies as a tackler—his high hips elongate his ability to trigger and drive downhill and he needs to trust his athleticism more and not be so grabby in coverage. Gardner has the makeup of an NFL starter that could claim that role in year two if not year one.” – The Draft Network’s Joe Marino

Arnold Ebiketie, DE, Penn State

6-foot-3, 256 pounds

Key stats: 62 tackles, 9.5 sacks, two forced fumbles in 2021

What they’re saying

“He will need to keep adding to his bag of tricks as a pocket hunter, as he lacks the base and body type to hold his ground and plug up run games on a consistent basis. Ebiketie could see action as a sub-package pass rusher early in his career. He has the potential to find starting reps as a 3-4 rush linebacker in the future.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Trevor Penning, OT, Northern Iowa

6-foot-7, 321 pounds

Key stats: The only offensive lineman nominated for the 2021 Walter Payton Award given to the most outstanding FCS offensive player

What they’re saying

“In the run game, he is a nasty and physical player. He has a savage temperament and has finished several plays with the defender on the ground. He is extremely powerful at the point of attack and gets consistent vertical movement in the run game. However, due to his size and inability to bend extremely well, leverage issues are of slight concern against smaller edge defenders. In the passing game, he has been a dominant player in the Missouri Valley Conference. He bends a little at the waist which gets him in trouble at times.” – The Draft Network’s Drae Harris

Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC

6-foot-4, 250 pounds

Key stats: 37 tackles, five sacks, one forced fumble, one interception in 2021

What they’re saying

“As mostly a pass-rushing outside linebacker, Jackson didn’t take that leap to dominance like some (myself included) were hoping, but he still played very well and showed some elite speed-rush skills, including rare bend and flexibility. He has those athletic gifts you can’t teach, and I’m a big believer in his potential moving forward.” – Pro Football Focus’ Trevor Sikkema

DeMarvin Leal, DL, Texas A&M

6-foot-4, 290 pounds

Key stats: 58 tackles, 8.5 sacks in 2021

What they’re saying

“Early entry defensive lineman who appears to be caught between “best fit” positions at this time. Leal possesses adequate rush skills and knows how to craft a rush plan, but a lack of suddenness and closing burst turns potential sacks into hurries without the help of a long pocket count. When the motor is cranked up, he can stack and slide past run blockers with efficiency and quickness.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Daxton Hill, CB, Michigan

6-foot, 192 pounds

Key stats: 69 tackles, eight passes defensed, two interceptions in 2021

What they’re saying

“Hybrid safety/nickel with an outstanding blend of speed, explosiveness and coverage versatility. Hill is a smooth, twitchy athlete who is unencumbered in his coverage movements. He’s rangy playing over the top, has the eyes and burst to play zone, and the oily hips and length to shade bigger slots in man coverage.” – NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein

Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia

6-foot-6, 340 pounds

Key stats: 32 tackles, two sacks in 2021

What they’re saying

“In the run game, he is dominant. He is nearly impossible to single-block. He has extremely explosive hands to lock out and disengage from offensive linemen. His skill set suggests that he can either be a single or two-gap player in an even or odd front. He can remain on the field in passing situations, but teams may maximize his effectiveness by limiting his reps due to his size and conditioning.” – The Draft Network’s Drae Harris

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2022 NFL Mock Draft Player Index for the Arizona Cardinals