Arizona Cardinals bolster defense in Brugler’s 7-round mock draft

Apr 20, 2022, 2:07 PM | Updated: 2:32 pm
George Karlaftis #5 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts after a play during the second quarter in the...
George Karlaftis #5 of the Purdue Boilermakers reacts after a play during the second quarter in the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Ross-Ade Stadium on November 27, 2021 in West Lafayette, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

Dane Brugler of The Athletic released a seven-round mock draft recently and had the Arizona Cardinals beefing up their defense in the first round.

Brugler projected the Cardinals to take Purdue edge rusher George Karlaftis with the No. 23 pick and noted Georgia defensive tackle Devonte Wyatt as a potential Plan B.

Karlaftis was a relentless pass rusher in college with five sacks last season in 12 starts. He earned a spot on the Associated Press All-American third team.

Karlaftis is a tough prospect to mock because there are several front office decision-makers who believe he will fall to the second round. That would surprise me, especially with the long list of teams, including Arizona, looking to improve their pass rush.

The Cardinals’ corps of edge rushers includes Markus Golden, Devon Kennard, Dennis Gardeck and Victor Dimukeje. The team has not signed anyone new to step in after it lost Chandler Jones to the Las Vegas Raiders in free agency.

Arizona owns eight picks in the draft, five of which are in the final two rounds. The Cardinals have their second- and third-round selections, and Brugler predicts they take Nebraska offensive lineman Cam Jurgens (No. 55) and Fayetteville State cornerback Joshua Williams (No. 87) with those picks, respectively.

Jurgens played center for the Cornhuskers and was a three-year starter.

The 290-pound lineman would join a veteran offensive line group with 32-year-old Rodney Hudson at center. Arizona also added guard Will Hernandez in free agency.

Williams is a tall cornerback at 6-foot-3 with speed having run a 4.53-second 40-yard dash. He had three interceptions in nine games last season. draft analyst Lance Zierlein evaluated that Williams has the physical tools to develop into an NFL starter, but his previous competition level could prevent him from being an impact player right away.

Brugler has Arizona focusing on adding offensive weaponry late in the draft with Arizona State running back Rachaad White (No. 201), Nicholls State receiver Dai’Jean Dixon (No. 215) and University of Alabama at Birmingham tight end Gerrit Prince (No. 244).

The Cardinals’ final two picks in the mock draft are North Dakota offensive tackle Matt Waletzko (No. 256) and Houston cornerback Damarion Williams (No. 257).

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