Cardinals pick Syracuse CB Garrett Williams in 3rd round of NFL Draft
Apr 28, 2023, 6:56 PM | Updated: 10:15 pm
(Photo by Bryan M. Bennett/Getty Images)
The Arizona Cardinals added to their defensive backs room by selecting Syracuse cornerback Garrett Williams with the No. 72 overall pick in the third round of the 2023 NFL Draft.
Williams was an All-ACC honorable mention in 2021 and 2022, despite playing in only seven games last year due to a torn ACL.
The draft pick is expected to be cleared by July, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
#Syracuse CB Garrett Williams, a likely Friday pick, is recovering nicely from a torn ACL suffered last season. He’s expected to be cleared by July after the procedure performed by #Cowboys doc Dan Cooper. A sample: pic.twitter.com/KDTEoS5J8x
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 24, 2023
He is a 5-foot-10 outside corner who had four interceptions and 27 passes defensed in 32 college games.
Cornerback was among the thinnest position on the Cardinals heading into free agency even before Byron Murphy Jr. signed to Minnesota. The team returns Marco Wilson and re-signed Antonio Hamilton, who figure to have inroads to starting roles, but beyond those two names, the waters get murky.
Second-year pro Christian Matthew is a prototype cornerback with his length but is still relatively fresh in NFL standards. Arizona also inked Kris Boyd and Rashad Fenton this offseason for added depth and has Nate Hairston on a futures contract.
Before his departure to Minnesota, Murphy had been one of the two staples at the position alongside Wilson the past two seasons, with mostly a revolving door in the other slots on the depth chart.
Wilson’s 777 snaps led the position group last year with Murphy’s 593 behind him. Antonio Hamilton (418), Jace Whittaker (281), Matthew (235) and Trayvon Mullen (124) were the other names in the mix.
Garrett Williams with the pick!
📺 ESPN pic.twitter.com/Admv7dNcdg
— Syracuse Football (@CuseFootball) September 24, 2022
The No. 72 pick was acquired in an earlier Day 2 trade with the Tennessee Titans.
New general manager Monti Ossenfort dealt pick Nos. 33 and 81 on Friday in exchange for Nos. 41 and 72 in addition to a 2024 third-rounder. Arizona used the 41st pick on LSU edge defender BJ Ojulari.
Ossenfort facilitated a pair of trades during the first round of the draft on Thursday night, nabbing Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson at sixth overall and additional draft capital along the way.
He was active on Day 1, making a deal with the Houston Texans that saw Arizona ship off pick Nos. 3 and 105 in exchange for Nos. 12 and 33 on top of a 2024 first- and third-rounder.
From there, Ossenfort got on the phone with the Detroit Lions, who sent Nos. 6 and 81 to the Cardinals for pick Nos. 12, 34 and 168.
Moments before the draft began, the Cardinals and Eagles settled a tampering investigation involving the recruitment of former Philadelphia defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon as Arizona’s new head coach, the teams announced.
The deal centered around the Cardinals agreeing to swap third-round picks (Arizona’s No. 66 and Philadelphia’s No. 94) in 2023. The Cardinals also received the Eagles’ fifth-round selection in 2024.