Realistic trade partners for the Cardinals’ No. 3 draft pick

Apr 3, 2023, 11:27 AM

General manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts speaks to the media during the NFL Combine ...

General manager Chris Ballard of the Indianapolis Colts speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on March 01, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The chatter surrounding the Arizona Cardinals’ No. 3 pick is only getting louder as the 2023 NFL Draft closes in.

And it’s mostly centered around one topic: trading out of that spot.

Many believe the Carolina Panthers and Houston Texans will use Nos. 1 and 2 on quarterbacks Bryce Young and C.J. Stroud in some order, shrinking the first-round QB pool to two prospects, Will Levis and Anthony Richardson.

That leaves the Cardinals in prime spot to make a deal with a desperate team in need of a franchise signal caller.

And believe you me, there are more than a few prospective trade partners Arizona could put pen to paper with.

A look at those squads who could realistically trade up with the Cardinals:

Indianapolis Colts (No. 4)

You don’t have to travel down the draft order far to run into the Colts at fourth overall.

Indianapolis showed Matt Ryan the door this offseason but added Gardner Minshew to the quarterbacks room that includes Nick Foles and Sam Ehlinger.

It may just be one pick, but that can make the difference in landing the QB you want or having to settle on Plan B.

It wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen a team move up just one spot to nab a QB, either.

The Chicago Bears swapped the third overall pick for the San Francisco 49ers’ second to select QB Mitchell Trubisky in 2017. Chicago also shelled out a third- and fourth-rounder that year in addition to a third-round pick in 2018.

Trubisky lasted four seasons in Chicago, posting a 29-21 record as a starter. He also notched two postseason appearances with the Bears, both losses.

Seattle Seahawks (No. 5)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Working with a division rival? It’s not as farfetched as it seems, though, there is certainly risk involved.

Despite the Seahawks re-signing 2022 starter and Comeback Player of the Year Geno Smith and backup Drew Lock, Seattle is reportedly eyeing Richardson.

Now, back to that risk.

If Seattle hits on Richardson, the trade between the two teams will haunt the Cardinals for the foreseeable future and will be one of those moves looked back on throughout the rivalry.

But making that kind of move would net the Cardinals more draft capital and keep them in the top five.

The potential to add another layer to the divisional rivalry this draft is there.

Las Vegas Raiders (No. 7)

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

But what about Jimmy G?!

Yes, the Raiders brought in Jimmy Garoppolo on a three-year deal this offseason. No, I don’t think he’s the long-term solution under center in Las Vegas.

And with Chase Garbers the only other QB currently on the team, there’s a need for another option in the room.

With one eye on the present and one on the future, moving up to No. 3 for a potential franchise signal caller makes a lot of sense for the Raiders.

And with the seventh overall pick, the Cardinals could still land a top prospect like Oregon cornerback Christian Gonzalez or Texas Tech edge Tyree Wilson.

Atlanta Falcons (No. 8)

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

The Falcons are another team that currently have a stopgap option at QB in Taylor Heinicke after signing the vet this offseason.

He and 2022 third-rounder Desmond Ridder figure to compete for starting reps, but outside of that, the room could use some work as the team looks to get back to relevancy.

And if they did end up moving up to No. 3, Arizona is still firmly inside the top 10 and could have multiple options to work with.

Tennessee Titans (No. 11)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Per NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah on his “Move the Sticks” podcast with Bucky Brooks, the Titans are a team to keep an eye out for when it comes to trading up to third overall.

Tennessee could use a face lift at QB, with the aging Ryan Tannehill headlining a room that also features 2022 third-rounder Malik Willis.

Tannehill is coming off his worst season as a Titan, while Willis still has a ways to go in his progression as an NFL starting QB.

And given new Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort has a previous connection with the Titans having served as their director of player personnel from 2020-22, there’s some familiarity there between the two sides.

Making a move just outside the top 10 could mean Arizona misses out on a Gonzalez or Wilson.

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