McShay’s intel: Cardinals could be eyeing OT with 1st-round pick

Apr 24, 2023, 8:27 AM | Updated: 12:12 pm

Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort...

Arizona Cardinals GM Monti Ossenfort speaks to reporters on Friday, April 21, 2023, ahead of the NFL Draft. (Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

(Tyler Drake/Arizona Sports)

Yes, the Arizona Cardinals have good reason to get out of the No. 3 pick.

They might have even more reason if the Houston Texans, a pick prior, indeed don’t draft a quarterback and take one of the best defensive front-seven players who have held their stock as top prospects in the past few months.

Todd McShay’s annual draft buzz story published on ESPN the week before the first round begins Thursday paints the picture of a Cardinals team “borderline desperate” to trade the third pick.

Whether they do or not, McShay’s investigation leads to this: He thinks it’s likely the team will go after an offensive lineman in the first round.

That sets up an interesting scenario. We’ve all mocked (OLB Will) Anderson or (Tyree) Wilson to the Cards for a while, but if they are truly looking for big-time offensive line reinforcements, could they slide back and take Northwestern’s Peter Skoronski? I’ve heard they are interested, and moving back would not only give them more picks down the board (and/or in future years) but also put them in a better value range for him.

Even if it’s all the way back to No. 11, Skoronski could be available.

McShay points out that Broderick Jones of Georgia and Paris Johnson Jr. from Ohio State are considered top-14 prospects on his own big board.

Arizona has met with Johnson and was expected to meet with Jones in the pre-draft process, so the links are there.

McShay adds he “wouldn’t rule out” the Cardinals just drafting an offensive lineman of their choice if they can’t trade out of third overall. It’d give them depth with D.J. Humphries and Kelvin Beachum back as starters, plus Josh Jones giving them a backup option with starting experience.

As for what happens before the Cardinals must determine their first-round fate, it’s unsurprisingly expected that Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is the projected top pick by the Carolina Panthers.

Things quickly get wacky at No. 2, where McShay is hearing the Texans remain a mystery. The majority of McShay’s sources believe Anderson is drafted there, putting Arizona in a pickle if it can’t move the pick to a team desiring a quarterback.

Then again, maybe that would help them drop back, as McShay says Indianapolis (No. 4), Seattle (No. 5), Detroit (No. 6) and Tennessee (No. 11) all could be in the QB mix.

Back to Houston: McShay said that Texas Tech product Wilson could be a darkhorse No. 2 pick, which would make things interesting for the Cardinals if Anderson is still on the board along with all but one quarterback.

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