ARIZONA CARDINALS

Cardinals’ odds of No. 1 NFL Draft pick in 2024 look pretty good

May 23, 2023, 8:26 AM | Updated: May 24, 2023, 8:27 am

GM Monti Ossenfort, Arizona Cardinals, 2023 NFL Draft Combine...

General manager Monti Ossenfort of the Arizona Cardinals speaks to the media during the NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on February 28, 2023 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

Jostling around the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft — from third to 12th and back up to sixth — might have cooled hype around the players in the Arizona Cardinals’ rookie class.

But it sure set up first-year general manager Monti Ossenfort to make a splash in 2024.

Arizona picked up Houston’s first-round choice in 2024 as part of the trade-down from third to 12th, and because both the Cardinals and Texans are projected to struggle this season, the odds for Ossenfort to be making the top overall choice next draft look pretty dang high. Like, really high.

According to ESPN analytics expert Seth Walder, the Cardinals have a 31% chance of selecting No. 1 overall in 2024.

Even without the trade with the Texans, who selected Will Anderson Jr., the Arizona Cardinals would have been the favorites to land the No. 1 pick in the 2024 draft, according to the FPI. The Cardinals’ own selection has an 18% chance to be the No. 1 pick. But right behind them are the Houston Texans at 13%. The Cardinals own Houston’s pick, thanks to the Texans’ draft-day move up to No. 3 to draft Anderson. In other words, before playing a down this year, the Cardinals have a 31% shot at the No. 1 selection in 2024. Those two picks have a 57% and 46% chance to be in the top five, respectively, as well.

Walder’s odds are based on ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), a predictive rating model that projects how teams will do next season.

Regarding the Cardinals looking ahead to the 2024 draft, it comes out to some great odds.

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have the third-best shot to draft first at 11%, with the Indianapolis Colts sitting with a 9% chance.

If Arizona had held at third to draft Anderson, it undoubtedly would have projected more impactful for the 2023 season than using the No. 6 selection on Ohio State offensive lineman Paris Johnson Jr. That said, Johnson, who could play guard or tackle, potentially could slot in as a starting guard with Arizona looking strong at tackle with D.J. Humphries, Kelvin Beachum and Josh Jones on the roster.

But quarterback Kyler Murray’s reported affinity for Johnson and the analytic projections coming from the added draft assets tell the story of what Ossenfort pulled off with his initial draft.

In the trade with Houston, Arizona received a 2024 first-rounder as well as a third-rounder.

At present, the Cardinals have two firsts, a second and two third-round picks in 2024. There are also a fourth-rounder, two fifths and a seventh-round choice.

It’s a lot to work with. So 2024 is when Ossenfort can conduct the most important part of flipping the Cardinals’ roster back into winning form.

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Cardinals’ odds of No. 1 NFL Draft pick in 2024 look pretty good