ESPN’s Miller predicts Cardinals’ 2024 Round 1 draft selections

Aug 27, 2023, 6:27 AM

Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans reacts after he threw a touchdown pass against the Stanford C...

Caleb Williams #13 of the USC Trojans reacts after he threw a touchdown pass against the Stanford Cardinal in the first half at Stanford Stadium on September 10, 2022 in Stanford, California. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

It’s never too early for mock drafts, and experts have begun looking ahead to the 2024 NFL Draft.

The Arizona Cardinals sports the “worst roster in the NFL on paper,” according to ESPN’s Matt Miller, and ESPN’s Football Power Index backs that with the team drafting first overall and then going again at No. 2 as owners of the Houston Texans’ pick.

Quarterback Caleb Williams is the favorite to be selected first. A junior at USC and the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, Williams has been donned as the “next Patrick Mahomes” by some scouts.

Williams hasn’t specified if he’ll enter the draft after the conclusion of the 2023 season, but if he does declare, barring a horrendous season or an unforeseen injury, the quarterback will likely be the first overall pick.

“That’s for sure now going to be an in-the-moment decision at the end of the year,” Williams said regarding his decision to enter the 2024 NFL Draft. “It’s my third year, and the dream and goal was to go three-and-out. Being around these guys and in college and enjoying it, we’ll have to see at the end of this year.”

Now, say the Cardinals draft Williams. The question becomes: “What happens to Kyler Murray?”

The team could trade the selection for a massive return, or trade Murray and implement Williams into its scheme.

“Williams’ dual-threat ability, creativity in and out of the pocket and 6-foot-1, 215-pound frame make him a natural fit with the rebuilding Cardinals — as long as he actually does leave school early to declare for the draft,” Miller said.

If Murray struggles in his return from a torn ACL, the team could also have the incentive to trade the 2019 first overall selection.

As a result of a 2023 draft day trade, the Cardinals own the Houston Texans’ first-rounder in 2024. ESPN’s FPI also has the Texans projected to struggle in the upcoming campaign, therefore allowing the Cardinals to pick second overall as well, where wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. is projected to be selected.

Harrison is considered the best wide receiver prospect since Hall of Famer Calvin Johnson in 2007. A senior at Ohio State, Harrison recorded 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns last season.

A trio of Williams, Harrison and 2023 first-round selection Paris Johnson Jr. would give the Cardinals a solid foundation at three important positions in height of their rebuild.

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