Mel Kiper Jr. briefly considers Cardinals trade-down in 2nd NFL mock draft

Feb 28, 2024, 9:07 AM

Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr...

Marvin Harrison Jr. #18 of the Ohio State Buckeyes warms up prior to the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium on October 28, 2023 in Madison, Wisconsin. (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

(Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)

NFL Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. believes the Arizona Cardinals would jump at the chance to select Marvin Harrison Jr. if he’s still available with their No. 4 overall pick.

To be clear, he still has Harrison going to Arizona in his second 2024 mock draft.

But because of that no-duh aura around the receiver, Kiper also wonders whether trade proposals by other teams interested in Harrison could potentially blow Arizona general manager Monti Ossenfort away.

That’s if three quarterbacks go with the first three picks before the Cardinals are on the clock.

If the first three picks break this way, I suspect the Cardinals will rush their selection to the podium. Harrison is an elite wide receiver prospect with all the tools to be a future All-Pro. But unlike in usual drafts, when most trades up into the top five are for quarterbacks, I wonder if teams might try to trade up for Harrison. Would Arizona be able to pass up, for instance, a 2025 first-round pick to move down nine spots with Las Vegas? I’m not saying it would be able to get that haul, but it’d have to consider a deal if it did, right? The looming question is: Are the Cardinals a wide receiver away from contending?

You also wonder if the Cardinals could get greedy and think trading down could net them a different No. 1 receiver — or a different position altogether — plus draft capital. Trading down in that sense might indicate Arizona believes it needs more building blocks and plug more holes.

A trade with Las Vegas for the No. 13 selection in Kiper’s example wouldn’t exactly give anyone confidence about filling the void as a No. 1 wideout. Like Kiper’s first edition of his mock draft, receivers Rome Odunze and Malik Nabers are off the board by the 10th pick.

Cornerbacks, offensive tackles, defensive linemen and pass rushers could still be available in the mid-first-round range, however.

Working off Kiper’s big board, pass rushers Laiatu Latu (UCLA) and Jared Verse (Florida State), offensive tackles Olu Fashanu (Penn State) and Taliese Fuaga (Oregon State), as well as cornerbacks Terrion Arnold (Alabama), Cooper DeJean (Iowa) and Nate Wiggins (Clemson) could go in the middle of the first round.

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