CARDINALS CORNER

Projecting where Arizona Cardinals could draft NFL Combine standouts

Mar 4, 2024, 12:54 PM | Updated: Mar 5, 2024, 12:29 pm

The NFL Draft Combine had no shortage of standouts this past week.

A closer look at some of the combine standouts who could fill one of the Cardinals’ many needs and how they could realistically find their way onto Arizona’s roster come April:

2024 NFL Draft Combine standouts that fit the Cardinals

– Quinyon Mitchell, Toledo CB

Mitchell had already been a name to watch this draft season given his college resume. He cemented that thinking with a strong combine showing.

Not only did Mitchell run the second-fastest 40-yard dash time (4.33 seconds), he also paced all cornerbacks in the bench press (20) and posted a 38-inch vertical.

Projecting where the Cardinals would draft Quinyon Mitchell: No. 27 pick or trade up

Mitchell’s draft stock has been on the rise for much of the offseason. He was among the biggest standouts at the Senior Bowl and now the NFL Draft Combine after reeling in six interceptions, 37 passes defensed and 82 tackles across his final two seasons at Toledo.

Once viewed as a potential pick at No. 27 overall for the Cardinals, Mitchell may very well be in the trade-up category for Arizona after his combine.

ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr. had Mitchell going 17th overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars in his latest mock draft, which after this past week might be too low for the 6-foot, 195-pound cornerback.

Per NFL.com and Next Gen Stats, Mitchell is being viewed as the top cornerback prospect post-NFL Combine.

– Jacob Cowing, Arizona WR

The Maricopa High School alum and Arizona Wildcat found himself among the top five in 40-yard dash times over the weekend, coming in fifth at 4.38 seconds.

That was easily Cowing’s best drill of the week and undoubtedly caught the attention of the Cardinals and the rest of the league.

After beginning his college career at UTEP (2019-21), Cowing turned in two seasons at Arizona. He topped the 1,000-yard mark in 2022 before setting a new school record for touchdowns in a single season with 13 on top of a career high in receptions with 90 and 848 yards.

Projecting the Arizona Cardinals would draft Jacob Cowing: Late Day 2 or early Day 3 pick

The 5-foot-8, 168-pounder figures in as a slot receiver at the NFL level.

While the Cardinals already have options at slot receiver, with Rondale Moore under contract and all signs pointing to the Cardinals re-signing exclusive rights free agent Greg Dortch, adding talent to the wide receivers room is among the biggest priorities for Arizona this offseason.

Cowing would provide depth both as both a pass catcher and return man.

– Chop Robinson, Penn State edge

Robinson was among the early standouts during the combine thanks to his 4.48-second 40-yard dash time, 10-yard split of 1.54 seconds and a broad jump of 10 feet, 8 inches.

In two seasons at Penn State, Robinson recorded 9.5 sacks, 17.5 tackles for loss, three passes defensed and three forced fumbles across 22 games played.

Projecting where the Cardinals would draft Chop Robinson: No. 27 pick

Robinson did himself a lot of favors this past week and should be a late first-round talent come April.

Kiper’s latest mock had Robinson going No. 31 overall to the San Francisco 49ers, though after an impressive combine, the edge rusher definitely improved his first-round status.

Arizona landing the 6-foot-3, 254-pounder at No. 27 would be a big step forward in improving a pass rush that was bottom of the league in 2023.

– Dallas Turner, Alabama edge

Much like Robinson, Turner had himself an NFL Draft Combine, leading all edge rushers in the 40-yard dash behind a 4.46-second mark and a 40.5-inch vertical. He tied Robinson for first with a 1.54-second 10-yard split and came in tied for third with a 10-foot, 7-inch broad jump.

Turner is coming off career highs in sacks (10) and tackles for loss (14.5) across 14 games played in 2023.

Projecting where the Cardinals would draft Dallas Turner: Trade down from No. 4 pick

For the Cardinals to add Turner, general manager Monti Ossenfort is going to have to do some moving and shaking in the first round of the draft.

After already being viewed as a top 10 pick by many draft analysts, Arizona would have to come down from No. 4 overall in a trade — likely with one of the handful of quarterback-needy teams — to land Turner.

Arizona could also come up from No. 27 to try to get the 6-foot-3, 247-pounder, though would likely have to attach additional draft capital in that scenario.

– Rome Odunze, Washington WR

Odunze stood out for being the only one of the top three wide receiver prospects to take part in all of the on-the-field drills last week.

He told reporters earlier the week he wanted to prove why he should be considered the No. 1 wide receiver prospect, and while he didn’t necessarily blow anyone away with his 40-yard dash time like Cowing, NFL.com through Next Gen Stats now has Odunze as the top-rated WR post-combine and fifth prospect overall.

A true No. 1 wide receiver prospect, the 6-foot-3, 212-pounder is coming off a Pac-12-leading 92 receptions in 2023. He also paced the NCAA in receiving yards with 1,640 and reeled in 13 touchdowns.

Projecting where the Cardinals would draft Rome Odunze: No. 4 pick or trade down

Marvin Harrison Jr. is still being viewed as the top wide receiver in the NFL Draft, but Odunze did enough to cut into his lead and solidify himself as a top 10 pick.

He shouldn’t drop lower than that, meaning the Cardinals would either need to take the Husky at No. 4 overall or work a trade to remain inside the top 10.

– Xavier Worthy, Texas WR

Worthy absolutely showed out this past weekend, highlighted by a 4.21-second 40-yard dash time that set a new NFL record.

He didn’t stop there, though, tying Oregon State’s Anthony Gould for the fastest 10-yard splits among wideouts at 1.49 seconds, while posting the fourth-highest vertical at 41 inches and fifth-highest broad jump at 10 feet and 11 inches.

The 5-foot-11, 165-pound wide receiver churned out 1,014 yards and five touchdowns on 75 catches at Texas this past season. He also returned 22 punts for 371 yards and a score.

Projecting where the Cardinals would draft Xavier Worthy: No. 27 pick

As stated earlier with both Cowing and Odunze, the Cardinals need help in the wide receivers room.

Much like Cowing, Worthy would likely come in as slot man given his size and Arizona’s need for a bigger target out wide, though the wide receiver has proven he can stretch the field when called upon.

– Amarius Mims, Georgia OT

The 6-foot-8, 340-pounder put the league on notice with a 5.07-second 40-yard dash time. It wasn’t the quickest time among linemen, but given his size, quite a few eyebrows went up when his time popped up on the screen.

Projecting where the Cardinals would draft Amarius Mims: No. 27 pick or trade up

Mims proved his late first-round price tag this past week, having already been mocked to the Dallas Cowboys at No. 24 overall by Kiper.

Adding a player like Mims would help Arizona in shoring up its bookends along the offensive line.

The addition of the young right tackle would also likely signal second-year pro Paris Johnson Jr.’s move over to left tackle.

Aside from Johnson, the Cardinals also have veteran Kelvin Beachum as a tackle option this year, while D.J. Humphries continues his recovery from a torn ACL suffered late last season.

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