This 2-round NFL mock draft has Cardinals finding value in CB Kool-Aid McKinstry

Mar 5, 2024, 9:33 AM

Alabama CB Kool-Aid McKinstry at the NFL Draft Combine...

Kool-Aid McKinstry #DB25 of the Alabama Crimson Tide speaks to the media during the 2024 NFL Combine at the Indiana Convention Center on February 29, 2024 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

(Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)

The NFL Draft is all about finding value, and the Arizona Cardinals have three of the first 35 picks where even standing pat could help them fill needs without reaching for talent.

ESPN’s Jordan Reid ticked the boxes in terms of value quite well in his two-round mock draft that dropped on Tuesday, following the selection of receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at fourth overall with a cornerback and an offensive tackle.

With the 27th pick that the Cardinals acquired in last draft’s deal with the Houston Texans, Reid has Arizona selecting Alabama cornerback Kool-Aid McKinstry, who’s combine may have damaged his draft stock.

A Jones fracture in McKinstry’s right foot was discovered during combine medicals, but he plans to participate in Alabama’s pro day. He’s a true technician on the outside, using his 32-inch length and short-area quickness to take away receivers. And considering the long-term questions at outside corner for the Cardinals — even if Antonio Hamilton Sr. is brought back — McKinstry makes a lot of sense here late on Day 1.

McKinstry would join a cornerback group with open competition to start. Rookies Starling Thomas V, Kei’Trel Clark and Garrett Williams got plenty of run last year alongside Hamilton, the veteran of the group.

Eight picks later, Reid has Arizona nabbing an offensive tackle to add depth behind Paris Johnson Jr., veteran Kelvin Beachum and the injured D.J. Humphries. In a deep class at tackle, BYU product Kingsley Suamataia is the eighth player taken at his position in Reid’s mock draft and also the eight-rated prospect on ESPN’s veteran draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s big board.

Offensive tackle D.J. Humphries suffered an ACL tear in January, so why not add to the OL here early on Day 2. Paris Johnson Jr. could transition to the left side after playing on at right tackle as a rookie, but the 6-5, 326-pound Suamataia has experience on both sides and could give coach Jonathan Gannon options.

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This 2-round NFL mock draft has Cardinals finding value in CB Kool-Aid McKinstry