ARIZONA CARDINALS

What’s the likelihood the Cardinals trade their 4th overall pick in the NFL Draft?

Mar 31, 2024, 6:55 AM

General manager Monti Ossenfort of the Arizona Cardinals...

General manager Monti Ossenfort of the Arizona Cardinals answers a question from the media during a press conference introducing new head coach Jonathan Gannon at Dignity Health Arizona Cardinals Training Center on February 16, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chris Coduto/Getty Images)

The Arizona Cardinals will have options and plenty of phone calls before and during this year’s NFL Draft. But are we underselling the talent level of Marvin Harrison Jr., the widely regarded best non-quarterback prospect in the 2024 draft class?

There is a litany of factors that will impact what general manager Monti Ossenfort can and wants to do.

Let’s chop it up with Arizona Sports’ Cardinals reporter and Cardinals Corner podcast co-host Tyler Drake to get the feel of the many things Arizona must consider.

Arizona Sports editor Kevin Zimmerman: Alright, Tyler, before we get into what the Cardinals should do and read the tea leaves and all that, let’s address what matters most: Will the three teams ahead of the Cardinals in the draft really hold onto their picks and all select quarterbacks before Arizona is up to draft?

I know that is what’ll be considered chalk, but something tells me we should at least consider more randomness.

Tyler Drake: While anything can happen in the draft, I really do see the Chicago Bears, New England Patriots and Washington Commanders all opting for quarterbacks across the first three picks.

You want to know why? All three of those teams just got done trading away their former starters in Justin Fields, Mac Jones and Sam Howell.

The writing is on the wall that a run of quarterbacks is going to kick this draft off. That’s good news for the Cardinals, who will have their pick of a non-quarterback.

That is unless Ossenfort trades the pick to the highest bidder.

There’s been a lot of smoke lately around Arizona potentially moving off the No. 4 pick to one of the numerous quarterback-needy teams behind the Cardinals. Some of the names to watch include the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Broncos and Las Vegas Raiders.

Which team(s) are you keeping tabs on and what do you think makes or breaks a trade?

Zimmerman: I think you have to stick with the Vikings, who alongside the Cardinals (4, 27) and Bears (1, 9) have multiple first-round picks at 11 and 23. While they signed Sam Darnold, he seems like a bridge option at quarterback, giving a potential fourth quarterback off the board time to develop.

And time is no longer on the Cardinals’ side. Asking for future first-round picks from other teams won’t help Ossenfort slap together enough talent to help Kyler Murray and friends make a leap in 2024.

What trade structure makes most sense and what can Arizona plug holes within that structure? You can tell me, but the more high picks this year, the better.

But I also want to close with your thoughts on Harrison Jr. The advanced analytics all point to him being highly productive despite being the target of opposing defenses, more than potential top-10 guys like Malik Nabers and Rome Odunze can say.

Do you think we’re all overthinking not drafting a potential multi-time Pro Bowler because there are two pretty productive but less-talented dudes in this draft class?

Drake: Here’s my take on the trade situation: If Jayden Daniels is still there at No. 4, I would not be surprised if the Las Vegas Raiders come calling.

If he’s not, I think the Vikings will be on the phone.

I think you can get more draft capital from the Raiders, though it would be strung out over the next 2-3 years. The Vikings, however, can send over two first-rounds and change to get their next franchise quarterback after watching Kirk Cousins head to the Atlanta Falcons this free agency.

The Cardinals are clearly onto the next phase of their rebuild. They’ve added starting-caliber players through free agency and with a few hits this draft, there’s no reason for them not to take a massive step forward under head coach Jonathan Gannon.

If Ossenfort feels the itch to make the move, the Vikings and a trade package surrounding their two first-rounders is the way to go. And much like last season, he could be using one of those picks to move back up the draft board.

But at the end of the day, the answer is simple:

Take Harrison with the No. 4 pick!

Yes, the Cardinals have multiple holes to fill. But they also have multiple picks that can be used to address needs or throw into trades to gain more assets now or down the line.

Arizona needs a No. 1 wide receiver now and for years to come. It’s easily one of their biggest holes on the roster currently. From everything we’ve seen and heard, Harrison Jr. fills that void to a tee.

And let’s not forget, the Cardinals have No. 27 and additional picks at their disposal. There’s always a chance Arizona lands another premium talent at a position of need or Ossenfort cooks up a deal to move higher up the board.

The possibilities are endless. But it all starts with Harrison Jr.

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