CARDINALS CORNER

Monti Ossenfort: NFL Draft board ‘fell really well’ for Cardinals on Day 2

Apr 26, 2024, 10:23 PM | Updated: Apr 27, 2024, 8:18 am

TEMPE – Arizona Cardinals general manager Monti Ossenfort and head coach Jonathan Gannon walked out of the team’s NFL Draft war room and into the media room on Friday night grinning from ear to ear.

Because for a second straight day, Arizona added to key positions while not jumping the gun or spending unnecessary draft capital via trade despite what other teams around it were doing.

“Our board actually fell really well for us,” Ossenfort said after Day 2 concluded on Friday. “It tends to happen leaguewide when there’s a run on a position. We see it all the time. It happened with a couple other positions tonight and it just happened to be in that stretch of corners that it happened for us.”

Even with that run of defensive backs, though, Ossenfort and Gannon came away with a highly targeted Day 2 prospect in second-round pick and Rutgers cornerback Max Melton.

They didn’t have to rush to get him, either.

Instead of sticking at No. 35 overall — something Ossenfort was more than comfortable with if need be — he got on the phone with the Atlanta Falcons and packaged the pick along with No. 186 to move down eight spots to No. 43 on top of adding No. 79 to the mix.

At that point, it turned into a numbers game for Ossenfort and Co. And in the end, it played out just as they had hoped.

“We felt comfortable moving back to No. 43 and we’re really excited it worked out the way it did, because Max is a guy we’ve had targeted here for a while,” Ossenfort said.

“Just his seriousness and his intensity (stands out) honestly,” Gannon added of Melton. “This guy is a very serious person, has the mentality we’re looking for. Fits the price of admission. And having him talk through some things (during his top 30 visit), I could tell he’s very well-schooled and well-trained, well-coached, understood what they were trying to get done there. I really fell in love with his mindset, his attitude, his demeanor.”

There’s a pattern forming this NFL Draft for the Cardinals

Defensively, the Cardinals used draft assets to bolster two big areas of need, adding Melton along with Boston College CB Elijah Jones with the 90th pick after locking in defensive lineman Darius Robinson with the 27th selection.

But if you take a peek on the other side of the football, there’s a clear trend taking place:

Get quarterback Kyler Murray and offensive coordinator Drew Petzing more to work with, especially when it comes to boosting the team’s rushing and play-action attack.

It started with the massive addition of new No. 1 wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. at No. 4 overall and ballooned in Day 2 with Florida State running back Trey Benson (No. 66), Illinois offensive lineman Isaiah Adams (No. 71) and tight end Tip Reiman (No. 82), who the Cardinals maneuvered around to get via a second trade.

“I’m sure you see a little bit of a pattern here through the first two nights on what me and Monti are convicted on,” Gannon said Friday. “We’re not going to miss on that.”

What’s does Day 3 of the NFL Draft have in store for the Arizona Cardinals?

The Cardinals embark on Day 3 currently holding five picks at their disposal, though that could change if Ossenfort decides to wheel and deal once more on Saturday.

A look at the Cardinals’ remaining picks ahead of Day 3:

– Round 4, pick No. 104 overall
– Round 5, pick No. 138 overall
– Round 5, pick No. 162 overall (from Houston Texans)
– Round 6, pick No. 191 overall (from Indianapolis Colts)
– Round 7, pick No. 226 overall (from New York Giants)

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