CARDINALS CORNER

Who’s the most intriguing non-1st-round member of Cardinals’ draft class?

May 1, 2024, 10:06 AM

A lot has been said about the Arizona Cardinals’ first two picks of the 2024 NFL Draft in first-rounders Marvin Harrison Jr. and Darius Robinson. Second-round pick Max Melton has gotten quite a bit of run as well.

But with 12 total picks heading to the desert in 2024, there’s a lot of other new talent joining Arizona’s ranks.

Taking that thinking into account, Cardinals Corner podcast co-hosts Tyler Drake and Lauren Koval give their picks for the most intriguing later-round rookie in Arizona’s 2024 draft class:

Which non-first-rounder is the Cardinals’ most intriguing pick of the 2024 NFL Draft?

Drake: Third-round pick and former Illinois tight end Tip Reiman.

His stats aren’t jumping off the page — he didn’t get the ball a ton — but what he brings to the team and what he means for what this team wants to do moving forward says a lot and I think shows a lot about how they want to continue to run the ball. They want to make sure they’ve got extra tight ends out there, they want to make sure they’ve got blockers out there.

James Conner, Kyler Murray and the rest of the running game are going to get this rock a lot. This pick — and Cardinals rookie offensive lineman Isaiah Adams — helps set this team up even more. They’re building for the run game.

If he can really get up to speed and be that blocking tight end like a Geoff Swaim and give that position a little more athleticism opposite Trey McBride, the offense could really do wonders.

I’m really intrigued with what Tip can bring to this team just from a blocking standpoint, but it also looks like he might have the game to fill in as a security blanket for Murray.

He loves to block people, he loves putting people on the ground. You get a guy who loves to do that in an offense predicated on running the football? If he can translate early, holy cow.

Koval: Third-round pick and former Florida State running back Trey Benson.

His NFL comp is Breece Hall. Why he intrigues me is not only him as a player, but it is the running back room in general. Because we know James Conner is so firmly RB1. Everybody loves him. He’s not only RB1, he’s Leader No. 1.

I almost want to compare this to like a D.J. Humphries-Paris Johnson Jr. situation where D.J. knew he was training Paris to take over. I’m interested to see the dynamic between Conner and Benson, because he could one day take James Conner’s job.

Conner is older, but I’m interested to see how that dynamic works, because when Conner was out last year, we saw a lot of running-back-by-committee and we didn’t have a clear picture of who was getting the carries.

Benson is a very physical runner. He runs on “I’m going to lower my shoulder and just hit you.” That’s what the Cardinals are trying to do is be a lot more physical, a beat-you-down, run-focus kind of team and I’m interested to see what Trey can do.

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