Quite a few NFL mock drafts across the web have picked the Arizona Cardinals to shore up their offensive line by taking Alabama center Ryan Kelly in the first round of the 2016 draft, and ESPN’s Todd McShay is no different.
In McShay’s three-round ‘Grade A’ mock draft, the approach is a bit different.
McShay isn’t projecting the real results in this exercise but acting as a team’s general manager, pick-by-pick. And he doesn’t veer away from thinking the Cardinals would benefit by adding to their offensive line by picking Kelly.
The more interesting tidbit in McShay’s mock comes in the third round, when he has Arizona selecting North Carolina State quarterback Jacoby Brissett with the 92nd overall choice.
Kelly would give them another building-block piece up front to protect 36-year-old QB Carson Palmer. Brissett, meanwhile, has the tools and work ethic to develop into a good backup QB in the NFL. Given time to work under Palmer and learn from quarterback guru Bruce Arians, there’s a chance Brissett could eventually emerge as an adequate starter.
In his senior season with the Wolfpack, Brissett completed 60 percent of his passes and threw 20 touchdowns to six interceptions.
According to NFL.com’s draft profile of Brissett, the quarterback has a strong arm and the athleticism to be a running threat. He developed bad habits from taking so much heat playing for NC State the last two seasons and still has to develop a better understanding of the position.
Brissett would give the Cardinals a project who would receive tutoring by Carson Palmer.
Last week, McShay’s fellow ESPN draft expert, Mel Kiper Jr., also saw the 6-foot-4, 311 pound Kelly as a solid choice considering Arizona’s needs but also an easy pick as a best-available prospect at the 29th draft slot.
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