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ESPN’s Kiper has Cardinals bolstering pass rush, O-line in ‘Grade-A’ mock

Louisiana Monroe quarterback Garrett Smith gets up after being tackled by Georgia linebacker Leonard Floyd during an NCAA college football game in Athens, Ga., Saturday, Sept. 5, 2015. (Brant Sanderlin/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

The NFL Draft is just nine days away, and the flood of mock drafts put out by experts is increasing in its intensity.

Like his ESPN colleague Todd McShay did last week, Mel Kiper Jr. has published his three-round “Grade-A” mock draft in an insider piece on the website.

In this mock, he plays the role of general manager for each team and makes his selection based on what is best for each franchise in the given draft slot.

Kiper mocked the first three rounds of the draft in which the Arizona Cardinals own two selections. Here’s the haul the longtime draft expert has coming to the Cardinals.

Arizona Cardinals

Round 1 (29): Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia

Round 3 (92): Graham Glasgow, C, Michigan

Analysis: This draft is off to a good start already thanks to the addition of Chandler Jones, who represents that second-round pick that was shipped to New England. While safety is a clear need, with Vonn Bell off the board it makes sense to grab Floyd, who provides needed pass-rushing ability. There aren’t gaping holes, but I don’t need to reach for a needed center in Round 1 at the cost of passing on a high-upside pass-rusher like Floyd, and I’m able to grab Glasgow in Round 3.

Floyd has been frequently linked to the Cardinals at number 29. In fact, the Georgia outside linebacker has shown up as the Cardinals’ first-round pick in 10 mock drafts tracked by ArizonaSports.com since March 1. Floyd was the Bulldogs’ second-leading tackler in 2015, with 74 combined stops. He also led the team with 4.5 sacks and was tied for the team-lead with 10.5 tackles for loss. In his three years in Athens, Floyd registered 184 total tackles, 17 sacks, forced five fumbles and had 54 quarterback pressures.

In the third round, Kiper has the Cardinals taking Michigan center Graham Glasgow, who started 37 games on the Wolverines offensive line. Glasgow received All-Big Ten honorable mention in 2015 and was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection.

ESPN has Glasgow ranked as the fourth-best center available in this year’s class behind Ryan Kelly of Alabama, Nick Martin of Notre Dame and Max Tuerk of USC.

Kelly, incidentally, is the player most frequently projected as a first-round pick of the Cardinals, showing up in 24 mocks since March 1.

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