With the days ticking away, inching us closer to the yearly migrations of boo-birds following Roger Goodell, the draft is quickly approaching. In two weeks, the NFL descends on Nashville, Tennessee, hoping to witness the next great player get his name called by a lucky franchise. The Arizona Cardinals hold the top pick and the rumors continue to swirl over which direction the team will go. Earlier in the week we threw another name into the hat with our first mock draft. Today we took another shot at a mock draft, this time using FanSpeak’s Draft Simulator. Just like our first mock, trades were not used. Enough of the talk, let’s see what we came up with this time.
Round 1 (1.1)
The first major change from our first mock draft. This is a pick more in line with the circus surrounding the Cardinals and their front office. Murray had a magical season at Oklahoma, winning the Heisman Trophy, then taking the Sooners to within a game of battling for a National Championship. The Cardinals drafted quarterback Josh Rosen out of UCLA in the first round of the 2018 draft. Selecting a quarterback with your team’s first pick in consecutive seasons is typically a non-starter. However, if Arizona believes that Murray is a special talent and can be a franchise savior, the Cardinals would be foolish to ignore him.
Round 2 (2.1)
Arizona signed Robert Alford to play opposite of cornerback Patrick Peterson. If the Cardinals get to the second round and Murphy is available, it would be wise to pick up the talented cornerback. A pairing of Peterson and Murphy would instantly rank among the best in the league. Murphy is easily a top-25 talent in a deep 2019 draft pool and has the ability to instantly slot into the starting position on most NFL defenses. The young cornerback is quick out of the back pedal and is not afraid to get physical with larger receivers. Murphy has the length to close windows and uses his body well to protect against speedier receivers. While it may not be a priority for Arizona, having two shutdown capable cornerbacks would make a tremendous difference for a needy defense.
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Round 3 (3.1)
The Cardinals have Larry Fitzgerald and Christian Kirk at the wide receiver position. That’s it. Sure, they have multiple players listed on the team’s depth chart, but the Cardinals have little reason to believe the position is well staffed. Butler has the talent to be a first or second round selection. If Butler is available in the third round, it would not be surprising to see the Cardinals take their replacement for Larry Fitzgerald. Butler has long been consistently tabbed as one of the top receivers of the class. He will need to become a better route runner, but he gives the Cardinals another playmaker out wide.
Round 4 (4.1)
Davis played both at tackle and guard during his college career. He is better suited to play inside which helps negate some of his pass blocking deficiencies. Davis is an intelligent player who looks to engage when uncovered. Arizona needs quality along the offensive line. They’ve signed depth over the past few weeks but lack any real quality. Davis may not be an immediate starter, but he is a solid backup who can play multiple line spots and who has the potential to grow. The Cardinals would be unwise to let his versatility slip by.
Round 5 (5.1)
This is a late round pick on a solid collegiate player who could provide quality depth at the next level. Gaillard was a three-year starter at Georgia and did more than hold his own against some talented front lines in the SEC. He can play both guard positions as well as center, an area currently manned by 2018 rookie Mason Cole and veteran A.Q. Shipley, the latter of whom is returning from a torn ACL. Gaillard has the potential to become a regular start for the Cardinals.
Round 6 (6.1)
Bell is a depth and special teams selection who will challenge for playing time. He was a productive player at Fresno State with a knack for getting to the football. A slower than expected 40-yard time has put a damper on Bell’s stock. Bell has the size to compete with bigger receivers and tight ends. Put plainly, he is a Day 2 talent who likely falls to Day 3 due to poor testing. Bell will be a starter within a couple of seasons.
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Round 6 (6.6)
Three quarterbacks with just a single year of pro experience between them? If the Cardinals want someone familiar with Kingsbury’s system, why not use a late round pick on a quarterback who learned from Kingsbury’s former collegiate head coach? Minshew was a one-year starter at Washington State after transferring from East Carolina. He has the familiarity to help in the quarterback room and displayed tremendous leadership during his time in Pullman. Minshew has the tools to be a backup in the future.
Round 7 (7.34)
Built more for the 3T rather than playing in the center of the line, Wise has some pass rushing ability and the size to cause issues. First step quickness is impressive and can be disruptive if allowed to get up field quickly. Wise is a high-ceiling player available near the end of the draft. The Cardinals would be smart to pick him up.
Round 7 (7.35)
Forbes comes from the FCS, but tested well at his pro day. If his numbers were included with those at the combine, Forbes would have had the fastest 40-yard dash at 4.87-seconds, and top-10 in bench press (28 reps), vertical (30.5 inches) and the 3-cone (7.59 seconds). A four-year starter at Southeast Missouri State, Forbes is an athletic blocker who is a low-risk late selection for the Cardinals.
Round 7 (7.40)
More of a blocker than a receiver, Sokol is a good athlete who did not produce much as part of an anemic offense in college. Sokol has decent speed for his side and would be a TE3 option in short-yardage and near the end zone. He is a likely special teams contributor and depth at a low price.
The draft is a week away. Arizona has made it clear their work is not yet done. Rumors continue to swirl and misinformation is everywhere. The Cardinals will need to balance immediate needs with best player available. A miss in this draft would further set the franchise back. A miss this draft could be the last for general manager Steve Keim.
If you’d like to try your luck and compare your haul to what we have here, jump on the FanSpeak Draft Simulator. We also chose to use the FanSpeak big board rankings for the player pool.