With the draft getting closer every day, front offices across the league are getting their final boards ready. To join in on the fun, we’ve decided to take a look at the six picks the Arizona Cardinals currently hold, heading into the 2020 NFL Draft. Today we unveil our Cardinals Mock Draft, version 1.0. The rules are simple: No trades (yet), must be reasonable, and we’re drafting for scheme fit. What would your seven-round mock draft look like? Here’s our attempt at building the roster!
Round 1 (8): Mekhi Becton, OT, Louisville
Notable Options: CeeDee Lamb, WR; Tristan Wirfs, OT; Jerry Jeudy, WR
At this point in the mock draft, Jedrick Wills was off the board. With Deandre Hopkins on the roster (pending physical), the immediate need for a wide receiver was eliminated. That left the choice between Becton and Wirfs. It all comes down to fit. Wirfs is a power lineman who often overextends and gets his shoulders past his feet. He was a stellar right tackle for Iowa but will need to adjust to a much different offense with the Cardinals. Becton, by comparison, comes from a spread-style offense at Louisville where he is accustomed to quick pass sets and operating in space. Becton has a higher ceiling and projects to have an easier transition.
Round 3 (72): Jordyn Brooks, LB, Texas Tech
Notable Options: Jeremy Chinn, S; Donovan Peoples-Jones, WR; Troy Dye, LB
The decision between Brooks and Dye comes down to what you think the coaching staff can do. Brooks has the bigger upside but Dye is currently the more complete package. Neither player truly excelled at pass coverage but Brooks showed better flashes due to his athleticism. In the end, it is the belief that the coaching staff will mold Brooks into the better player. Ask me tomorrow and this answer could change.
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Round 4 (114): Alex Highsmith, Edge, Charlotte
Notable Options: Amik Robertson, CB; Quartney Davis, WR; Nick Coe, Edge
Highsmith is a good young option to add some size and become a surprise pass-rushing contributor for the Cardinals. He showed a consistently growing repertoire of inside and outside moves. Reports paint a picture of a player who has worked hard to hone his skills and who has the work ethic to make it count at the next level. Highsmith could become a solid bookend in a season or two with proper coaching.
Round 4 (131): Harrison Bryant, TE, Florida Atlantic
Notable Options: Leki Fotu, IDL; Tyler Johnson, WR; Antonio Gandy-Golden, WR
The Arizona offense needs to add weapons when available. In the first round, it was about selecting an elite tackle prospect. Here is the next best pick to help a young offense. Bryant is arguably the best pass-catching option at tight end. The Florida Atlantic product converted from an offensive tackle during his senior year of high school. His blocking ability is a direct result of his former life as an offensive lineman. Bryant is athletic and can catch the football and could become the starting tight end by midseason.
Round 6 (202): Freddie Swain, WR, Florida
Notable Options: Stephen Guidry, WR; Cole McDonald, QB; Shyheim Carter, S
Swain offers the Cardinals a speedster who can take the top off of defenses. He also can return punts as well. Swain is talented after the catch and can threaten defenses in all three levels of the passing game. He will need to work on lessening his dependence on making catches with his body but he has not suffered from excessive drops. Swain leaves much to be desired with his route-running but he is still successful with working his way open. Early time on special teams, while he learns to improve his route-running, would do well for the Florida product.
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Round 7 (222): Jaron Bryant, CB, Fresno State
Notable Options: Jauan Jennings, WR; Myles Dorn, S; Aaron Parker, WR
A team can never have enough talented secondary players. Byron Murphy showed flashes of immense potential during his rookie campaign and is likely to take another step forward in his second season. If the Cardinals keep Patrick Peterson, Jaron Bryant would have a great combination of teachers to learn from. Bryant has good length at 6-feet and has solid ball skills. While his likely role will come as a nickel cornerback or safety, Bryant will need to gain some seasoning before he can become a regular contributor.
– Ryan Adverderada is the Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage 49ers. He also covered the Arizona Cardinals for Full Press Coverage. Like and follow on Follow @ryanadverderada