2020 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals 7-Round Mock Draft

2020 NFL Draft: Arizona Cardinals 7-Round Mock Draft

The Arizona Cardinals are coming off of a season where they saw promising developments unfold. Rookie quarterback Kyler Murray had a great start to his career, and Kliff Kingsbury’s offense was rolling towards the end of his inaugural campaign. Now, with DeAndre Hopkins added into the mix along with Kenyan Drake, Larry Fitzgerald, and other key weapons coming back, Murray and the offense will look to elevate their game to the next level. This updated 7-round Arizona Cardinals mock draft will help the Cardinals build on their early signs of hope.

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Team Needs

The Cardinals did a nice job of filling their needs out on the offensive side of the football in free agency. Running back could be a slight concern, but Drake and Chase Edmonds make a good duo. At wide receiver, they could look to add another weapon here, but the team has a pretty deep group with Hopkins, Fitzgerald, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella, KeeSean Johnson, and more in that room.

Their two positions of need on offense are tight end and the offensive line. The Kingsbury scheme does not call for an otherworldly tight end, especially with the weapons the Cardinals have, but some more depth would be preferable. The same is true for the offensive line. Both Marcus Gilbert and D.J. Humphries are back, so the need is lessened, but they could use more depth both on the interior and at tackle.

Related | Tony Pauline’s Big Board and Scouting Reports

The Cardinals have a big need on defense – their pass rush. Jordan Phillips and Devon Kennard will help ease some of those concerns, but the interior defensive line still needs work, and Chandler Jones could use a partner in crime opposite of him. Hasaan Reddick’s struggles complicate things, especially when envisioning his fit. An off-ball linebacker is a need given those struggles.

Their secondary is a place where we could see more movement than anticipated. Patrick Peterson’s deal is up after 2020, and Robert Alford showed some cracks beginning to form last season. Cornerback could be a need to fill, as could safety, but only for depth.

Round 1, Pick 8: Derrick Brown, IDL, Auburn

The Cardinals need to address their pass rush one way or another. The depth chart along the defensive line is pretty ugly, and with a bad defense last year, the best way they can clean it up is with a boost to the pass rush. Enter in Derrick Brown, who slides here and immediately gives the Cardinals a commanding interior presence that they need.

Brown can take over games and, most importantly, is the type of guy who commands attention and makes players around him better. The value at 8 is not all too bad either considering the force that Brown will bring to the team. The guy is a wrecking ball for offensive fronts, and that is something the Cardinals should welcome with open arms considering their woes along the defensive line last year.

Related | Tony Pauline Scouting Report: Auburn DT Derrick Brown

Round 3, Pick 72: Damon Arnette, CB, Ohio State

As described above in the team needs section, the Cardinals do have a sneaky need at cornerback. Byron Murphy was solid as a rookie, but beyond him, there are a bunch of question marks in the cornerback room. The futures of Peterson and Alford are as murky as can be, so adding a scheme diverse, physical cornerback like Damon Arnette would be extremely welcome.

One thing the Cardinals struggled with last year was defensive flexibility on a schematic level. Everything was very vanilla, and they did not do a lot of mixing and matching in terms of disguising coverages. Arnette, who is fluid, instinctive cornerback, would give them the flexibility to do just that. They could trust Arnette in a man-to-man situation and also count on him to make plays in run support. This is simply a big boost for the defense and allows them more schematic opportunities.

Related | Tony Pauline Scouting Report: Ohio State CB Damon Arnette

Round 4, Pick 114: Trevis Gipson, EDGE, Tulsa

The Cardinals, as stated above, need to address the pass rush as much as they can. Now, instead of the interior, they go outside linebacker and get some help for Chandler Jones. Gipson is a pure pass rusher, unlike Reddick and Kennard, and will give the team a twitched-up athlete who is bendy and runs an extremely tight arc.

With what they would have with Brown and Phillips as well, the Cardinals adding an athlete like Gipson would allow twists and stunts just to be that much more effective on the front line. Gipson does need to work on his hand usage, but he has a fun skillset that is ready to contribute in the pass rush from day one. That type of athletic ability and potential that Gipson brings is just what the Cardinals need to add.

Round 4, Pick 131: Saahdiq Charles, OT, LSU

The Cardinals may not have gone tackle in round one, but this is a fantastic consolation prize here in the fourth round. Saahdiq Charles gives the Cardinals a smooth, highly functional athlete at the tackle position. He is a little raw with his hand usage and football IQ, but the good news is in Arizona, he does not have to start right away with the two starting tackles already slotted in to play.

Charles has good power and elite grip strength along with that fleet footwork and great mobility. With a team like the Cardinals that is looking to infuse talent to help Murray win some Super Bowl titles perhaps before his rookie deal has ended, a guy with starter upside like Charles at tackle is a great value add in the fourth-round.

Round 6, Pick 202: Dalton Keene, TE, Virginia Tech

The Cardinals do need to add some tight end depth with Maxx Williams slated to be the starter, and Keene is an excellent addition here in the sixth round of the draft. Keene is not going to do many things flashy, but he just does a lot of things well. He gives his full effort in blocking and has some power to open up lanes. In terms of the receiving game, you will not see him breaking big plays after the catch, but he can separate and bust the seam. The guy has excellent hands as well.

Keene is not anything that casual fans are going to drool over because he is so good, but that is not really what the Cardinals need at the tight end position anyways. Keene gives them a versatile tight end that can do a variety of things at an NFL level and serve as good depth for Kingsbury’s offense.

Round 7, Pick 222: Markus Bailey, LB, Purdue

Linebacker depth is one thing that the Cardinals could use behind Jordan Hicks and the bevy of other linebackers that they currently have on the roster. Bailey is a wildly underrated linebacker due to a torn ACL before the 2019 season, but he has good range and fantastic instincts.

This is a guy who can come in day one and be a four-phase special teamer for the Cardinals, but with his skill set, he could legitimately become a hidden gem and ascend the ranks to starter status. That is value this late in the draft and precisely what the Cardinals need.