PREDICTION: What will the Arizona Cardinals do on night one of the NFL Draft?

Draft Scene Football
Posted at 6:56 PM, Apr 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-29 20:00:15-04

GLENDALE, AZ — The Arizona Cardinals are in a very interesting spot to draft from with the 16th pick. They are within arm's reach of a highly coveted playmaker, but likely just out of reach of who they really want, meaning they'd have to trade up, and the Cardinals don't really have that draft capital.

Watch all seven rounds of the NFL Draft on ABC15 starting with round one Thursday at 5 p.m. and rounds two and three Friday at 4 p.m.

Steve Keim spent their third and fourth-round picks on acquiring DeAndre Hopkins and Rodney Hudson (well worth it), but in a draft that is rich with wide receivers and cornerbacks, trading back is the prudent play to get more picks and fill more needs.

Let me quickly play devil's advocate with myself. The Cardinals have spent money on veteran players, adding leadership and toughness to a team that believes they are knocking on the door of being a contender. Couple that with Kyler Murray still on his rookie contract, the Cardinals have a window to which they can push the last stack of chips into the middle by trading up for an offensive playmaker in DeVonta Smith or Jaylen Waddle (Kyle Pitts and Ja'Marr Chase are a pipe dream even in this scenario).

But back to what I think is realistic come Thursday night. None of those guys are still there at #16. Keim trades back into the early 20's, gets a third-round pick in return, and can still get a corner or receiver in the first round. For instance, Caleb Farley out of Virginia Tech is a guy with tremendous upside, but a couple of back surgeries have him falling down draft boards. I wouldn't be comfortable taking him at #16, but I'd be a lot more comfortable taking a chance on him later in the first round after acquiring more picks in the draft.

Another corner in Greg Newsome II out of Northwestern should also be available later in the first round, along with the second tier of wide receivers like Elijah Moore from Ole Miss and Rashod Bateman from Minnesota.

The best-case scenario in my opinion: trade back, draft Farley, pick up a WR in the second round.