9 players the Cardinals might take in the 1st round of the 2017 NFL Draft
The Arizona Cardinals have needs, both short- and long-term. Will they address their more immediate need of depth at wide receiver and cornerback with their first-round NFL Draft pick, or will they think big-picture by taking a quarterback who can eventually replace Carson Palmer? Here's a look at eight possible players (in alphabetical order) who experts believe the Cardinals might select with the 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft.
Corey Davis (wide receiver, Western Michigan): The Cardinals are suddenly lacking depth at receiver with the departure of Michael Floyd, which is why many experts see the Cards going with the 6-foot-3, 209-pound Davis. The 2016 first-team All-American selection is a "touchdown juggernaut" who "focuses like a laser when the ball is in the air," according to his NFL.com draft profile. (Getty Images)Photo by: Gregory Shamus Reuben Foster (linebacker, Alabama): The Cardinals lost linebacker Kevin Minter via free agency, and even though they signed veteran Karlos Dansby, some experts believe the team will look to add depth at the position. The 6-foot, 229-pound Foster was the winner of the 2016 Butkus Award, given annually to the nation's top collegiate linebacker. He has an "alpha mentality with a ferocious hitting style," according to his NFL.com draft profile, and he's drawn comparisons to Seahawks LB Bobby Wagner. (Getty Images)Photo by: Brian Blanco DeShone Kizer (quarterback, Notre Dame): The Cardinals probably need to find their quarterback of the future sooner rather than later, and a number of experts believe Kizer could be the guy. The 6-foot-4, 233-pounder is a dual-threat QB who can make plays with his arm and his feet. NFL.com compares Kizer to Steve McNair, adding Kizer "has the ability to become a quality starter, but has to improve his ball placement and field vision first." (Getty Images)Photo by: Stacy Revere Marshon Lattimore (cornerback, Ohio State): For the second straight season, the Cardinals find themselves looking for a cornerback capable of starting opposite perennial Pro Bowler Patrick Peterson. That's why the 6-foot, 193-pound Lattimore may find himself in a Cardinals unfiorm. Lattimore only started one season in his collegiate career, but NFL.com calls him an "uber-athlete" who "has the ability to become a Pro Bowl cornerback early in his career." (Getty Images)Photo by: Joe Robbins Patrick Mahomes (quarterback, Texas Tech): You'd expect the son of a former MLB pitcher to have a strong arm, and Mahomes certainly has that. Like the other quarterbacks on this list, the 6-foot-2, 225-pounder can make plays both in and out of the pocket. NFL.com calls Mahomes "a big, confident quarterback who brings a variety of physical tools to the party" but will have to improve his decision-making at the pro level. The Cardinals certainly seem to have interest in Mahomes, as they attended a private workout with the QB in March. (Getty Images)Photo by: Christian Petersen John Ross (wide receiver, Washington): Bruce Arians loves speedy receivers, which is one reason the Cards might go with the 5-foot-11, 185-pound Ross, who broke a record by completing the 40-yard dash in 4.22 seconds at the 2017 NFL Combine. The 2016 AP Pac-12 Player of the Year had 1,150 receiving yards and 17 touchdowns for the Huskies last season. NFL.com calls Ross an "instant-impact weapon" similiar to DeSean Jackson, and he could become a top NFL wideout as long as he can avoid knee injuries, which he has struggled with throughout his collegiate career. (Getty Images)Photo by: Joe Robbins Deshaun Watson (quarterback, Clemson): ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. predicts Watson, the man who led Clemson to last season's College Football Playoff championship, will be a Cardinal. The two-time Heisman Trophy finalist is an accurate pocket passer and a capable runner. NFL.com says the 6-foot-2, 221-pound Watson will take time to adjust to the pro level, "but his combination of intangibles and athletic ability make him worth a first-round selection." (Getty Images)Photo by: Streeter Lecka Mike Williams (wide receiver, Clemson): Williams is the other former Tiger the Cardinals might target, assuming he's still available when their pick comes around. The 6-foot-4, 218-pounder draws comparisons to former NFL wideout Plaxico Burress and is described by NFL.com as a "high-volume target" who made a successful return from a serious neck injury he suffered in 2015. Experts say Williams has the height, size and speed to be a top NFL receiver. (Getty Images)Photo by: Kevin C. Cox Quincy Wilson (cornerback, Florida): Wilson is another possibility to play opposite fellow SEC alum Patrick Peterson, although he could find himself starting elsewhere in the Cardinals' secondary. The 6-foot-1, 211-pounder doesn't lack for confidence or competitiveness, and NFL.com says he's a "big and physical" player who has "prototypical size" to play cornerback or safety, both of which are positions at which the Cards lack depth. (Getty Images)Photo by: Mike Ehrmann