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NFL Draft Preview

Arizona Cardinals 2021 Draft Preview

First Round Picks: #16

Top Positional Needs: CB, OL, DB

The Cardinals had an offensive explosion last season with the addition of DeAndre Hopkins and the huge step forward Kyler Murray took. They stayed busy in the off-season by locking down two huge names, as AJ Green joins Hopkins on the outside and J.J Watt was signed for whopping 31 million, two-year contract. The question is, do they continue to build around Kyler Murray or address this below average secondary? Though they don’t have a top-ten pick in the draft this year – they could still make a splash in the 2021 draft.

Who Could Be Available

 Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama

This secondary needs help. If Surtain is available with the 16th pick of the 2021 draft, the Arizona Cardinals don’t overthink it and select Surtain. The son of pro bowler Patrick Surtain SR, he’s the top cornerback on the board and would fill this void perfectly. His elite size and talent provides Vance Joseph with a plug and play starter in week one. Locking up this position early would allow the Cardinals to target other positions of need such as the offensive line, later in the draft. Considering the amount of offensive line talent in his draft, they have no reason to pass up the opportunity for this rare defensive talent.

Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech

You see a trend yet? They NEED to replace Patrick Peterson and Farley could be the perfect man for the job. Sure, they signed Super Bowl hero Malcolm Butler to a one-year contract but that addition is more of a Band-Aid rather than a solution. On tape, Farley possesses the necessary skills needed to excel in the cornerback position. Ball skills come naturally for him; he knows how to use his long physique and has excellent hand fighting and body positioning skills. Though he held out in 2020 due to Covid-19 concerns, he should be one of the top defensive players targeted in this years draft.

Sleeper Draft Pick

Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida

This selection would require the Cardinals to trade up in the first round but it’s not out of the realm of possibilities. Sure, they have arguably the best wide receiver in the game in DeAndre Hopkins and just signed veteran A.J Green in free agency. But how much attention can Green divert from Hopkins? At this stage of his career definitely not as much as this highly anticipated tight end coming out of Florida. Adding another offensive weapon for Kyler Murray could propel them to a much-needed postseason appearance – the first since 2015.

 

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