The Arizona Cardinals are in the midst of an overhaul. This roster desperately needs a solid draft if they have any hopes of competing in a loaded NFC West.
It is a changing of the guard in Arizona. Coach Bruce Arians decided to retire this offseason. Quarterback Carson Palmer followed in his footsteps. The biggest hold over is the aging, but still great, Larry Fitzgerald. Around him is a weird mix of players on this team. Luckily they will get back running back David Johnson, one of the NFL’s best weapons at the position.
A strong draft will go a long way for this team. There is talent on defense, and hope on offense. Being in the tough NFC West will not do this team any favors. Nailing draft picks, and setting this roster up for the future is key moving forward.
This mock draft was done using Fanspeak’s On the Clock, a fun and informative tool for all NFL draft fans.
Round 1 – Pick 15
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Arizona lost Carson Palmer this offseason. The former number one pick decided to retire after sustaining another injury in 2017. As a patch they went out and signed another former number one pick with injury concerns, Sam Bradford. Bradford will step in as the starting quarterback. No team pays a player $20 million a year to ride the bench. They were wise to only invest a one year deal into a player that is on his fourth team in five years. That being said, the quarterback position in Arizona is clearly the team’s biggest need.
The Cardinals will likely miss out on the draft’s big four quarterbacks. There are too many quarterback needy teams ahead of them. Others have far more ammunition to make a move to jump them in the draft and grab any quarterback that could slide. Arizona would be wise to sit patiently and let the drafts’ most polarizing player slide right into their lap; Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson.
Those who say Jackson is best served switching positions may not be watching the same games that I am. Jackson is not as polished as a thrower as Josh Rosen or Sam Darnold. However, he is not as far removed from Josh Allen as some make it out to be. The NFL seems scared of Jackson. Any team that takes a chance on him is getting an elite athlete who is equally as dangerous with his legs as his arm. Some throws he made in college were jaw dropping. He also improved every single year as a passer.
Arizona could give Jackson a year to learn. If new coach, Steve Wilks, keeps the vertical offense from Arians than Jackson is the perfect scheme fit. He is best throwing the ball down the middle of the field. There will be times where he struggles with placement on intermediate routes and outside the numbers. His legs will make up for that. There is a strong chance Jackson turns into the next Michael Vick. With David Johnson next to him, that backfield would be scary in 2019.