The Arizona Cardinals started the offseason with a bang and should continue it by drafting Andrew Thomas with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
With many positions in question entering the 2020 offseason, the Arizona Cardinals addressed many of their holes at the start of free agency. However, offensive tackle is still a position of need and a deep position in the first round of this year’s draft. To put it simply, the Cardinals should draft my top tackle prospect, Andrew Thomas with the eighth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.
Thomas at No. 8 becomes a possibility due to the group of quarterbacks and defensive players slated to be drafted before them.
Arizona Cardinals Free Agency Recap
The Cardinals started the NFL free agency period off with a massive trade. They sent David Johnson, a 2020 second-round pick (Pick 40) and a 2021 fourth-round pick to the Houston Texans. In return, they received DeAndre Hopkins and a 2020 fourth-round pick.
Next, they targeted Jordan Phillips and Devon Kennard to fill voids on the defensive side of the ball. Before these signings, the Cardinals had $17 million remaining in cap space (according to spotrac.com). These two contracts should use the majority of that space meaning the Cardinals should be down to resigning some of their own lower salary players including Zach Kerr, Cassius Marsh, Brett Hundley, Max Garcia, Marcus Gilbert and other lower-tier free agents.
Evaluating the Cardinals Depth
Before evaluating why Thomas should be selected at No. 8, let’s look at why adding an offensive tackle with this pick is more important than the other positions. The defensive line and wide receiver stand out as other options for this team, but neither are larger needs than offensive tackle.
With the addition of Jordan Phillips, this group has a starting three (Phillips, Peters, Allen) but the depth is not yet established. They could add Kerr or others in free agency, but right now we are in wait and see mode. Although there are two early options in the draft, Derrick Brown and Javon Kinlaw, the second tier is also a formidable group at defensive line.
The above-mentioned trade for Hopkins has silenced the CeeDee Lamb chatter for now. However, if Kliff Kingsbury is fully bought into Kyler Murray, which we all know he is, it would give him the opportunity to potentially run more 10 (1 RB, 0 TE) personnel. He attempted this at the start of 2019 but did not have the appropriate weapons and had to switch schemes so maybe Lamb unlocks that potential.
With wide receiver being a longshot, it leads me to my highest position of need, offensive tackle, and potentially the best available player at No. 8, Andrew Thomas
Thomas has been my number one tackle in this class for quite some time and although I have moved around players in mock drafts, I see Thomas as the best person to fill the Cardinals’ right tackle needs. He has the ability to play both left and right tackle, but with the resigning of D.J. Humphries, you would assume he would start his career on the right side.
He is a perfect fit for the quick passing game and has shown extraordinary footwork and strength on the edge which may be needed with the potential of running more 10 personnel than other teams. With the Cardinals focusing on keeping Murray healthy, upright and efficient I think that offensive tackle, specifically Thomas, is the best decision for this franchise moving forward if they do not choose to trade down from the eighth overall pick.